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COBBETT, William.

Life of Andrew Jackson, President of the United States.

Abridged and compiled by William Cobbett. With an interesting frontispiece, including a portrait.

London: Published at 11, Bolt-Court, Fleet-Street; and may be had of all booksellers, 1834 Stock Code: 144939
£750.00
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First edition of this adulatory account of President Jackson, written by the radical British MP William Cobbett, published the year before Cobbett died and after a lifetime spent campaigning for the abolition of rotten boroughs, the lowering of taxes, and reversing enclosures; all culminating in his major influence in passing the Great Reform Act of two years prior. Particularly appropriately, this copy was once owned by another radical British MP, Labour Party leader Michael Foot, with his pencilled ownership signature to the front free endpaper.

Cobbett's populist streak led him to be a great admirer of Andrew Jackson, "the bravest and greatest man now living in this world, or that ever has lived in this world, as far as my knowledge extends", as he declares in his "Dedication to the working people of Ireland". Cobbett believed that Jackson, born of Irish parents, provides a model for the ill-treated Irish to avenge their wrongs, and hopes his book will show the way.

The "interesting frontispiece" shows a Native American and a Jew hanging from gibbets, with their respective weapons of a tomahawk and a five dollar note ("in the same manner as the murderous, but less destructive instrument of the savage") laying beneath them; this underneath a portrait of Jackson and a scene of the Battle of New Orleans, where Jackson commanded the American forces, with attention drawn to the death of Edward Pakenham, the Duke of Wellington's brother-in-law.

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Description

Octavo. Original purple quarter cloth with drab paper boards, remnants of printed label to spine. Housed in a custom brown cloth solander box by Riviere & Son.

Illustrations

Engraved frontispiece; 12-page "Cobbett Library" catalogue at rear.

Condition

Contemporary ownership signature and inscription of John Thompson to front endpapers; later bookplate of Oliver Brett (1881-1963), 3rd Viscount Esher, to front pastedown. Front hinge a little tender but holding, pp. 107-110 reinserted; a very good copy.

Bibliography

Pearl, 207.

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