Capturing the French Revolution
CARLYLE, Thomas. French Revolution. A History. In Three Volumes. London: James Fraser , 1837.
First edition. Three octavo volumes (7 3/4 x 4 3/4 inches; 197 x 121 mm). vii, [1], 404; vii, [1], 422, [2, publisher's ads]; vii, [1], 448 pp. Complete with half-titles and the integral ad leaf in Vol. II. Uncut.

Publisher's brown boards, expertly rebacked to style and with original printed spine labels laid down. Some expectable rubbing to boards, but still a remarkable copy. Very difficult to find in the original boards and complete. housed in a blue cloth clamshell case with a red morocco gilt spine label.

"Of the three great political upheavals which have altered the face of the earth-the American, French and Russian Revolutions-only the French has stimulated literary masterpieces which, in turn, have made their impact, direct and indirect, upon millions of readers who would have, and have, left unread the productions of dispassionate scholarship. They are Carlyle's book [offered here] and the 'History of the French Revolution' by Michelet. Carlyle wrote his French revolution as a secular 'tract for the times' and as a warning for his compatriots of the frightful consequences of materialism, utilitarianism and democracy. Scottish puritanism and German romanticism were his lodestars; 'History is the essence of innumerable biographies' was his historical creed. The result is not a work of scholarship but a prose epic, teeming with colorful scenes of dramatic events and imaginative portraits of the leading revolutionaries. The book at once captured the Englihs-speaking world, and has, outside France, moulded popular conceptions of the French Revolution down to the present day" (PMM).

Printing and the Mind of Man 304.

HBS # 65348 $3,500