"THERE ARE FEW WHO WILL NOW DENY THAT MANKIND HAVE LEARNED MANY VALUABLE TRUTHS FROM DAVID HUME": FIRST EDITION OF THE LIFE AND CORRESPONDENCE OF DAVID HUME, 1846
HUME, David. Life and Correspondence of David Hume. Edinburgh: William Tait, 1846. Two volumes. Octavo, three-quarter tan calf, elaborately gilt-decorated spines, raised bands, burgundy and black morocco spine labels, marbled boards, endpapers, and edges. $1200.
First edition of the biography and letters of 18th-century Scottish philosopher David Hume, with engraved frontispiece portraits and three facsimile letters (two folding), in contemporary three-quarter calf.
"The topics which the life of such a man as Hume introduces, would almost embrace a history of the literature and philosophy of the [18th] century… Mr. Burton has performed the literary part of his duty very creditably and well—-with enough enthusiasm for his subject to interest, and not too much to mislead his readers. The metaphysical controversies which are associated with so much of Hume's writings, seem to be familiar to him; and he expresses himself on the subject of them with clearness, accuracy, and conciseness. The best praise we can give him is, that out of a life singularly uneventful in incident, considering the space his hero fills in literary history, and the interest of which consists entirely in developing the workings and peculiarities of a remarkable and powerful mind, he has contrived to make the perusal of two well-grown volumes a light and agreeable employment" (contemporary review, Edinburgh Review). This work heavily relies on the papers bequeathed by Hume's nephew to the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
Folding facsimile letters reinforced with linen backing, light foxing to preliminaries, a bit of wear and toning mainly to extremities. An extremely good copy.