“LIBERTY CANNOT BE PURCHASED BY A WISH”: FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH OF PAINE’S MISCELLANEOUS ARTICLES, 1792
PAINE, Thomas. Miscellaneous Articles, By Thomas Paine. Consisting of A Letter to the Marquis of Lansdowne. A Letter to the Authors of the Republican. A Letter to the Abbe Syeyes. Thoughts on the Peace, and the Probable Advantages Thereof. First Letter to Mr. Secretary Dundas. Letter to Lord Onslow. Second Letter to Mr. Dundas. And A Letter to the People of France. London: J. Ridgway, 1792. Slim octavo, period-style half tan calf and blue-gray paper wrappers; pp. 36.
First edition in English, preceded by the same year's French first edition, of this timely collection of letters and essays by Paine, issued as his role in the French Revolution and publication of Rights of Man sparked renewed interest in his revolutionary writings.
This key edition of Paine's Miscellaneous Articles features the first collected edition in English of Paine's Letter to the People of France. "Paine was now world famous as a liberal and considered most knowledgeable in the new republican form of government. His challenge to the English Government and his defense of the French Revolution so endeared him to the French people that he had been elected by four French provinces to represent them in the National Convention… Paine's first remarks to the Convention were to thank his electors. As an indication of his importance at that time, his 'Thank-you' was not only printed in Paris and America, but reprinted in England, where it was distributed gratis" (Gimbel-Yale 75). Preceded the same year by the French first edition: Lettre de Thomas Paine au peuple françois. Issued the same year as an eight-page edition "published and distributed gratis by the London Corresponding Society" (ESTC N10840). With three rear pages of publisher's advertisements; page 34 unnumbered. Gimbel-Paine:83-4. ESTC T5784. OCLC lists 18 copies: including the Library of Congress, Oxford and the British Library.
Text with light scattered foxing. A near-fine copy handsomely bound.