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BRISSOT, Jacques Pierre.

J. P. Brissot, Deputy of Eure and Loire, to his Constituents, on the Situation of the National Convention;

on the influence of the anarchists, and the evils it has caused; and on the necessity of annihilating that influence in order to save the republic. Translated from the French. With a preface and occasional notes by the translator; [bound with:] de PARADÉS, Robert, Mémoires Secrets … Écrits par lui au fortir de la Bastille. Pour servir à l'Histoire de la dernière guerre.

London: John Stockdale; & [Paris: Brisennes]. 1794 & 1789 Stock Code: 125491
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An appeal for moderation, with a preface attributed to Edmund Burke

First edition in English of Brissot's tract, first edition of Mémoires Secrets. Brissot, a key figure in the Girondist faction in the French Revolution, originally published this work in France in 1793, a few months before he was guillotined. Taking the form of an open letter his constituents, it warns of the "anarchism" of the Jacobin faction, and appeals for moderation. The present edition was translated by William Burke, and has a lengthy preface purporting to be by the translator but frequently attributed to Edmund Burke. Burkean scholar David Bromwich writes that the preface, "seldom reprinted, is as close as Burke comes to a documentary treatment of the French Revolution, and it displays in a brief compass his exceptional gift for historical narrative. Since he left no full-scale response to the Terror, it also affords an indispensable clue to what he would have said about that episode" (in his Speeches and Letters of Edmund Burke, p. 440-2).

The second work is the posthumous memoir of the adventurer and impostor Victor Claude Antoine, going under the false title of Robert, Comte de Paradés. Paradés acted as a spy against the British and ingratiated himself into the French court, before being sent to the Bastille for fourteen months due to his role in the failed Armada of 1779. When first published, many saw his memoirs as a historical romance, but the book is generally accepted to be genuine.

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2 works bound in one volume, octavo (202 x 121 mm). Contemporary quarter cloth, rebacked with black label to spine, marbled sides, yellow edges.


Ownership signatures to pastedown and first title page, the latter cropped. The first work retains the 6-page Stockdale catalogue, but is bound without the 24-page catalogue. Some light foxing and toning, small chip to first title page not affecting text, a few chips to margins elsewhere.


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