GODWIN’S COMMONWEALTH OF ENGLAND, FULL FIRST EDITION SET IN THE ORIGINAL BOARDS
GODWIN, William. History of the Commonwealth of England. From Its Commencement, to the Restoration of Charles the Second. London: Henry Colburn, 1824-28. Four volumes. Octavo, original half green cloth, grey paper boards, original paper spine labels, uncut and partly unopened. $1200.
First editions of all four volumes, quite scarce and desirable in the original boards.
A study of a period of great radical discontent, written by one of the chief exemplars of English radicalism, the author of Enquiry Concerning Political Justice. "For six years after Shelley's death Godwin was… writing a four-volume History of the Commonwealth… The main reason why England's great experiment had failed, Godwin suggested, was that 'the intellect and moral feeling' of the country were not yet ripe" (St. Clair, 474). In this history, Godwin "was the first writer to make a thorough use of the pamphlets in the Museum and other original documents. His thoroughness and accuracy made his book superior to its predecessors'' (DNB). With 16 pages of advertisements dated 1828 bound into Volume I, indicating that this set was bound up upon completion of all four volumes.
Scattered foxing to text, light rubbing and an expert repair to scarce original cloth and boards.