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[SERVAN, Joseph.]

Le Soldat citoyen,

ou vues patriotiques sur la manière la plus avantageuse de pourvoir à la défense du royaume.

Dans le pays de la liberté [Neuchâtel]: n. p., 1780 Stock Code: 113091
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First edition of the author's advocacy of universal and compulsory conscription as the only certain way to unite citizens and the army. "A career officer since the 1760s, Joseph Servan (1741-1808) won notoriety in 1780 with the publication of Le Soldat citoyen, a long and detailed plan for reforming the army. Its central theme foreshadowed the Revolution by urging universal conscription in a nation that would regard its soldiers as citizens" (Historical Dictionary of the French Revolution 1789-1799, Vol. 2, p. 899). Servan upheld his republican views throughout his eventful military and political career. His most notable tenure in office was as minister of war under the constitutional monarchy of 1791-2, a brief appointment during which he dissolved the king's Garde du Corps and had the eighth verse of the Marseillaise removed for being too religious. Johann Samuel Ersch attributed Le Soldat Citoyen to general and military writer Jacques-Antoine-Hyppolyte de Guibert (1743-1790).

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Octavo (190 x 115 mm). Contemporary quarter brown calf, light green morocco label, smooth spine elaborately decorated in gilt with central floral tools, pink boards, all edges red, 2 pp. errata slip at rear.f


Woodcut head- and tailpieces, tables in the text.


Extremities a little rubbed, tiny chip to head of spine, small. An excellent copy.


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