“A FIRST-RATE MASTER OF THE ART OF RHETORICAL INVECTIVE”
(JUNIUS) [FRANCIS, Sir Philip]. The Letters of Junius… Stat Nominus Umbra. New York: Leavitt & Allen, circa 1840. Two volumes bound in one. Octavo, contemporary full polished gray calf gilt, burgundy morocco spine label, raised bands, marbled endpapers and edges. $500.
Later edition of this controversial series of letters, a timeless assault on corruption and the abuse of power by high-ranking members of government, with two folding facsimiles that provide handwriting samples of various men to whom the letters’ authorship had been attributed over the years. Handsomely bound.
Junius, the pseudonymous author of a series of letters that appeared in Henry Woodfall’s 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. These shrewd and lucid (but often bitter) letters attacked the ministries of George III and served to unite the opposition. “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 first authorized edition was published in 1771. Bookplate.
Interior quite clean, polished calf-gilt binding fine. A very handsome volume.