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A Treatise on Toleration;

memorials, letters, &c. Relating to persecution; and particularly to the cases of Calas and Sirven. Translated from the French of Mr. De Voltaire, By the Rev. David Williams; [bound with:] The Ignorant Philosopher, translated from the French.

London: Fielding and Walker, 1779 Stock Code: 124071
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Later English-language editions of two of Voltaire's best known works, with the latter book including his commentary on Beccaria's Treatise on Crimes and Punishments. The Treatise on Toleration was first published in English in 1764, The Ignorant Philosopher and the Commentary on Beccaria in 1767. David Williams (1738-1816) translated various works by Voltaire into English, with his translations aiding in bringing the author to a British audience. Voltaire's Treatise on Toleration was inspired by the execution of the Roman Catholic Jean Calas, which Voltaire believed was religiously motivated. One of the foundation texts in the canon of writings supporting religious, political and moral toleration, Voltaire's treatise has remained widely read to this day, and became a bestseller in France following the Charlie Hebdo attacks in 2015. The two editions which have been bound together in this book were also reissued together by the publisher with a new title page in 1779 (ESTC T51661), but it is unknown whether the present book is that issue, bound without the new title page, or if the two works were bound together independently of the issue.

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2 works bound in 1, octavo (220 x 135 mm). Contemporary half sheep, rebacked, marbled sides.


Contemporary ownership inscription on title page of Treatise on Toleration. Sides and extremities rubbed, inner hinges reinforced, small chip to front free endpaper, some light foxing and finger-soiling, top corners of a few pages lightly creased. A very good copy.


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