Excellency of the Monarchical Government, Especially of the English Monarchy

JAMES II   |   Nathaniel JOHNSTON

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Item#: 124059 price:$2,500.00

Excellency of the Monarchical Government, Especially of the English Monarchy
Excellency of the Monarchical Government, Especially of the English Monarchy

JOHNSTON’S CONTROVERSIAL DEFENSE OF ROYAL SOVEREIGNTY, 1686 FOLIO EDITION

(JAMES II) JOHNSTON, Nathaniel. The Excellency of Monarchical Government, Especially of the English Monarchy… In all which The Principles and Practices of our late Commonwealths-Men are Considered. London: Printed by T.B. for Robert Clavel, 1686. Folio (8 by 12-1/2 inches), full period-style blind ruled speckled calf, red morocco spine label, raised bands. $2500.

Second edition of Johnston's defense of James II, published only two years before England’s Glorious Revolution forced the king into exile, handsomely bound.

Throughout his few embattled years on the throne, James II remained "a divine-right absolutist who believed that parliament had the right to offer advice and criticism and even propose legislation, but that he had the right if he so chose to reject all of it" (Schama II:309). But James II's reign ended in 1688 with England's Glorious Revolution, which established that "the king was at last no more than an official of the state" (Fraser, 384). That event provoked great interest across the Atlantic, for "the historical phasing of the defense of liberty in England was a matter of great importance to the [American] colonists not merely because it illustrated the characteristic dangers liberty faced but also because it made clear their own special role in history" (Bailyn, 80). Initially published the very year James II rose to the throne, physician Nathaniel Johnston's Excellency of Monarchical Government insists on royal sovereignty with arguments Parliament soon overturned, and America challenged soon afterwards. One of several works Johnston wrote after he moved to London in 1686 "Excellency largely followed Hobbes and… shows considerable knowledge of English chroniclers and legal authorities" (DNB). Second edition, preceded by exceedingly scarce 1685 edition. With errata, five pages of advertisements at rear. Wing J877. Lowndes, 1223.

Occasional faint foxing to text. A handsomely bound copy.

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