BOLINGBROKE, Henry St. John. A Letter to Sir William Windham.
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BOLINGBROKE, Henry St. John. A Letter to Sir William Windham. II. Some Reflections on the Present State of the Nation. III. A Letter to Mr. Pope. Dublin: Printed for J. Smith, at the Philosophers-heads, on the Blind-quay, 1753. First Dublin edition. 12mo. pp. (iv), 305, with a final advertisement leaf (misprinted). Armorial bookplate of Thomas Rochfort on front pastedown. Contemporary full calf. Minute hole on leather of upper cover. A very good copy. Rare.
COPAC locates the TCD copy only in Ireland. Not in NLI.
Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke (1678-1751) was an English politician, government official and political philosopher. He was a leader of the Tories, and supported the Church of England politically despite his antireligious views and opposition to theology. He supported the Jacobite rebellion of 1715 which sought to overthrow the new king George I. Escaping to France he became foreign minister for the Pretender. He was attainted for treason, but reversed course and was allowed to return to England in 1723. According to Ruth Mack, “Bolingbroke is best known for his party politics, including the ideological history he disseminated in The Craftsman (1726-1735) by adopting the formerly Whig theory of the Ancient Constitution and giving it new life as an anti-Walpole Tory principle.”
An interesting collection of letters from this controversial figure of the eighteenth century. He wrote his ‘Reflexions upon Exile,’ and in 1717, his letter to Sir William Wyndham in explanation of his position, generally considered one of his finest compositions, but not published till 1753 after his death. The same year, he formed a liaison with a widow Marie Claire Deschamps de Marcilly, whom he married in 1720, two years after his first wife’s death. He bought and resided at the estate of La Source near Orléans, studied philosophy, criticized the chronology of the Bible, and was visited amongst others by Voltaire, who expressed unbounded admiration for his learning and politeness.
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