"NO WORK IN OUR TIME GAVE SUCH A BLOW TO THE PHILOSOPHICAL MIND OF THE COUNTRY"
GODWIN, William. Enquiry Concerning Political Justice. WITH: Enquirer . London, 1796, 1797. Three volumes.
First octavo edition of Godwin's revolutionary masterwork, the first edition with his extensive revisions—"his passionate advocacy of individualism, his trust in the fundamental goodness of man, and his opposition to all restrictions on liberty have endured" (PMM)—a profound influence on Jefferson, viewed as Godwin's "American born counterpart," this work uniformly bound with the first edition of Godwin's Enquiry signed on the title page by William King, an especially memorable association set from the estate library of King, Eighth Baron King and First Earl of Lovelace, and his wife, Ada Byron Lovelace, daughter of Lord Byron and famed as the first computer programmer in her work with Babbage, each volume with estate library inkstamps, spines with gilt-stamped "K" monograms and "suns," in contemporary calf and marbled boards. $10,500.