Six Speeches

Edmund BURKE   |   REVOLUTION

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“DO NOT BURDEN THEM WITH TAXES… TYRANNY IS A POOR PROVIDER”: SIX MAJOR SPEECHES BY EDMUND BURKE INCLUDING EARLY EDITIONS OF HIS SPEECH ON AMERICAN TAXATION AND HIS SPEECH ON CONCILIATION WITH THE COLONIES, RARELY FOUND IN ONE VOLUME

(REVOLUTION) BURKE, Edmund. Mr. Edmund Burke’s Speeches at His Arrival at Bristol and at the Conclusion of the Poll. The Second Edition. Two speeches. BOUND WITH: Speech of Edmund Burke, Esq. on American Taxation, April 18,1774. The Fourth Edition. BOUND WITH: Speech of Edmund Burke, Esq. on Moving His Resolutions for Conciliation with the Colonies, March 22, 1775. The Third Edition. BOUND WITH: A Speech of Edmund Burke, Esq. at the Guildhall, in Bristol… Upon Certain Points Relative to His Parliamentary Conduct. The Fifth Edition. BOUND WITH: Speech of Edmund Burke, Esq… A Plan for the Better Security of the Independence of Parliament…The Fourth Edition. London: Printed for J. Dodsley, 1775, 1783, 1778, 1782, 1780. Octavo, contemporary full brown tree sheep rebacked with original spine laid down, red morocco spine label.

Scarce collected volume of mixed early editions of six key speeches by Burke, published in London from 1775-83 and rarely found together in one volume, prominently featuring his Speech on American Taxation and his Speech on Conciliation with the Colonies—two pivotal works urging sympathy for the American cause that “established Burke as one of the greatest Parliamentary orators of all time”—this volume also with an early edition of his Speech at His Arrival at Bristol, in which he “addresses himself to American problems,” and three additional early editions of speeches further speaking to the Revolution and parliamentary reform, in contemporary tree sheep.

Rarely found together in one volume, this collection of six major speeches by Edmund Burke, all issued by his own authorized publisher, begins with the two speeches in what is held as the first authorized edition of Mr. Edmund Burke’s Speeches, and continues with four separately issued speeches by Burke, who was first elected to the British Parliament in 1765, the year of the Stamp Act. Prominently featured herein is his landmark speech On American Taxation, which he delivered before Parliament on April 19, 1774, only months after the Boston Tea Party. With striking eloquence, Burke urges greater sympathy for the American colonies, and proclaims “Do not burden them by taxes… Tyranny is a poor provider” (89-94). Britain would not desist, however, and by September the Continental Congress had convened in Philadelphia. In March of the next year, Burke again spoke to Parliament as Revolution neared, and this volume of six exceptional speeches continues with his Resolutions for Conciliation with the Colonies. “More universally admired than any other of Burke’s productions” (Brittanica), Burke urges Britain to work with America, or “instead of a standing revenue, you will therefore have a perpetual quarrel” (93). These speeches fully “established Burke as one of the greatest Parliamentary orators of all time” (Yolton I:143). His influence is further assured by this volume’s final two speeches, delivered by Burke as Britain neared the end of its long war with America. In Guildhall he pointedly speaks to debt incurred by “the black and bloody characters of the American war” (18), and in Plan for the Better Security he targets parliamentary corruption in a speech praised by contemporaries as a “noble and wonderful piece of oratory” (Monthly Review).

These six highly consequential works document Burke’s status as “a political philosopher of signal importance and originality” (Encyclopedia of Philosophy). Leading the volume is the general title page for the 1775 edition of Mr. Edmund Burke’s Speeches (first issued in 1774), its “Editor’s Advertisement” and half title, and its two continuously paginated speeches: Burke’s October 1774 Speech at His Arrival at Bristol, in which he “addresses himself to American problems” (Adams 74-15a), and his November 1774 Speech to the Electors of Bristol. Further bound herein are four additional speeches, each separately issued and paginated. The first, On American Taxation (1775), is the true fourth edition and is “printed from substantially the same setting of type as” the 1775 second edition (Adams, American Controversy 156d). Next is Burke’s Resolutions for Conciliation: first issued in 1775, this is the second publisher’s stated third edition (respectively: 1775, 1778, 1784). The final two speeches are: At the Guildhall (fifth edition, first issued in 1780), and A Plan for the Better Security, which is Todd’s “first (authorized) edition, fourth impression,” with revisions not found in the same year’s first printing. Adams, American Controversy 156d; 157c. Adams 74-15c; 75-16d; 75-17c; 80-14e; 80-15e. Todd 23b; 24f; 25d; 39d; 33e. See Todd 21; 23a; 24a; 25a; 39a; 33b. Sabin 9295; 9296; 9300; 9301. See Sabin 9298; 9302. Owner bookplate. Faint contemporary marginalia to one page. Occasional tiny pinholes from original stab-stitching.

Text generally fresh with light scattered foxing, expert restoration to contemporary boards.

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