First Edition of "A Landmark in the Development of the Idea of Press Freedom" Hall, Robert [1764-1831]. An Apology for the Freedom of the Press, And for General Liberty. To Which are Prefixed Remarks on Bishop Horsley's Sermon, Preached on the Thirtieth of January Last. London: Printed for G.G.J. And J. Robinson, Pater-Noster Row; W.H. Lunn, Cambridge, And J. James, Bristol, 1793. [iv], xix, , 108 pp. Added stipple-engraved portrait of Hall and and a signed autograph by Hall preceding title page. Octavo (8" x 5"). Nineteenth-century three-quarter calf over marbled boards, raised bands, lettering piece and blind and gilt fillets to spine, marbled endpapers. Moderate rubbing, front board neatly detached, chip to head of spine, wear to foot of spine and corners, rear hinge cracked, early owner bookplate (James Chaffin) to front pastedown. Moderate toning to interior, light foxing to title page and a few other leaves, later owner annotations, one dated 1880, to front endleaf, "or 1793" in early hand to foot of title page. $1,250. * First edition. Hall, a Baptist minister, was a well-known champion of religious liberty and free expression of ideas. His belief in his causes, and that that they would ultimately prevail, were amplified by the French Revolution and they had their fullest expression in his Apology. An instant left-wing classic, it appeared in later editions well into the nineteenth century, the last one in 1882. Thomas Jefferson, who owned a copy of the first edition, of one of many readers who recognized the importance of this work. Hall characterizes this work as "an eloquent statement" and "a landmark in the development of the idea of press freedom." The autograph is dated January 24 1827. It includes the text of Romans 12:1 as it appears in the King James Bible: "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." Sowerby, Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson 2831. English Short Title Catalogue T127568. Hall, Freedom of the Press H36.
Book number 78494