FROM THE LIBRARY OF LORD ELDON

An Apology for the Bible, in a Series of Letters, addressed to Thomas Paine, Author of a Book entitled The Age of Reason, Part the Second, being an Investigation of true and of fabulous Theology … third Edition. London, T. Evans, Cadell & Davies, P. Elmsley, J. Debrett, J.

Robson, and R. Faulder, 1796.

12mo, pp. [4], 385, [1 (blank)], [2 (advertisements)]; tear to N2; a good copy in contemporary marbled calf, spine gilt-ruled in compartments with gilt red sheep lettering-piece, board-edges roll-tooled in gilt, edges speckled green, sewn on 3 sunken cords; rubbed, splits to joints, lower board detached; upper board signed ‘Henry’, ink ownership inscription of John Scott to half-title with his booklabel to upper pastedown, very occasional pencil markings and annotation.

£350

Approximately:
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An Apology for the Bible, in a Series of Letters, addressed to Thomas Paine, Author of a Book entitled The Age of Reason, Part the Second, being an Investigation of true and of fabulous Theology … third Edition. London, T. Evans, Cadell & Davies, P. Elmsley, J. Debrett, J.

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Third edition of ‘a crucial defence of the political and social order’ (ODNB), published the same year as the first edition. Though his first political sermon, The Principles of the Revolution Vindicated, was in 1776 interpreted as a radical statement of support for the American rebels, Richard Watson, Bishop of Llandaff from 1782, remained a staunch defender of Locke’s principles and by the 1790s was seen as conservative, his most successful work being the present criticism of Paine’s deism.

From the library of John Scott, first earl of Eldon (1751–1838), a member of Pitt’s ministry who, as Attorney-General from 1793, prosecuted cases of sedition and treason against the radicals influenced by Paine’s Rights of Man. The ‘best hated man in England’ (ODNB), he led the prosecutions of John Horne Tooke and Thomas Hardy, defended the harsh sentences imposed on the Scottish Martyrs, and implemented the Traitorous Correspondence Act of 1793 and the Treasonable Practices and Seditious Meetings Acts of 1795, greatly restricting free assembly and freedom of speech.

ESTC T75725.

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