1853-55 - John C. Riker, New York
‘I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man’

A superb set of the first collected edition of the works of Thomas Jefferson, author of the
Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, who voiced the aspirations of a new America as no other individual of his era. As public official, historian, philosopher, and plantation owner, he served his country for over five decades.

Complete in nine volumes, with folding facsimiles and tables. Published by the Order of the Joint Committee of Congress on the Library, from the Original Manuscripts deposited in the department of state. With explanatory notes, tables of contents, and a copious index to the whole, by the editor H. A. Washington.
 
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Price HK$ 29,000



An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding - John Locke

1700 - Printed for Awnsham and John Churchil at The Black-Swan in Pater-Noster-Row, London - Fourth Edition, with large Additions
‘He that would seriously set upon the search of Truth, ought in the first Place to prepare his Mind with a Love of it. For he that Loves it not, will not take much Pains to get it; nor be much concerned when he misses it.’

Fuelled by the arguments of philosopher Francis Bacon, this large and beautifully bound edition of ‘Concerning Humane Understanding’ contains Locke’s essays on the range and limitations of human knowledge in respect to God and the universe. Often regarded as the birthplace of experimental psychology, this is an important and influential work.

The fourth edition was the last to be printed in his lifetime, and includes his editorial changes, as well as two previously unpublished chapters titled, ‘
On the Association of Ideas’ and ‘Enthusiasm’.

With an engraved frontispiece portrait of John Locke by P. Vanderbanck after Sylvester Brounower.
 
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Price HK$ 19,000



The Open Society and its Enemies. Volume I - The Spell of Plato; Volume II - The High Tide of Prophecy: Hegel, Marx, and the Aftermath - Karl R. Popper

1945 - George Routledge & Sons, London - First Edition
A fine set, produced on the same poor ‘Economy Standard’ paper as used for George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ of the same year. In the bright and scarce delicate dust jackets.

‘A work of first-class importance which ought to be widely read for its masterly criticism of the enemies of democracy, ancient and modern.’ – Bertrand Russell.

‘One of the most important books of the twentieth century, Karl Popper's
The Open Society and Its Enemies is an uncompromising defense of liberal democracy and a powerful attack on the intellectual origins of totalitarianism. An immediate sensation when it was first published in two volumes in 1945, Popper's monumental achievement has attained legendary status on both the Left and Right and is credited with inspiring anticommunist dissidents during the Cold War. Arguing that the spirit of free, critical inquiry that governs scientific investigation should also apply to politics, Popper traces the roots of an opposite, authoritarian tendency to a tradition represented by Plato, Marx, and Hegel.’ – Princeton University Press.

Sir Karl R. Popper (1902-94) was an Austrian-British philosopher, widely regarded as one of the 20th century’s greatest philosophers of science. He taught at Canterbury University, New Zealand as a lecturer in philosophy during the war years, it was here he wrote
The Open Society and its Enemies, and upon its publication he moved to the London School of Economics and later became Professor of Logic and Scientific Method at the University of London. 
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Price HK$ 26,000



The History of the World. In Five Bookes - Sir Walter Raleigh, John Shirley

1621 - Printed by William Iaggard for Walter Burre, London - Third Edition
Third folio in a 17th century full calf binding, illustrated with the memorable engraved allegorical frontispiece, engraved portrait of Raleigh, six double page engraved maps, two double page engraved battle plans, two in-text schematics, twenty-six pages of chronological tables.

‘Among the noblest of literary enterprises. Throughout it breathes a serious moral purpose. It illustrates the sureness with which ruin overtakes "great conquerors and other troublers of the world" who neglect law, whether human or divine, and it appropriately closes with an apostrophe to death of rarely paralleled sublimity.’

‘Too Saucy in Censuring Princes’ - King James on confiscating all unsold copies and suppressing further sales, several months after publication.

Written whilst imprisoned in the Tower of London from 1603 to 1616 and intended to outline historical events from creation to modern times, drawing on the Bible, Greek mythology, and other sources. Raleigh dedicated it to the young Prince Henry, his patron and supporter who was trying to secure his release from prison. The prince's death in 1612 discouraged Raleigh, and the book ends abruptly with the second Macedonian War instead of continuing through two more volumes as originally intended. Raleigh was released from the Tower in 1616 to lead one final expedition to South America, but his men attacked a Spanish outpost and he was executed upon his return in 1618.

‘The History of the World was intended to outline historical events from creation to modern times, drawing on the Bible, Greek mythology, and other sources. ‘Apart from numerous abridgements, it ran through ten folio editions between 1614 and 1687… Its author was listened to, not so much because he was a scholar (which he certainly was by contemporary standards of scholarship), as because he embodied all the glories of the reign of Elizabeth I, which at the time of publication had already begun to be transfigured into a golden age’ -
Printing and the Mind of Man.  
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Price HK$ 23,000



Social and Diplomatic Memories 1884-1893 - Sir James Rennell Rodd G.C.B.

1922 - Edward Arnold & Co., London - Second Impression
The autobiography of 1st Baron Rennell (1858-1941), British diplomat, poet (Oscar Wilde assisted in publishing Rodd’s first book of poems), politician, and scholar of ancient Greece and Rome.

Covering the early years from his childhood, the ‘Balliol set’, and young Bohemian adulthood, to his first posting in Berlin from 1884 to 1888, where he became an intimate friend of the Empress Frederick, and recounts his memories of Bismark and other major figures during that tumultuous time, after this he moves on to Greece, Italy, France, and finally Zanzibar and East Africa at the end of the 19th century.

Finely bound and with a four page hand-written letter from his wife to an ‘unknown friend’, composed at the British Legation, Athens in February 1928.
 
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Price HK$ 2,000



The Jungle - Upton Sinclair

1906 - Doubleday, New York - First Edition
‘Pierces the thickest skull and most leathery heart.’ - Winston Churchill

A fine example of the first edition, with none of the usual rubbing and loss to the white lettering, or foxing to the pages that is usually encountered.

‘The brutally grim story of a Slavic family who emigrates to America,
The Jungle tells of their rapid and inexorable descent into numbing poverty, moral degradation, and social and economic despair.

‘Sinclair's nightmarish narrative of the immigrant Rudken family instigated a series of legislative measures that were highly successful. His lurid scenes of a meat packing industry that ground both rates and fingers into sausage aroused the middle class to demand sanitary conditions for food preparation.

Yet far less effective by comparison was his severe indictment of the working conditions that regularly reduced laborers to impoverished insanity. As Sinclair later wryly observed, “
I aimed for the heart and hit the stomach of America”.’ – Emory Elliot, The Columbia Literary History of the United States. 
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Price HK$ 15,000