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PAINE, Thomas.

Rights of Man:

being an answer to Mr. Burke's attack on the French revolution; [Bound with:] WHITE, Patrick. Rational Freedom: Being a defence of the national character of Britons, and of the form of their government; in opposition to the malapert and seditious writings of Thomas Paine; [& 3 others, see note].

London [White Edinburgh]: Printed for J. S. Jordan, [Printed for Silvester Doig], 1791 & 1792 Stock Code: 148283
£2,500.00
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Scarce early Paine, in contemporary sammelband

Sixth London edition of Paine's Rights of Man (the year of first publication), bound with the first and only edition of White's Rational Freedom, a scarce and impassioned condemnation of Paine, in a sammelband of five political works.

Paine's great defense of the inalienable rights of the people, and their right to revolution when governments do not uphold these rights, went through many printings in quick succession and met a wide readership, despite the Pitt government's attempts at censorship. Written in response to Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France, the founding text of modern conservative thought, Paine defends the French Revolution and proposes reforms to Britain's own system.

The publication, at a time when there were real fears that popular revolution would occur in England, caused a great stir. Various pamphlets opposing Paine were published, including White's particularly vehement Rational Freedom. White, who brands Paine a "political quack", takes umbrage with Paine's opposition towards the British constitution and his republican sentiments. To this end White presents an abstract of the history of British monarchy and government to defend the nation's constitution and its superiority to the republican system. The work is very scarce, with ESTC locating only five copies, and OCLC only adding a further two.



Bound with four others:

i) THOMPSON, Thomas. Tithes indefensible: Or, Observations on the origin and effects of tithes. Addressed to country gentlemen. York : Printed by Wilson, Spence, and Mawman: sold by T. Cadell, J. Johnson, and G.G.J. and J. Robinson, London; and by Wilson & Co. W. Tesseyman, and J. Todd, York, 1792. First edition, "urging reform of a system that penalized farmers in the name of maintaining an often more prosperous clergy, and which asked less of wealthy merchants such as himself" (ODNB).

ii) GERRALD, Joseph. A Convention the Only Means of Saving us from Ruin. In a letter, addressed to the people of England. London: printed for D. I. Eaton, 1793. First edition, another radical work, proposing a national convention to reform the country, and opposing the war with France.

iii) FOX, Charles James. A Letter From the Right Honourable Charles James Fox, to the worthy and independent electors of the city and liberty of Westminster. London: Printed for J. Debrett, 1793. Second edition (a reissue of the first edition sheets with new title page). Pitt's great rival Fox writes to his constituents, defending his questioning of the government's summoning of a militia following political disturbance.

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Description

5 works bound in 1 volume, octavo (208 x 126 mm). Contemporary half calf, spine lettered in gilt on red morocco label, earlier volume series number in gilt to spine (2), marbled sides.

Condition

Without half-titles, save for Fox's Letter. Binding with light wear at spine ends, splitting at head of joints but holding firm. Rights of Man with short closed tear at head of title page and small chips to terminal two leaves with minor loss to text. Occasional light foxing or soiling, generally clean. Very good.

Bibliography

ESTC T5870 (Paine); ESTC T168229 (White); T118848 (Thompson); T34053 (Gerrald); T37956 (Fox).

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