8vo bifolia, pp. 1 + 3 blank; 1 + 3 blank; 2 + 2 blank; small tears and traces of mounting to last blank leaves, creases where folded, otherwise good.
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Three autograph letters signed (‘A Thiers’) to Nassau Senior.
A set of interesting letters from Thiers to the English economist Nassau Senior. Thiers was a French politician and historian who served as prime minister under Louis Phillipe. Following the overthrow of the Second Empire he again came to prominence as the French leader who suppressed the revolutionary Paris Commune of 1871.
The first letter was written soon after the fall of the Earl of Derby’s government in December 1852 and the formation of a coalition under Lord Aberdeen. Thiers remarks that the combination of Lord Aberdeen and Lord Russell is ‘la meilleure pour l’angleterre et pour l’europe’, and expresses his belief that liberal conservatives are the best ‘en tout pays’. Moving on to Spanish politics, Thiers remarks that Spain has just escaped from a foolish counter-revolution, an apparent reference to Juan Bravo Murillo’s attempts to establish an absolutist constitution before his removal from power. Thiers ends by saying that he has seen Alexis de Toqueville and is concerned about his health.
In the second letter, Thiers tells Senior that there are no French generals in Brussels at present and that it should be possible to go there. He ends with mention of Senior’s friend George Grey, possibly the Whig politician who was then acting as Colonial Secretary.
In his third letter, Thiers introduces Senior to ‘Monsieur de Lesseps’ to whom ‘le Vice-Roi d’Egypte a concédé le canal de Suez’, asking him to do all he can to help him. Thiers describes the canal project as ‘une belle chose’ which will profit the human race, bring honour to their age, and be one in the eye for ‘sottes jalousies nationales’. Ferdinand de Lesseps (1805-1894), the former French consul in Cairo, had obtained a licence to construct and operate the Suez Canal in November 1854. Construction started in 1859 and finished, in spite of British opposition, ten years later.
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ROBINSONADE [DUCRAY-DUMINIL, François Guillaume].
Ambrose and Eleanor; or, the Adventures of two Children deserted on an uninhabited Island. Translated from the French. With Alterations, adapting it to the Perusal of Youth, for whose Amusement and Instruction it is designed. By [Lucy Peacock] the Author of the Adventures of the six Princesses of Babylon, Juvenile Magazine, Visit for a Week, &c. Second Edition.
Second English edition (first 1796), a translation of Lolotte et Fanfan (1788). Lucy Peacock kept a shop on Oxford Street which stocked her own and other juvenile tales. Lolotte et Fanfan (1788) evidently appealed for its didactic potential, but required significant editing: ‘many characters and scenes woven into the original, could neither afford pleasure nor advantage to a juvenile reader’.
IN BASKERVILLE TYPE SOMERVILE, William.
The chase, a poem: to which is added Hobbinol, or the rural games ...
A handsome edition, printed by Robert Martin using Baskerville type. The Chase is Somervile’s best known poem, first published in 1735 and dedicated to Frederick, prince of Wales. ‘In four books of blank verse he conveyed the excitement and dangers of the chase as well as its place in history’ (ODNB). Hobbinol, or, The Rural Games, a burlesque dedicated to Hogarth, first appeared in 1740.