Discourses concerning Government … with his Letters, Trial, Apology, and some Memoirs of his Life.

London, A. Millar, 1763.

4to, pp. [5], 46, [1 (blank)], 64, *64-*71, 65-198, [8], [3]-497, [1 (blank)], with engraved frontispiece portrait; occasional foxing, pressed flowers with offsetting; contemporary English speckled calf, spine gilt in compartments with gilt red morocco lettering-piece, edges speckled red; rubbed, joints split, loss to end-caps and –bands; engraved armorial bookplate of Ham Court.


US $1046€868

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Discourses concerning Government … with his Letters, Trial, Apology, and some Memoirs of his Life.

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Second Millar edition of Sidney’s important Discourses, accompanied by other works. A prominent political theorist opposed to monarchy, Algernon Sidney (1623–1683) wrote the Discourses between 1681 and 1683, argues for armed resistance to oppressive government; the text, which ‘places Sidney alongside Milton as the master of republican eloquence’ and ‘includes the only explicit seventeenth-century defence of “rebellion”’ (ODNB), was found in manuscript on Sydney’s arrest and unprecedentedly used as a second witness at his trial for high treason, with Jeffreys’s justification that ‘screbere est agere’. Convicted on the evidence of these Discourses, Sidney was executed, and his Discourses left unpublished for fifteen years.

ESTC T131336.

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