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Henry Home, Lord Kames – Introduction to the Art of Thinking. Edinburgh, 1761

12mo, [xii], 202, [2] pp., including the half-title and final blank, an uncut copy in the original blue boards, drab spine, wear to backstrip, still a particularly fine and fresh copy.

Rare first edition. The title of the book may have been suggested by Benjamin Franklin’s Art of Virtue. Franklin and his son stayed with Kames for two weeks on a visit in 1759, Kames having sent him a copy of his book on publication. Franklin spoke in complimentary terms about The Art of Thinking, calling it ‘truly valuable’. Along with his Loose Hints on Education, The Art of Thinking outlines Kames’s general ideas on education. The books were addressed to the education of the young and were intended chiefly for parents, nurses, tutors and even young people themselves. The Art of Thinking, particularly, was prepared primarily for the use of his own children, and both books drew heavily on his own educational experiments with them. The book was republished several times, reaching a fifth edition in 1810. Although the ESTC locates as many a fourteen copies, the book is rarely seen, and this is the first copy we have ever come across. Jessop p. 141; Chuo 137; Lehman, Henry Home, Lord Kames and the Scottish Enlightenment, pp. 58, 238-41 (‘a small but highly interesting volume’).

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