London: [Eliots Court Press] for Edward Blount, 1620.
1st Edition. Hardcover. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. Very Good. Item #002288
8vo (163 x 108 mm).  1-222,  223-324,  325-417 ,  419-503 ,  505-542 pp. Signatures: A4 (B-X)8 Y4 Z8 (Aa-Kk)8 (Ll-Mm)4 (Nn-Oo)8, P8 a blank, errata on A8v. Includes separate title-pages for the following sections: A discourse upon the beginning of Tacitus , A discourse of Rome, A discourse against flatterie, A discourse of lawes. Contemporary English calf, rebacked to style (extremities rubbed, corners scuffed). Internally little browned and spotted in places, occasional annotations in contemporary hand (mostly cancelled in ink), title-page soiled and backed with paper to restore chipped blank margins. Five text leaves with small tear at lower or upper margin, costing a few letters (this does not affect the text of the discourses by Hobbes). Beside the mentioned defects, still a very good copy. ----
STC 3957 (2nd ed.). FIRST EDITION of one of the scarcest and most portentous works of Jacobean literature, the Horae Subseciuae is famous not only for the significan appeal of the essays ascribed to WILLIAM CAVENDISH, but also - even more important - for the three discourses now known to have been authored by the great philosopher THOMAS HOBBES and to constitute his earliest published work: "A Discourse upon the Beginning of Tacitus," "A Discourse of Rome," and "A Discourse of Lawes."
The attribution of these three essays in the Horae Subseciuae to HOBBES has become generally accepted. He was thought for 300 years a candidate for authorship. However, the discovery by Strauss in the 1950s of a manuscript at Chatsworth of the 'Horae Subsecivae' in Hobbes' hand, and still more the Wordprint analysis of Reynolds and Saxenhouse (Thomas Hobbes: Three Discourses: A Critical Modern Edition of Newly Identified Work of the Young Hobbes, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995), seem to have been generally convincing. Certainly, having read their analysis, and not forgetting the weaknesses and presuppositions inherent in Wordprint analysis (and other such statistical analyses of authorship), their work is far more convincing than dissenting voices such as Fortier ("Hobbes and 'A Discourse of Lawes': The Perils of Wordprint Analysis," Review of Politics, 59:4 (Fall, 1997), pp. 861-87). For example, Aravamudan in "Hobbes and America" (Carey and Festa, eds., Postcolonial Enlightenment, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009) and Rahe's chapter "Thomas Hobbes's Republican Youth" in his Against Throne and Altar: Machiavelli and Political Theory under the English Republic (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), both explicitly affirm Hobbes' authorship of the three discourses in light of the work of Reynolds and Saxenhouse and the responses their work generated. Rahe also argues strongly for the similarity of philosophical argument between "A Discourse of Lawes" and Hobbes' later "De Cive" and "Leviathan."
Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury (1588-1679) is a towering figure not only of English political theory, but of English literature generally. Aside from 'Leviathan,' he translated both Thucydides and Homer into English, took an active (if curmudgeonly) part in the court of Charles II, and wrote half-a-dozen other minor masterworks of political theory. In his own time and since, Hobbes has remained a figure of extraordinary controversy, having been accused of atheism in the 17th century, amorality in the 18th and 19th, and authoritarianism in the 20th. At the same time, though, his works have given rise to a greater body of literature than any other English political philosopher, from works by Locke and Clarendon in the 17th century, to the works of Oakeshott in the 20th.
William Cavendish, 2nd Earl of Devonshire (c. 1590 - 20 June 1628) was an English courtier and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1614 until 1626 when he succeeded to the peerage and sat in the House of Lords. Cavendish was the second son of William Cavendish, 1st Earl of Devonshire, by his first wife Anne Keighley.
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