The "Ornaments" Edition of Hobbes's Leviathan, The Last with Authorial Corrections Hobbes, Thomas [1588-1679]. Leviathan, Or, The Matter, Form, And Power of a Common-Wealth Ecclesiastical and Civil. London: Printed for Andrew Crooke, At the Green Dragon in St. Pauls Church-yard, 1651 [but probably 1695-1702]. [vi], 250, 249-256, 261-394 [i.e. 396] pp. Text continuous despite pagination. Main title page, with upside down triangle of 25 ornaments grouped in 5 rows, preceded by copperplate pictorial title page. Folding table. Folio (11-3/4" x 7-1/2"). Recent period-style calf, original paneled calf boards laid down, gilt-edged raised bands and lettering piece to spine, endpapers renewed. Some gatoring and a few scuffs to boards, some chipping to edges of retained boards. Moderate toning to text, faint dampstaining in a few places, faint dampspotting to a few leaves. Recent owner signature to front pastedown, early owner signature to head of pictorial title page, tiny early initials to foot. A nice copy. $5,000. * Definitive edition, with the final corrections by the author, the so-called "ornaments" edition distinguished by a title page device consisting of an inverted triangle of 25 ornaments grouped in five rows. One of the greatest works of political science, Leviathan analyzes the structure of society and legitimate government and is one of the most influential statements of social contract theory (under the rule of an absolute sovereign). Written during the time of the English Civil War, it is notable for its deeply pessimistic view of human nature. The early editions of Leviathan, all with the famous pictorial title page, list the same publisher and publication date: Andrew Crooke, 1651. They are distinguished by slight variations in the spelling of the title and the devices on their title pages. The first has a winged cherub's head, the second, actually printed in 1678, has a bear grasping two sprays of foliage. It was followed by the present issue. The ESTC gives a publication date of 1680, but some sources place its publication date between 1695 and 1702. Hobbes, Leviathan, ed. Noel Malcom (2014) 312-316. Printing and the Mind of Man 138. English Short-Title Catalogue R13935.
Book number 64971