"THE MOST WORTHY… OF THE INDISPUTABLY GREAT PHILOSOPHERS": HANDSOME 1722 EDITION OF JOHN LOCKE'S COLLECTED WORKS
LOCKE, John. The Works of John Locke Esq; In Three Volumes… The Second Edition. London: Printed for A. Churchill, and A. Manship, and sold by W. Taylor, 1722. Three volumes. Folio (8-1/2 by 13-1/4 inches), contemporary full paneled brown calf sympathetically rebacked in calf gilt, red and black morocco spine labels, raised bands.
1722 edition of the collected Works of Locke, who was ranked by Jefferson "with Bacon and Newton as the three greatest men that have ever lived," an impressive three folio volumes containing the exquisite copper-engraved frontispiece portrait by George Vertue and full-page memorial plate, scarce in contemporary paneled calf boards.
"Locke had a formative influence on the principles of the Declaration of Independence and of the early state constitutions" (Covenanted People 37). Thomas Jefferson, who had a later edition of the Works in his library, "ranked Locke with Bacon and Newton as the three greatest men that have ever lived, without any exception" (Sowerby 1362; emphasis in original). This handsome folio edition contains the immensely important Two Treatises of Government, "the basis of the principles of democracy," as well as Locke's letters on Toleration and The Reasonableness of Christianity. Also included is the groundbreaking Essay Concerning Humane Understanding, "the first modern attempt" to analyze human knowledge (PMM 193, 194). In his famous tribute, Voltaire praised Locke: "Many a philosopher has written the tale of the soul's adventures, but now a sage has appeared who has, more modestly, written its history… Instead of collecting in one sweeping definition what we do not know, he explores by degrees what we desire to know" (Seymour-Smith, 242-45). "Locke is the most worthy… of the indisputably great philosophers. His influence has been enormous." Published within two decades of Locke's death, this is the second collected edition of his Works, first issued in 1714. Text embellished with woodcut-engraved historiated initials, head- and tailpieces. Occasional mispagination as issued without loss of text. Volume I title page with imprint: "Printed for A. Churchill, and A. Manship, and sold by W. Taylor." Volume II title page with variant imprint of "Printed for Awnsham Churchill" as in ESTC: "only a 'stop-press' correction has changed the wording in the last line of the imprint" from "Printed by Samuel Negus, for A. Churchill." Yolton finds only one Volume II with the "Samuel Negus" title page imprint (Yolton, 405). Volume III title page with imprint: "Printed for Awnsham Churchill; and Sold by William Taylor." Volumes I & II with "Second Edition"; Volume III with no edition statement as issued. Yolton 364:1; 364:2B; 364:3. Attig 849. ESTC T128551. Christophersen, 87-88. See Sowerby 4918.
Interior generally fresh and fine with a few leaves expertly cleaned, occasional marginal paper flaws; light rubbing to contemporary calf boards. A beautiful set.