NY Elizabeth
NY Elizabeth
Live Auction

2405 | Rare Bibles, Books, & Manuscripts

Sun, Jan 14, 2024 12:00PM EST
Lot 147


Estimate: $438 - $500

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$50 $50
$1,000 $250
$10,000 $500
$25,000 $1,000

Year/Century: 18th century
Language: English
Subject: Law & Government
Binding: Leather
Description: M.DE SECONDAT BARON DE MONTESQUIEU's SPIRIT of LAWS Thomas Nugent did the translation 1793 in London worn in places, original calf. Excellent interior design. slight foxing. Dimensions 5 1/3 by 8 1/3" xliv; pages 513–25 [25 pp] Written in English Published in 1748, Montesquieu's The Spirit of Law (French: De l'esprit des lois, originally spelled De l'esprit des loix), often known as The Spirit of [the] Laws, is a book on political theory and a seminal work in comparative law. Its quick translation into other languages contributed to its influence outside of France, even though it was originally published anonymously as was customary. Thomas Nugent released an English version in 1750. De l'esprit des lois was added by the Roman Catholic Church in 1751 to its Index Librorum Prohibitorum, or "List of Prohibited Books". Already extensively circulated, Montesquieu's treatise greatly influenced the work of numerous others, including the Founding Fathers of the United States Constitution, Catherine the Great, who created Nakaz (Instruction), and Alexis de Tocqueville, who used Montesquieu's techniques to analyze American society in Democracy in America. Macaulay mentioned Montesquieu's enduring significance when he stated that "Montesquieu enjoys, perhaps, a wider celebrity than any political writer of modern Europe" in his "Machiavelli" article from 1827. In studying and producing De l'esprit des lois, Montesquieu covered a wide range of subjects, including law, social life, and the study of anthropology, over the course of around ten years (and a lifetime of thinking). In this work, Montesquieu makes the case that political institutions must accurately represent the social and geographic characteristics of the local society in order to be successful. He begs for the abolition of slavery, the protection of law and civil liberties, and a constitutional form of government with the division of powers.


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