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John Locke – An Essay concerning Humane Understanding, 1690

Folio [322 x 198 mm], [xii], 362, [22] pp., contemporary calf panelled in blind, some surface blemishes, spine nicked at head, front endpapers with 4 full pages of contemporary annotations in Latin (continued on rear endpapers, where also a few other early notes), title-page with ownership inscription in top margin, C2 and Bb with marginal tears (no text loss), a two-word annotation on p.161, light marginal dampstains, occasionally straying into the text and somewhat heavier on four leaves Kk-Kk4, isolated spots, a very good copy in an unrestored contemporary binding.

First edition, second issue, of the most influential text ever written by an English philosopher. This was long thought to be the earlier of two issues (and indeed the E.B. Holden copy was thought unique), but W.A. Jackson showed that the title is in fact a cancel and that the ‘Eliz. Holt for Thomas Basset’ issue precedes it. The second issue is, however, rarer, Wing locating three copies only (to which may be added a small handful of others in ESTC). Christophersen p. 26; Pforzheimer 600; PMM 164; Wing 2739. Although the title-page omits Locke’s name, and thus the work may appear to have been published anonymously, the dedication to Thomas Herbert, the eighth Earl of Pembroke, is signed ‘JOHN LOCKE’. Yolton 61B.

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