HOBBES | Leviathan, London, 1651, contemporary calf
5,000 - 7,000 GBP
The Property of the Downside Abbey General Trust
Leviathan, or the matter, forme, & power of a common-wealth ecclesiasticall and civill. London: Andrew Crooke, 1651
folio (271 x 178mm.), additional engraved title-page, letterpress title-page with head ornament, folding letterpress table, contemporary calf, light damp-staining towards end, rebacked
FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE of Hobbes's magisterial treatise of political theory, written while he was resident in Paris, expounding the idea of a "social contract" freely entered into between an absolute ruler and their subjects. His idea that the sovereign should also be head of the state's religion led to trouble with the Roman Catholic Church, who placed Leviathan on the Index of Prohibited Books, and similarly the English Parliament investigated the atheist ideas contained within Leviathan. The folding table displays Hobbes's logical categorisation of subjects and knowledge.
For the pirated reprint of c. 1678, see next lot.
Macdonald & Hargreaves, Hobbes 42; PMM 138; Wing H2246
Edward Mornington, inscription on flyleaf and initials EM on title-page; Weobly Mission, ex dono J. Mornington, inscription at head of title-page dated 1852
light damp-staining towards end, rebacked
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