the Pound Sterling
Paine, Thomas. The decline & fall of the English system of finance. New York: Printed by William A. Davis, for J. Fellows, 1796. 12mo (18.5 cm; 7.25"). 58 pp., [1 (ads)] f., without the half-title.
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Self-proclaimed “second American edition” printed “from a London copy of the Paris edition” — and, uncommon. Paine on his favorite subject of criticism — the English. Here he points out that the English financial system is on the brink of bankruptcy, and identifies acts of banking folly to be held responsible for getting it into that state. Written at a time when Paine was in France and still deeply involved in the revolutionary cause, the essay caused no small amount of controversy when it first appeared in Paris and then subsequently in London in April of 1796.
With the leaf of advertisements for “new publications for sale by John Fellows.”
Provenance: Signature of “Geo. Wilson jr,” dated 1880, inked to title-page.
Evans 30944; ESTC W20110 & T5824. Uncut copy, without the half-title, stitched in modern plain wrappers; dust-soiled and age-toned with old dampstains. Ownership signature as above on title; pencilled note on verso (not in the same hand), “bad effect on bank of connection with gov't.” A good copy. (29899)
“Must England Ever be the Sport of Hope, & the Dupe of Delusion?”
Paine, Thomas. A letter to the Earl of Shelburne, on his speech, July 10, 1782, respecting the acknowledgement of American independence. Philadelphia printed, London reprinted: J. Stockdale, 1783. 8vo (20.8 cm, 8.2"). , 28 pp.
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First British (and first stand-alone) edition. Paine here expounds on the impossibility of America re-subjecting herself to English rule: “The sin of England has struck the heart of America, and nature has not left it in our power to say we can forgive” (p. 6). Howes notes that this “was No. 12 of The American Crisis, as published in a Philadelphia newspaper in 1782; there was no separate American edition.”
Provenance: Title-page with early inked ownership inscription, “Boquhan” (Stirling, Scotland).
Adams, American Controversy, 83-69a; ESTC T5851; Howes P26; Sabin 58229. Gilt-stamped leather spine laid down on 20th-century dusty rose-colored paper-covered boards; front cover slightly faded, spine extremities chipped. Ownership inscription as above. Pages clean. (29323)
Cheetham, James. The life of Thomas Paine, author of Common sense, The crisis, Rights of man, &c. &c. &c. New York: Southwick & Pelsue, 1809. 8vo (22.2 cm, 8.75"). 347,  pp.
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First edition. Cheetham, once a friend of Paine, later turned against him, and this work reflects a great deal of bitterness and resentment: The author makes much of Paine’s alleged lack of personal cleanliness. A pseudonymous “Politicus,” in an attempt to encourage the writing of another life, said “Cheetham, humph! Now should it not rather be spelled Cheat’em, as applicable to every reader of that farrago of imposition and malignity, miscalled the ‘Life of Paine’?”
Provenance: Pencilled note on endpaper, “From Ralph E. McCoy’s Library”; McCoy, emeritus Dean of Libraries at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, published widely on theFirst Amendment freedoms.
Howes C336; Sabin 12379; Shaw & Shoemaker 17193. Later quarter plain brown paper over contemporary tan paper–covered sides; edges and corners rubbed. Front free endpaper (modern) with pencilled note of McCoy’s ownership; front fly-leaf with pencilled gift inscription dated 1849. Offsetting and foxing throughout. A very sound copy. (14404)
Hardy, Thomas. The patriot. Addressed to the people, on the present state of affairs in Britain and in France. With observations on republican government, and discussions of the principles advanced in the writings of Thomas Paine. Edinburgh: J. Dickson, & London: G. Nicol, 1793. 8vo in 4s (19.5 cm, 7.7"). , 76 pp.
First edition. This response to Paine’s Rights of Man is attributed to a Scottish clergyman (sometimes called Hardie) who taught church history at Edinburgh University — not to the radical politician of the same name who was charged with treason in 1794.
ESTC T102145; Sabin 59081. Recent marbled paper–covered boards, spine with printed paper label. Original sewing holes visible in inner margins; some leaves lightly foxed, with final page darkened. (14336)
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