Lot 55 of 218:
Voltaire's Letters on English Nation 1733  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyer's Premium):$1,560
Estimate:
$1,000 - $1,500

Title:
Letters Concerning the English Nation
Author:
Voltaire, Fran├žois Marie Arouet de
Place:
London
Publisher:
C. Davis & A. Lyon
Date:
1733
Description:

[16], 253, [19] pp. (8vo) 19.6x12.5 cm (7¾x5"), period calf ruled in gilt, rebacked with later calf. First Edition.

A major early work by Voltaire, comprising a group of 24 letters written just after his residence in England, which began in 1726 and which left him impressed with the country's justice, common sense, and toleration of free though and eccentricity. The letters comment on various noteworthy customs and personages and consider profound questions of philosophy and science. The English edition appeared a full year before the work was published in French. When the book did appear in France, it was condemned and burned, its complimentary attitude towards English ways being considered as subversive criticism of French absolutism and the corruption of the French church. The questions raised trended towards the ideals of self-government which were to spawn the revolutions in America and later France itself. This copy with three lines of commentary in verse, in an old hand, on the front free endpaper: "Ha! Sir, Satyr & Praise, you nicely blend/ Shall I call you or Englands foe or friend/ You lash us smartest when you most commend." Later ownership signature on front pastedown, and another ("Fra: Muxior") on title page. Sabin 100751.

Lot Amendments
Condition:
Some wear to covers, the rebacking simply but professionally executed; light dampstaining to top corners toward the rear, not affecting text; very good internally quite clean overall.
 
Item number:
274495
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