London: John Stockdale, 1794. Three volumes. 8,xxxii,3-392; ,451,; ,528,pp. Portrait in first volume. Contemporary gilt tree calf, rebacked, leather labels. Bookplate on front pastedown of each volume. Minor scattered foxing, but generally quite clean and fresh internally. Very good. Item #WRCAM44260
The definitive final edition, after its first appearance in London in 1787. One of the most important and widely read of the many writings of the important Revolutionary figure and second president of the United States. The second and third volumes, originally issued later than the first, contain descriptions of the Italian republics of the Middle Ages as well as a lengthy analysis of "the Right Constitution of a Commonwealth." At the time Adams wrote this work he was serving as the first United States ambassador in England, an uncomfortable position for a recent rebel, but he was ever ready to argue the American point of view. Here he forcibly states the principles on which he perceived the United States to be founded. The book was popular and went through numerous editions. Its issuance as the Federal Constitutional Convention was assembling added to its popularity and resulted in several American reprintings, and according to the DAB, "its timeliness gave it vogue." Later Adams' detractors sought to find in it a hidden desire for a monarchy. This edition is sometimes known under its half title, HISTORY OF THE PRINCIPAL REPUBLICS IN THE WORLD. HOWES A60, "aa." SABIN 233. DAB I, p.76.