Title: Esprit des Loix, ou Rapport qu'elles doivent...
Publisher: Par la Compagnie, Amsterdam
Publication Date: 1758
Binding: Full Leather
Book Condition: Very Good
Three volumes. Pp. clxviii, 329: xxii, 476; xvi, 525. Complete with half-titles. Contemporary full mottled calf, densely gilt-tooled spines to a floral design in compartments between raised bands, contrasting morocco labels, gilt, marbled endpapers, red stained edges. Minor wear to extremities of bindings, a couple of corners bumped, headcaps rubbed exposing headbands on two volumes, each half-title with small piece (¾" x ¼") cut out to conceal former owner's identity, but overall a nice clean set, in attractive and well-preserved bindings. A reissue of Montesquieu's masterpiece on political liberty, first published anonymously in Geneva in 1748. Within a year or two of its initial publication, Montesquieu's work had achieved such popularity that he was able to write, "Il y a vingt-deux éditions de mon ouvrage répandeus dans toutes l'Europe." (Gébelin, p.22). The book generated enormous controversy and its author was accused of atheism in the pages of the influential Jensenist periodical "Nouvelles Ecclésiastiques". In spite of his "Défense", published in 1750, Montesquieu's work was placed on the Index in 1751. Montesquieu died not long after, but the principles he advocated in his writings, the ideas of freedom and toleration and the natural rights of the individual went on to inspire the French and American Revolutions and provide the philosophical underpinnings of the American Constitution. Size: 12mo. Bookseller Inventory # 21825
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