The Unpublished Letters of Henry St John, First Viscount Bolingbroke

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-01-01
  • Publisher: Routledge

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Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke (1678-1751) enjoyed varied political and literary careers. He was the friend and correspondent of leading politicians and writers from across the political and religious spectrum, corresponding with the Duke of Marlborough, Robert Harley, Sir William Wyndham, William Pulteney, Alexander Pope (who dedicated his celebrated "Essay on Man" to Bolingbroke), Jonathan Swift, and Voltaire. Bolingbroke first came to prominence as a Tory minister under Queen Anne. As Secretary of State, he was a principal author of the "Treaty of Utrecht". However, in 1715 he was exposed in secret negotiations with the Jacobites for the restoration of the Old Pretender, James Francis Edward Stuart. He fled to France and was attainted of high treason by an Act of Parliament. Although he was pardoned by George I in 1723, he was still excluded from the House of Lords and the wider English political establishment.He launched a sustained but ultimately unsuccessful opposition campaign against Sir Robert Walpole in the press. Bolingbroke's views on the separation of powers to limit the power of government provided an important influence on Montesquieu's De L'esprit Des Lois (1748). His "Remarks on the History of England" (1730-31), "Dissertation Upon Parties" (1733A-4), and "Idea of a Patriot King" (1738), became required reading for American colonists and were also influential with British radicals and French Revolutionaries. This five-volume reset edition draws together Bolingbroke's unpublished letters, now scattered in public and private archives around the world. New editorial apparatus includes a general introduction, headnotes, biographical index and a consolidated index in the final volume. This edition will appeal to historians and literary scholars working in the eighteenth century.

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