HOBBES, THOMAS.  1588-1679.

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Lot 26
HOBBES, THOMAS. 1588-1679.

Sold for US$ 9,987 inc. premium
HOBBES, THOMAS. 1588-1679.
Leviathan, or the Matter, Forme, & Power of a Common-Wealth, Ecclesiasticall and Civill. London: for Andrew Crooke, 1651. Copper-engraved title-page, folding table. A-Z4, Aa-Zz4, Aaa-Ddd4. Folio (179 x 283 mm). Contemporary full brown calf, rebacked, gilt-lettered spine. Front flyleaf with some repair and with early notation concerning ownership, printed title-page toned and with faded ownership signature, else generally clean, upper cover detached, lower joint starting, some rubbing to spine, an excellent copy overall.

First edition, first issue with “head” ornament on title-page and publisher’s name spelled correctly. Leviathan was written in Paris, where Hobbes fled at the onset of the Civil War to become tutor to the Prince of Wales. The work is a reaction to the English Civil War, and addresses the limitations of both the parliamentary system and the divine right of kings. The state, Hobbes argues, is a great “leviathan” or monster made up of individuals: the individual should always submit to the state because any government is better than anarchy. The work provoked a firestorm of protests from both the right and the left, and it remains today one of the most original political treatises of its time. Printing and the Mind of Man 138.
Provenance: Previously in the collection of Philip D. Sang.
See illustration.
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