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Considerations sur les causes de la grandeur des…
Charles-Louis de Secondant, Baron de Montesquieu (1689-1755)
Amsterdam: Jacques Desbordes, 1734
First edition, first issue
DG210 M774 1734

Until the publication of this book Montesquieu had been recognized for his wit, but this book quickly drew attention to him as a major writer and philosopher. The work, first published anonymously, served as an inspiration to Edward Gibbons’ The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

This first issue contains a number of phrases and notes which were considered dangerous and were suppressed in the second issue, including a footnote on p. 130 regarding Charles I and James II of England, stating that if their religion had permitted them from taking their own lives, then the former would have avoided une tell mort and the latter une telle vie.

Engraved title page printed in black and red. Engraved headpiece and initial letter. Contemporary calf with gilt-tooled spine with crest of Sir Henry Edward Bunbury at the crown. Sir Henry Edward Bunbury, Seventh Baronet (1778-1860) was a British soldier, historian and author.