“A BRILLIANCE OF INTELLECTUAL GIFTS AND GRACES”
CHESTERFIELD, Philip Dormer Stanhope, Earl of. Letters Written by the Late Right Honourable Philip Dormer Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield, to his Son, Philip Stanhope, Esq. London: J. Dodsley, 1774. Four volumes. Octavo, contemporary full brown calf, raised bands, elaborately gilt-decorated spines, green and red morocco spine labels. $1250.
Third edition, published the same year as the first, of Chesterfield’s celebrated letters to his son: “I wish to God that you had as much pleasure in following my advice, as I have in giving it to you.” With frontispiece portrait in Volume I.
Chesterfield began the correspondence when his illegitimate son Philip was barely five and continued writing him regularly throughout his life. The letters consist of carefully considered instruction in all branches of learning and the social graces, enriched by personal essays on history and the classics. Philip's early death in 1768 led to his father's decline, and, after Chesterfield's death in 1773, Philip's widow prepared the letters for publication. "Chesterfield's achievements betray a brilliance of intellectual gifts and graces" (DNB). A close friend of Pope's and Walpole's most fierce antagonist, Chesterfield proved an eloquent statesman admired even by his political opponents. The first edition was published the same year in two quarto volumes. Bound with all half titles. See Lowndes I:434.
Interiors generally fine, expert restoration to beautiful contemporary bindings.