8vo., pp. xii, 402, a very fresh copy, uncut as issued, preserving the original blue paper back strip (with printed paper label) and lower wrapper, upper wrapper renewed to match.
US $2752 €2362
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Influence de l’Habitude sur la Faculté de Penser.
First edition of Maine de Biran’s first major work, in which he draws a distinction between what he calls passive habits, i.e. sensations and impressions which become dulled with repetition, and active habits, i.e. those which are conscious, and willed. “The effect of this, which was borne out by his later writings, was that he maintained the importance of man as a reflective being whose soul, or ego, resides in the will, who is not formed solely by external circumstances but is free to exercise intellectual and moral choice, and whose best path to an understanding of the truth lies through observation and study of his own, even his own hidden, personality” (Oxford Companion to French Literature).
The endpapers of this copy comprise proof-sheets of pp. 209-10 and 213, marked up with MS corrections in Maine de Biran’s hand; the published form of the sheets in the book itself differs considerably. Substantive changes include an extra line of text to the foot-note on p. 209, and the substitution of les facultés de la penseé for les facultés du cerveau on p. 210.
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IN MOURNING FOR THE FRENCH ROYAL FAMILY DELILLE, Jacques.
Le malheur et la pitié, poëme en quatre chants.
First London edition. First published in Paris the previous year under the title La pitié; also published in octavo format in both London and Paris in 1803. According to Brunet, the London editions contain several passages relating to the French Revolution and to the king which appeared in only a very few copies of the Paris editions.
FLORENT DE SALES [pseudonym].
Vrai systême du monde physique et moral. [s.n., s.l., but Switzerland], 1797.
Only edition, rare, of this utopia, the identity of whose author, and even of whose printer, remains unknown.