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NEVILLE, Henry.

Plato Redivivus:

or, A dialogue concerning government, wherein, by observations drawn from other kingdoms and states both ancient and modern, an endeavour is used to discover the present politick distemper of our own, with the causes, and remedies.

London: Printed for S.I., 1681 Stock Code: 145751
£2,000.00
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His "most enduring political treatise"

First edition of Neville's "most enduring political treatise" (ODNB), a significant work of English republican thought following the Restoration.

"Here Neville's Harringtonian arguments of earlier years are much expanded. They are now trained on the Restoration monarchy at the time of the exclusion crisis, with much freedom of reflection on the causes and cure for the present troubles of state. Ostensibly reconciled to monarchy, Neville now sees it as consistent with the Harringtonian principle that 'Dominion is founded in property'. England had historically been governed by a limited or mixed monarchy, featuring an appropriate balance of crown and aristocracy, which had since Bosworth field 'been decaying for near two hundred years'. Modern more absolute monarchy had destroyed that balance, even though the ever widening distribution of property meant that the gentry should have acquired more rather than less 'empire' by the present day... he advocates that the present distribution of property find some better reflection in constitutional arrangements. But he also urges that the ancient constitution should issue in a much more popular form of government, in which monarchy plays a much smaller part. Thus he finally demands more revolutionary changes after all, even as he protests 'the less change the better', aiming to devolve the executive powers of the crown to councils elected from and under the control of parliament, in a system of rotation, and with a reduction in the independence of the Lords" (ibid.).

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Description

Small octavo (154 x 90 mm). Contemporary sprinkled calf, rebacked preserving remnants of original spine, new red morocco label.

Condition

Rear pastedown with 19th century armorial bookplate of Anthony G. Wright Biddolph and duplication stamp of the Huntington Library, neat early ownership signature "John" to front pastedown; from the Fox Pointe Manor Library without marking as such. One corner repaired with others a little worn, hinges discreetly reinforced, without free endpapers, contents (complete with initial blank) clean and crisp. A very good copy.

Bibliography

ESTC R3321; Wing N513.

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