HOBBES, Thomas (1588-1679). Leviathan, or the Matter, Forme, and Power of a Common-Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civill. London: Andrew Crooke, 1651. 2° (269 x 180mm). Engraved frontispiece, folding letterpress table. (Light spotting.) Contemporary sprinkled calf, sides panelled in gilt, edges sprinkled red (rebacked, corners rubbed). Provenance: a contemporary reader (deleted title inscription, neat marginalia) -- W.R. Sorley (signature on front endpaper).
HOBBES, Thomas (1588-1679). Leviathan, or the Matter, Forme, and Power of a Common-Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civill. London: Andrew Crooke, 1651. 2° (269 x 180mm). Engraved frontispiece, folding letterpress table. (Light spotting.) Contemporary sprinkled calf, sides panelled in gilt, edges sprinkled red (rebacked, corners rubbed). Provenance: a contemporary reader (deleted title inscription, neat marginalia) -- W.R. Sorley (signature on front endpaper).

Details
HOBBES, Thomas (1588-1679). Leviathan, or the Matter, Forme, and Power of a Common-Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civill. London: Andrew Crooke, 1651. 2° (269 x 180mm). Engraved frontispiece, folding letterpress table. (Light spotting.) Contemporary sprinkled calf, sides panelled in gilt, edges sprinkled red (rebacked, corners rubbed). Provenance: a contemporary reader (deleted title inscription, neat marginalia) -- W.R. Sorley (signature on front endpaper).

FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT 17TH-CENTURY ENGLISH WORK OF POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY. Written in the midst of the English Civil War, Leviathan sets out Hobbes's firm belief in the State as an aggregation of individual men submitting voluntarily for the good of the greater commonwealth in order to lift humankind out of anarchy. True to Hobbes's prediction, the originality and directness of his work exacerbated the divisions in a nation already torn, but it also brought many out of the 'darkness of ignorance'. Leviathan directly influenced theorists from Spinoza to Bentham. This copy may have been previously in the collection of philosopher William Ritchie Sorley (1855-1935). Macdonald & Hargreaves 42; Norman 1082; PMM 138; Wing H-2246.
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