BURKE, Edmund.

A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful.

London: for R. and J. Dodsley, 1757 Stock Code: 141332
£3,500.00

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Notes

First edition of Burke's treatise on aesthetics, published in what Todd calculates to have been "a rather small edition, possibly limited to 500 copies". The Philosophical Enquiry was Burke's first truly successful work, winning praise in many quarters: Dr Johnson, "an example of true criticism"; Hume, "a very pretty treatise"; Reynolds, "the admirable treatise"; and Kant describing Burke as "the foremost author" in "the empirical exposition of aesthetic judgments" (Writings and Speeches, 1.187-8). "His enduring achievement was to have tackled a difficult subject in a fashion accessible to any educated reader" (ODNB). The book was also fundamental to subsequent discourse about the sublime in Romantic literature and art.

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Description

Octavo (180 x 109 mm). Contemporary calf, rebacked, brown morocco label, later double gilt fillet to covers.

Condition

Bound without half-title, a few pencilled marginal lines and minor annotations. Endpapers split in hinges but joints sturdy, sig. M standing slightly proud, scattered light foxing and soiling but contents clean, a couple of page corners creased, short closed tear at foot of C6 and G3. A very good copy.

Bibliography

ESTC T42248; Draper, p. 15; Todd 5a.

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