ROUSSEAU, Jean Jacques.
[Du Contrat Social] Principles of political law. Amsterdam, Marc Michel Rey, 1762.
In-8 (195 x 118 mm) of 2 ff.n.ch. (forgery and title, VIII, 323 pp., 1p. (bookseller's catalogue); red morocco, triple gilt fillet framing, smooth ornate spine, inner wheel, gilt edges on marbling (placed in a contemporary binding).
First edition of print B, whose vignette is inspired by that of the Discourse on Inequality and represents an allegory of Freedom with broken chains and an open birdcage at its feet.
? The Social Contract is a book that stands out and rises to the highest philosophical beauty, the necessary sequence of chapters and books, the architectural grandeur place
Rousseau on an equal footing with Hobbes or Spinoza? (Yves Peyre,
In French in the text).
"The Social Contract remains Rousseau's greatest work. With no particular learning, no gift for logic, and a total lack of practical experience, he yet contrived to write a work of compelling eloquence ... It has the most profound influence on the political thinking of the generation following its publication...
[It became] the bible of the revolutionaries in building their ideal state" (PMM).
Trace of clear, if not beautiful, wetness.
Provenance: Jean Siegler (ex-libris).
Tchemerzine-Scheler, V, 543; Dufour, 133; In French in the text, 162; PMM, 207.
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