Democracy and Liberty.
LECKY William Edward Hartpole (1891.)
£85.00 [First Edition]
Available to view at our Curzon Street shop.
First edition. Two volumes. 8vo. Original navy cloth, spine in lettered and ruled in gilt, boards panelled in blind, black coated endpapers (a few little white spots on one spine).
London, Longmans, Green, and Co.,
Tipped in at the first half-title is a brief ALS from Lecky to the printers Spottiswoode & Co, sending a page of proof which he forgot to return: 'It is the more important as there is a mistake'. With the bookplates of the industrialist and politician Sir Alfred Seale Haslam (1844-1927) to the front pastedown of both volumes.
Described by Russell Kirk as the 'most thorough manual of conservative politics produced during the nineteenth-century', Liberty and Democracy was written at the time of Lecky's election as Member of Parliament for Dublin University. It is a 'long discursive treatise' on the 'effect of democracy upon social and individual freedom', covering 'such issues as the tyranny of the majority and the possibility of the democratic despot, and it included interesting reflections on proportional representation and referendums as means by which to limit the dangers of democracy. It also encompassed an early acknowledgement of the potential incompatibility of democracy and capitalism, pointing up the irony that the middle-class liberals, in rejecting economic democracy, thereby rejected the means to make political democracy significant. … [U]nderpinning every chapter of Democracy and Liberty was Lecky's Burkean sense that the duty of parliament was primarily to represent the interests of property' (ODNB).
Stock Code: 228415