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 1759 Annual Register

Here we are offering two examples of the 1759 Annual Register, both are 8th editions, one full leather with covers detached (A) and the other is half leather with marbled boards with the spine covering off (B). This 1759 volume of the Annual Register is also available in the multi-volume sets, 1758 through 1791  in a first edition, and in the 1758 through 1820 and 1758 through 1773 sets in a later edition.

This volume starts the great debate between the conservative Edmund Burke and the intellectual godfather of the French Revolution, socialism and communism, Jean-Jacques Rousseau. In this volume Burke published his first comments on Rousseau.  As is apparent from the excerpt below, Burke has already taken the measure of his man and predicted where his doctrines would lead:

"None of the present writers have a greater share of talents and learning than Rousseau; yet it has been his misfortune and that of the world, that those of his works which have made the greatest noise, and acquired to their author the highest reputation, have been of little real use or emolument to mankind. A tendency to paradox, which is always the bane of solid learning, and threatens now to destroy it, a splenetic disposition carried to misanthropy, and an austere virtue pursued to an unsociable fierceness, have prevented a great deal of the good effects which might be expected from such a genius. A satire upon civilized society, a satire upon learning, may make a tolerable sport for an ingenious fancy; but if carried farther it can do no more (and that in such a way is surely too much) than to unsettle our notions of right and wrong, and lead by degrees to universal scepticism."

Burke commentary of Rousseau continues in the 1762 Annual Register volume and culminates in Burke's attack on Rousseau contained in his 1791 "Letter to a Member of the National Assembly." In 1794, the French revolutionary government ordered that Rousseau be honored by moving his ashes to the Pantheon, verifying Burke's early judgment that Rousseau's views were erroneous and dangerous.

This volume also contains the first published review of another great of the 18th century, the moral philosopher and economist of capitalism, Adam Smith. Here Burke reviews "The Theory of Moral Sentiments," by Smith. On that work Burke writes,

"The author seeks for the foundation of the just, the fit, the proper, the decent, in our most common and most allowed passions; and making approbation and disapprobation the tests of virtue and vice, and showing that those are founded on sympathy, he raises from this simple truth, one of the most beautiful fabrics of moral theory, that has perhaps ever appeared."

Among the other highlights of this volume include the French and Indian War where it is reported that the unique American character, Sir William Johnson, defeats the French at Fort Niagara with a force of British troops, colonial militia and Indians from the Five Nations. This is how Burke describes the advantages of William Johnson:

"Respected by the regular troops, dear to the provincials, almost adored by the Indians, possessed of that genius for acquiring popularity amongst all kinds of men, and that versatile disposition, which we so seldom see united with disinterestedness and integrity, he employed those talents solely for the benefit of his country."

The other important battle was the famous battle of Quebec in which General Wolfe defeated General Montcalm and both died in the battle that has been captured in numerous graphic representations.

Another interesting item is a full exposition in State Papers of a critical multi-day conference between colonial governors and Indian agents of the King and Indians (Mohawks, Mohigans, Oneidas, Onodagoes, Cayugas, Senecas, Tuscaroras, Nanticokes, Conoys, Delawares, etc.) on the frontier in Easton, Pennsylvania. Another item is "An account of a society called Dunkards, in Pennsylvania, by a gentleman of America."


Example A                                                             Example B 

Although these are both 8th editions, the publishers and publication dates are different with example B being published by Dodsley in 1792 and example A being published by Otridge in 1802. As you recall from the description and pictures above, example A has the front cover detached and the back loose and example B has the spine leather missing. Both thus need some repairs. We are partial to Dodsley edition because he was the original publisher of Edmund Burke and the Annual Registers, but example A is leather and is thus worth more to some folks. Anyway, we have priced both at the same price and you can make your choice.

The 1759 volume is also available as a part of the 1758 through 1791 set in a first edition and in the 1758 through 1773 set in a later edition.

Example A

Price: $75

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Example B

Price: $75

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or pay by other means described in the information and ordering page.