Under current restrictions, our shops are closed to the public, but we are still processing online, telephone and email orders as normal.


De la démocratie en Amérique.

Orné d'une carte d'Amérique.

Brussels: Meline, Cans et Compagnie, 1840 Stock Code: 125824
Reserve Ask us a question

The author's magnum opus, in the scarce original wrappers

Second complete Brussels edition, in the scarce and appealing original wrappers, of de Tocqueville's magnum opus. The first appearances of De la démocratie en Amérique in Brussels were published by Louis Hauman in the same years as the first editions (Paris: Charles Gosselin, 1835 & 1840). Meline also published a two volume set in 1840, but this, in five volumes, presented the work as complete.

Arising out of the tour of America that de Tocqueville undertook to examine the penitentiary system, Democracy in America was early recognised not only as a remarkably insightful study of the origins and nature of American society and consequently her unique institutions, but also as a founding document of a new form of social and political science. It was justly praised by John Stuart Mill in the London Review in such terms as to guarantee its immediate and continued success: "It has at once taken its rank among the most remarkable productions of our time; and is a book with which, both for its facts and its speculations, all who would understand, or who are called upon to exercise influence over their age, are bound to be familiar. It will contribute to give to the political speculations of our time a new character." It ran to thirteen editions by 1850 and each of its parts was translated into English in the same year it was first published. Mill's farsightedness in terms of de Tocqueville's influence is confirmed in a recent review of an updated translation by Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton, and Director of that university's James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions: "Democracy in America will continue to be read with profit as long as the United States survives as a republic and, indeed, as long as democracy endures."

Confused? Read our glossary


5 volumes, small octavo (160 x 105 mm). Original green printed wrappers. Housed in a cream cloth chemise and matching slipcase.


Engraved folding map to rear of volume 1.


Early gift inscription to half-title of volume 1. Wrappers a little soiled, chipped, and creased, with some staining to front wrapper of volume 5, contents occasionally spotted and foxed, else a very good set.


With the exception of framed items*, Peter Harrington offers free delivery on all UK orders of rare books, maps and prints placed through this website. Delivery to USA and the rest of the world is similarly free for orders over £200.

View Full Delivery Details



Established in 1969, Peter Harrington is one of the leading rare book firms in the world. It is a proud member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association – along with ILAB, the PBFA and Lapada – and from shops in Mayfair and Chelsea, London, sells rare books, prints and ephemera to customers across the world.

Email: mail@peterharrington.co.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7591 0220

ABA Antiquarian Bookseller Association ILAB International League of Antiquarian Booksellers LAPADA The Association of Art and Anatique Dealers PBFA Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association

Our Guarantee Page

Ask us a question


Contact us with details of the book you are interested in or selling and we will contact you

Sell Old Books Help me find a book