[ADAMS, JOHN. 1735-1826.]
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. The Meditations. Glasgow: Robert and Andrew Foulis, 1752. 8vo (156 x 95 mm). Period full vellum, spine lettered in manuscript; custom quarter calf box. Very slight edge chipping to endpapers and first and last couple of leaves, else fine.
The Adams' family copy of Marcus Aurelius's Meditations, the foundational work of literature written in praise of a life devoted to public service. Annotated by John Adams with 26 lines of commentary, on pp. 33-34, 41 & 88, mostly in the account of the life of Marcus Aurelius and reflecting on the Christian interpretation of Antoninus's paganism. The inside cover bears the bookplate of John Quincy Adams and the front flyleaf bears the signature of Charles Francis Adams dated 94, the great-grandson (or possibly the grandson) of John Quincy Adams. Truly an outstanding association copy, owned by two American Presidents and apparently in their family for over 100 years and 5 generations. There are a few pencil notes later in the text which appear to have been made by Charles Francis Adams.