Copy of an Important Treatise on English Constitution Studied by a Group of Upper-Class English Female Readers De Lolme, J[ean] L[ouis] [1740-1806]. The Constitution of England, Or an Account of The English Government; In Which it is Compared with the Republican Form of Government, And Occasionally with the Other Monarchies in Europe. London: Printed by T. Spilsbury, 1775. vii, , 448 pp. Octavo (9-3/4" x 5-3/4"). Contemporary sheep-backed publisher boards, raised bands and hand-lettered title to spine, untrimmed edges. Moderate rubbing to boards and extremities, boards beginning to separate but secure, considerable rubbing to spine with loss to ends, armorial bookplate of St. Andrew St. John, 14th Baron St. John of Bletsoe, list of people who have read this book, dated 1776, all female, to front free endpaper, light toning to text. $1,500. * First English edition. First published in 1771, this highly regarded popular exposition of the English constitution by a Swiss jurist went through several editions well into the nineteenth century. This copy has a fascinating set of associations, all from the time of the American Revolution. The bookplate suggests it was originally acquired by Lord St. John [1759-1817], a politician who sat in the House of Commons (before he inherited his peerage) and was later an under secretary of state and a privy counselor. The list on the front free endpaper, in different hands, show this copy was shared by several upper-class female readers. The entries read: "1776 November 1st. sent to Mrs. Stephenson. Mrs Stephenson recd this Book Nov 5th. Sent to Miss Manley Novr 19th/ Miss Manley set this book to Lady Robinson Decbr 2th/ Lady Robinson to Lady St. John Dec ye 20th/ Lady St. John to Mrs. Powys Feb 10th/ Mrs. Powys to Lady Cullen Febry the 17th/ Lady Cullen to Mrs. Haggitt March the 1st/ Mrs Haggitt to Mrs Supple March 16th/ Sent to the quarterly meeting ye; 24th rec'd with many others, sent to Mrs. Mannsell April ye: 17th/ Sent to Mrs Hill April Ye 30th Doro. Mansell/ Sent to Mrs Jones 14th May/ Sent to Mrs Robinson the 20th/ Mrs Robinson [illegible] ye book for ye [illegible] June ye 23." English Short-Title Catalogue T109935.
Book number 70908