A Landmark in the Philosophy of Republican Government, A Book Admired by Jefferson Sidney, Algernon [1622-1683]. [Hollis, Thomas (1720-1774), Editor]. Discourses Concerning Government, By Algernon Sidney, With His Letters, Trial Apology and Some memoirs of His Life. London: Printed for A. Millar, 1763. [v], 46, , 64, *64-*71, 65-198, , 497 pp. Pagination irregular, text complete, second section (, 497 pp.) misbound at rear of text. Copperplate portrait frontispiece. Quarto (11-1/2" x 8-1/2"). Contemporary calf, gilt spine with raised bands and lettering piece, later repairs to joints, spine ends and corners, front endpapers renewed. Light rubbing and a few minor stains and scuffs to boards, moderate rubbing to extremities with some wear to board edges, corners bumped, rear hinge cracked. Phrygian-cap devices, a favorite Hollis image, to foot of frontispiece and p. 198. Moderate toning to text, somewhat heavier in places, occasional light foxing, minor dampstains to a few leaves, marks from paper clip to upper margins of preliminaries, offsetting to title page and frontispiece. A nice copy of a notable edition. $750. * First edition by Hollis. The first edition of this important work was published in 1698, fifteen years after Sidney's execution for treason in 1683. A reply to Filmer's Patriarcha, the Discourses is one of the earliest modern statements of republican ideals. He proposes a doctrine of natural justice and governmental order from which all institutions vary at their peril. More important, Sidney asserts that a king's authority is granted by parliament, which has the additional power to depose him-controversial ideas indeed during the Restoration period. The edition by Thomas Hollis helped to renew this work's popularity during the mid-eighteenth century. A wealthy Whig author and political philosopher, Hollis produced handsome and affordable editions of works by Locke, Milton, Sidney and other seventeenth-century proponents of English liberty, which he distributed to institutions in the British Isles, Europe and the American colonies. Thomas Jefferson was one of several individuals influenced by this text. He described it as "probably the best elementary book of the principles of government, as founded in natural right which has ever been published in any language.": Sowerby, Catalogue.
Book number 68451