GILT ARMORIAL COAT OF ARMS OF THE HOUSE OF ROCHEFOUCAULD, FIRST EDITION IN FRENCH OF JOSEPH ADDISON’S FREEHOLDER, 1727
(ADDISON, Joseph). Le Free-Holder, ou l’Anglois Jaloux de la Liberté. Essais Politiques. Amsterdam: Herman Uttwerf, 1727. 24 mo (4 by 6-3/4 inches), contemporary full brown calf, gilt coat of arms of Rochefoucauld to both boards, five panels of elaborately gilt-decorated spine, red morocco spine label, marbled endpapers. $1200.
First edition in French of Addison’s collected Free-holder, with gilt armorial coat of arms of the house of Rochefoucauld to both boards and gilt spine panels, scarce in contemporary calf.
To Macaulay, Joseph Addison “is entitled to be considered not only as the greatest of the English essayists, but as the forerunner of the great English novelists” (Allibone I:39). “During the period (while he was serving as one of the lord commissioners of trade) Addison published the Freeholder (55 papers, from 23 December 1715, to 9 June 1716) a political Spectator, in defence of orthodox whig principles imperilled by the rebellion in Scotland” (DNB). First edition in French: preceded by the 1716 first English edition. Containing red- and black printed title page with engraved vignette, engraved initials. With 21 rear leaves of publisher’s ads. Text in French. See ESTC T601. Small owner inkstamp to title page from the ancient Chateau de la Roche-Guyon, owned by the Rochefoucauld family since 1669. Minor marginalia to blank verso of front free endpaper.
Text fresh and clean, minor edge-wear to contemporary calf. A handsome near-fine copy with an important provenance.