The Spirit of Laws in Two Volumes


Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu; [Thomas Nugent, trans.]

1 in stock


Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu; [Thomas Nugent, trans.]. The Spirit of Laws in Two Volumes [Originally published as ‘De l’esprit des loix’.]. Edinburgh: Printed by Donaldson and J. Reid For, Ebenezer Wilson Bookseller in Dumfries, 1762. The Third Edition. pp. xxiv, 346; pp. xiv, 388. Small 8vo. Uniformly bound in full brown leather with gilt rules, lettering and spine over red spine labels, faint speckled foredges. Five raised bands to spine, six compartments. Leather extremities rubbed, some edgewear, light superficial surface creases to the spines; text-block and contents remain clean and unmarked with tight, sound bindings. Overall, very good-.

Originally published in French as ‘De l’esprit des loix’ in 1748 it was immediately subject to censorship both by the French authorities as well the Catholic Church where it was added to the Vatican’s “Index Librorum Prohibitorum” or List of Prohibited Books. A consequential work of political theory it influenced many outside of France, notably Catherine The Great who’s, “Nakaz”, copied more than 400 articles verbatim from the works of Montesquieu; it heavily influenced the Founding Fathers when they gathered for the Constitutional Convention of 1787 where they incorporated many ideas from Montesquie in the drafting of the United States Constitution. Leather Bound. (#154) $425.00