The state of the nation; in a series of letters, to his Grace the Duke of Bedford.Harlow: printed by B. Flower, 1805 Stock Code: 141096
An inscribed copy in boardsFirst edition, inscribed on the front free endpaper "From the Author"; a crisp, clean copy of this strong critique of the government and its conduct regarding the American War of Independence and the French wars, written by an outspoken advocate of political reform.
Cartwright attacks the corruption and abuses of government, singling out Pitt, Burke, Lord North, and Lord Melville for particular attention. He calls for the current administration to be removed, a programme of parliamentary reform instituted, and measures taken to ensure the active participation of the mass of the people in politics. A number of references are made to the Duke's ancestor, William Russell, Lord Russell, who was executed in 1683 for his part in the Rye House Plot, and subsequently seen by those sympathetic to his cause as a patriot and martyr. Cartwright calls on the Duke to take a stand in parliament against the abuses of the Pitt administration and exhorts him to encourage public meetings as a method of involving the people in political reform, thus ensuring that parliament was genuinely representative of the nation. Written during a period when the fear of French invasion was strong, this work clearly exhibits Cartwright's belief that the only hope for English victory was to mobilise the support of the entire nation, a subject which he had also examined in his work England's aegis (1804).
Octavo (226 x 136 mm). Uncut in contemporary buff paper-backed blue boards, spine unlettered.
With appendices and errata.
Extremities worn and corners bumped, joints starting but nevertheless firm, some dampstain to front board, the contents fresh and unmarked. A very good, wide-margined copy.
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