James. The Oceana of
James Harrington, and his other works som[e] wherof are now first publish'd
from his own manuscripts. The whole collected, methodiz'd, and review'd, with
an exact account of his life prefix'd, by John Toland. London: The booksellers
of London & Westminster, 1700. Folio (32.2 cm, 12.7"). Frontis., , xliv,
546, pp.; 1 fold. plt, 1 plt. (incl. in pagination).
Click the interior images for enlargements.
First edition of Harrington's collected works, including the controversial
Commonwealth of Oceana, originally published in 1656. Harrington, a political
philosopher, proposed in the utopian title work a system of government wherein
voting rights were to be based on land ownership, which in turn would be strictly
regulated to ensure a stable and reasonably egalitarian (unless you were a woman,
a servant, or a non-Protestant) commonwealth. Harrington's theories were widely
read and much debated both during his lifetime and afterwards; the DNB
notes that “the French constitution of 1799 . . . was clearly modelled
on parts of the Oceana.”
Also present here are The Grounds and Reasons of Monarchy Consider'd,
The Art of Lawgiving, and six political tracts, along with several
other pieces. The volume is illustrated with three engraved plates by Michael
van der Gucht: an allegorical frontispiece, a portrait of the author after
P. Lely, and an oversized folding plate depicting “The Manner and Use
of the Ballot.” The title-page is printed in red and black. This
was edited and given a “Life” by John Toland.
ESTC R009111; Goldsmiths'-Kress 3735; Wing (rev. ed.) H816.
On Harrington, see: Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
online. Recent quarter calf and marbled paper–covered boards,
spine with gilt-stamped leather title-label and gilt-ruled raised bands, leather
edges tooled in blind. Minor offsetting to title-page and elsewhere; intermittent
light to moderate foxing; good paper. Oversized folding plate with short tear
from upper margin, just touching caption but not extending into text. A handsome
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