Junius, Stat Nominis Umbra [The Letters of Junius]

JUNIUS   |   Philip FRANCIS

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“WITHOUT THE MODEL OF JUNIUS… IT IS QUESTIONABLE WHETHER THOMAS PAINE AND THE AMERICAN GENIUS WHICH SUPERINTENDED REVOLT WOULD HAVE DEVELOPED”

[FRANCIS, Sir Philip]. Junius, Stat Nominus Umbra [The Letters of Junius]. London: Henry Sampson Woodfall, [1772]. Two volumes. Small octavo, 20th-century three-quarter black morocco, raised bands, marbled endpapers and edges. $600.

Early authorized edition—"probably the earliest"—of this controversial series of letters, a landmark assault on corruption and the abuse of power by George III and the high-ranking ministers of his government. "Junius' courage in opposing the tyranny of George prepared the way for the American action of 1776" (Cordasco).

“Junius is a political reformer, malcontent and polemicist. It is in the political ferment, out of which was born the American Revolution, the years 1760-68, that we find his origin and motive… George III's policy of personal government postulated the history of the next 20 years, and his policy inevitably brought on the American Revolt. The value of Junius lies in his unstinting objection to, and exposure of, George and the incompetent ministers the monarch had called to his aid. Junius' courage in opposing the tyranny of George prepared the way for the American action of 1776. Without the model of Junius, who had not feared attacking George in England itself, it is questionable whether Thomas Paine and the American genius which superintended revolt, would have developed” (Cordasco). “It is a work which must always preserve its high place among the classics of England; the author was a first-rate master of the art of rhetorical invective” (Lowndes, 1240). The pseudonymous author of this series of letters, which appeared in the Public Advertiser between 1769 and 1772, is now generally thought have been Sir Philip Francis, who was working in the War Office at the time. Three authorized editions were published by Henry Sampson Woodfall in 1772; two of those bore the date on the title page, the present copy is undated. "The edition without the date is probably the earliest" (Cordasco). (At any rate, the authorized edition of this immensely popular work was preceded by 28 unauthorized editions, according to Rothschild.). Cordasco, A Junius Bibliography 45. See Rothschild 1282.

Text clean, binding fine and attractive.

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