London: Printed for A. Millar, 1759-1762. [English History] FINELY BOUND QUARTO EDITIONS, volumes I-IV FIRST EDITIONS, volumes V and VI NEW EDITIONS. Complete in two volumes. Quarto (26 x 22 x 20cm), pp.viii; 424; pp.viii; 446 ; pp. viii; 402 ; pp. iv; 403-739 , pp.vi; 473 ; pp. vi; 452. With the half-title to volume I. Contemporary tan full speckled calf, with gilt titles to red labels, and further gilt tooling to spines. All edges speckled red. Light to moderate occasional spotting throughout. Half-titles to vols I-III with neat contemporary ownership to same. Generally a clean set. Joints split or starting, some quite tender, especially to volume I. Moderate wear to spines, some old repairs to head and tail caps, a few labels with small chips or touched-up. Attractive, uniform Georgian leather bindings. Very good. Written in four discreet segments totalling six volumes between 1754 and 1762, Hume's great survey of English history stands alongside Gibbon's 'History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire' as one of the defining works of Enlightenment literature. Between 1754 and 1757 Hume published the 'modern' portion of his History, which was to become volumes V and VI of the finished series, printed on title page as "Vol.I" and "Vol.II". The remaining stock of the first volume, published in Edinburgh and entitled The History of Great Britain, was taken over in 1756 by the London publisher Millar, who then undertook the printing of the second volume and followed through covering the subsequent instalments. Hume's reverse procedure took him from the accounts of the times of James II back to Julius Caesar's England, and the project was completed in 1762. Item #59514
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