A Rarely Seen Set, in Country House Condition


(London: G. G. J. and J. Robinson, 1789). 213 x 133 mm. (8 3/8 x 5 1/4"). 13 Volumes. Translated from the French by Thomas Holcroft. FIRST EDITION.

FINE CONTEMPORARY MARBLED CALF, smooth spines divided into panels with heraldic centerpieces by decorative gilt rules, red morocco label. ◆Light foxing to endpapers, sometimes slightly affecting a few text leaves at front and rear of volumes, but especially bright and fresh internally, with only negligible imperfections. A little chafing to a few boards, spines darkened and just a bit crackled, but the gilt still bright, and the bindings well preserved and making a handsome appearance on the shelf.

This is an attractively bound collection of a rarely-seen set of writings by a brilliant military commander, patron of the arts, and ideal Enlightenment monarch. Frederick II of Prussia (1712-86) became known as Frederick the Great after his victory over the Austrian Empire in 1745, securing Silesia's return to Prussian control. Not only did he use an ingenious strategy to rout the Austrian army at the key battle of Hohenfriedberg, but he also composed the famous Hohenfriedberg March to commemorate the occasion. The works here include his "History of My Own Times," "The History of the Seven Years War," "Memoirs from the Peace of Hubertsburg, to the Partition of Poland, and of the Bavarian War," "Correspondence between the Emperor, the Empress Queen, and the King of Prussia, Relative to the Bavarian Succession," "Considerations of the Present State of the Body-Politic in Europe," "Political, Philosophical and Satyrical Miscellanies," his correspondence with Voltaire, the Marquis d'Argens, and other Enlightenment luminaries, "An Essay on German Literature," "A Moral Dialogue, for the Use of the Young Nobility," and "Eulogium on Voltaire." Finely bound, and likely for a gentleman, these volumes appear to have remained mostly unread, very possibly adorning the gently-used shelves of a country house library. RBH seems to list just one copy of this set at auction during the past century.

Price: $1,750.00