COBBETT'S WRITINGS ABOUT AMERICA AS PETER PORCUPINE: "MORE INFORMATION RESPECTING THE CUSTOMS, THE MANNERS, THE MORALS… AND THE POLITICS OF AMERICA, THAN FROM ALL THE HISTORIES AND TRAVELS THAT HAVE EVER YET BEEN PUBLISHED"
COBBETT, William. Porcupine's Works; Containing Various Writings and Selections, Exhibiting a Faithful Picture of the United States of America… London: Printed for Cobbett and Morgan, 1801. Twelve volumes. Octavo, period-style half calf and marbled boards. $6500.
First edition, in handsome period-style binding, of Cobbett's writings as Peter Porcupine. Complete in 12 volumes—very scarce.
The career of the prolific and infamous pamphleteer William Cobbett "as a whole belongs to English history, but from October 1792 till June 1800 and again from May 1817 till the end of October 1819 he lived as a political refugee in the United States. He is one of the founders of American party journalism." Cobbett collected many of his American writings in this 12-volume edition with the stated object of correcting "the falsehoods concerning America which have circulated in England… The list of subscribers was headed by the Royal Princes, and among the 750 names drawn from both sides of the Atlantic were leading members of the British Government. An earlier American edition had been less fortunate. Whilst awaiting binding it had been seized in sheets by Cobbett's creditors and political enemies, sold as waste paper, and destroyed" (Pearl 49). "Cobbett, in these volumes, has left a picture of the politics and leading politicians of America, which (with caution) must be studied by all who would understand the party questions which agitated America, and the violence with which they were discussed" (Allibone). Sabin 14009.
Expected light foxing and embrowning. A handsome set. Scarce.