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HUME, David - RITCHIE, Thomas Edward.

An Account of the Life and Writings of David Hume, Esq.

London: Printed for T. Cadell and W. Davies, 1807 Stock Code: 124769
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First edition of the first book-length biography of Hume. Ritchie was critical of Hume's achievements as a metaphysician and as a moralist, with his works suggesting that Ritchie himself was a disciple of Thomas Reid, whose philosophy was antithetical to Hume's. Ritchie is also dismissive of Hume's essays, criticising their conciseness. However, Hume's abilities as a historian are highly praised, with his History of England declared to be "an invaluable bequest to his country". What is perhaps most notable in the biography is that the controversial nature of Hume's writings, which at the time created much debate, is not a pre-eminent issue in the book, showing that many of Hume's once iconoclastic beliefs had become commonplace, even if still not generally accepted.

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Octavo (210 x 128 mm). Contemporary marbled calf, red label, smooth spine with gilt rules forming compartments with gilt ornaments, brown sprinkled edges.


Contemporary armorial bookplate of William Drury Lowe with his signature on title page, bookseller's ticket to rear pastedown. Hinges a little split but still holding, chip to calf at foot of spine, chip to top of rear joint, extremities lightly worn, tiny foxing to final few leaves but generally clean. An attractive copy.


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