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A speech to the Parliament of England, for the liberty of unlicensed printing … with prefatory remarks, copious notes, and excursive illustrations, by T. Holt White, Esq. To which is subjoined, a tract Sur la liberté de la presse, imité de l'anglois de Milton, par le Comte de Mirabeau.

London: Printed for R. Hunter and Richard Stevens, 1819 Stock Code: 125352
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First edition under White's editorship, the sixth overall, originally published in 1644. Milton's ringing rhetoric in defence of the freedom of the press was produced as a response to the licensing order of 1643. It has proved the foundation of arguments for freedom of the press ever since, and influenced the American founding fathers, with both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison citing it. The present edition includes Mirabeau's adaptation of Milton's tract, published in 1788 in the run up to the French Revolution. It is the only known example where the two works have been printed together. The book also includes 149 pages of preliminary matter, including an essay on the Areopagitica, another on the history of printing, and a bibliography of the work. It was consequently the most scholarly edition of the work printed up until that time.

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Octavo (216 x 133 mm). Mid-19th-century half calf by David Nutt, red morocco label, spine gilt to compartments, marbled sides, orange endpapers and edges.


Bookplate to pastedown, a few pencilled marginalia. Bound without half-title. Light wear to edges, minor split at head of front joint, covers a little rubbed, occasional light foxing. A very good copy.


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