Early English-Language Edition of a Landmark in Eighteenth-Century Political Science Montesquieu, Charles Louis de Secondat, Baron de [1689-1755]. [Nugent, Thomas (c.1700-1772), Translator]. The Spirit of Laws. Translated from the French of M. de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu. The Fifth Edition. Carefully Revised and Improved with Considerable Additions by the Author. London: Printed for J. Nourse, And P. Vaillant, 1773. Two volumes. [iv], xlvii, , 468; [iv], xvi, 534,  pp. Octavo (8-1/4" x 5"). Recent period-style calf binding by Philip Dusel, gilt spine with raised bands and lettering pieces, gilt tooling to board edges, marbled endpapers. Moderate toning to text, faint dampspotting in places, owner signature (of Paul Tilghman dated 1805) to heads of half-title and dedication leaf of Volume I and heads of title page and first page of Table of Contents of Volume II. A handsome copy. $1,500. * Fifth (stated) English edition. De L'Esprit des Lois was one of the landmark works of eighteenth-century political science and an immeasurable influence on jurisprudence and political thought, especially in the Americas. It was a profound influence on the founding fathers, such as Thomas Jefferson, and the framers of the U.S. Constitution. It contained provocative and wide-ranging ideas on the sociology of law, the separation of political powers and the need for checks on a powerful executive office. First published in Geneva in 1748, and first translated into English in 1750, it remains one of the most significant studies of political and legal theory ever written. Based on Montesquieu's study of the English Constitution, this work is important as the first work to propose the separation of powers, an idea incorporated into the U.S. Constitution. Sowerby, Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson 2325 (citing a collected edition of Montesquieu's works). English Short-Title Catalogue N23470.
Book number 70718