First authorised edition. Folio. Full panelled calf by Ramage, five raised bands, gilt decorated compartments, red morocco labels titled in gilt to the spine. Gilt borders and corner pieces to the upper and lower boards, marbled endpapers, gilt inner dentelles. Edges sprinkled red. Portrait frontispiece engraved by van der Gucht. Small ownership name of H. Martin in ink at the head of the title page, ink initials next to the title vignette, 19th century circular gilt book label of painter, publisher and collector William Twopeny to the front pastedown. A very good copy indeed, the binding firm with some skilled restoration of the joints, the contents toned in places and a little spotted throughout. A handsome example.
Intended by Defoe as the great defence of the revolution settlement of 1688 and "The poem to establish his reputation as an important poet. Jure divino is a philosophical verse essay in 12 books, running to 375 pages of heroic couplets. According to Defoe, he never published most of the part composed before his arrest for seditious libel in 1703 because he feared it would give dangerous offence; what has survived was mostly written in prison and was completed during the time of insecurity and distress immediately thereafter. Published in 1706 after delays during which he tried to secure more subscribers and waited out political situations that might have embroiled his poem in new and threatening controversy, it was immediately pirated by a former printer of Defoe's and even abridged into a chapbook; Defoe claimed that he lost �1500 because of the piracy" (ODNB).
Stock code: 15874