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The History of England, From the Invasion of Julius Caesar...[to the Revolution in 1688]

HUME (David):

  • Publisher: London and Edinburgh, Hamilton 1754 - 1762
London and Edinburgh, Hamilton 1754 - 1762. FIRST EDITION of volumes 1 - 5, second edition of volume. 6 volumes. 4to, pp. viii, 424; viii, 446 [447 Errata, 448 blank]; viii, 402; [ii], [403] - 739 [740 adverts]; vi, 473 [474 advert]; v [vi blank], 459 [460 adverts], including half title in volumes 1, 2, and 3, and contents leaf for volume 4 bound in volume 3, bound in contemporary calf, spine gilt in compartments, red leather labels; title-page for volume 6 slightly detached at inner margin, with title-page dated 1759, front cover volume 6 detached, joints and corners a bit worn. These volumes are all early issues, except for volume 6, of the work that Hume eventually called his History of England. The first volume, volume 5 in the collected set, was published in Edinburgh in 1754, by Hamilton, Balfour and Neill, with the title, The History of Great Britain. Vol. I. Containing The Reigns of James I. and Charles I. Volume 6 was the second volume to be published in 1757, this time in London by Millar, after Hume fell out with the Edinburgh publishers; it contains the history of the commonwealth and the reigns of Charles II and James II. In the present set, volume 6, actually the second volume to be published, is "The Second Edition, Corrected," and retains the original title, The History of Great Britain, with 3D3 being a cancel, so it is not an early issue. Proceeding backwards, in 1759, Hume published The History of England under the House of Tudor, in two volumes. Finally, he went back to the earliest data and published, in 1762, The History of England, from The Invasion of Julius Cæsar to The Accession of Henry VII. Millar later printed general title-pages for the six volumes and added an index, replacing the original title-pages which are retained in the above set, which also does not have the index. So far as one can tell, as the bibliographical record is still incomplete on the work's printing history, the above volumes are early if not the earliest issues and states of the work. Later editions of the work omitted two passages about Catholic "superstition" in the 1754 volume, on pp. 8 - 9, and pp. 25 - 27. An early reviewer of the 1754 volume. R. Flexman in the Monthly Review for March, 1755, charged Hume with indecent reflections on the protestant religion, as if it were "the casual effect of fanaticism and enthusiasm, than the amiable offspring of free enquiry and rational conviction." William B. Todd, "David Hume: A Preliminary Bibliography" in Hume and the Enlightenment, ed. W. B. Todd (1974), pp. 196 - 198. Chuo 47.

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