Boulainvilliers, Henri de

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Boulainvilliers, Henri de
État de la France, dans lequel on voit tout ce qui regarde le gouvernement ecclésiastique, le militaire, la justice, les finances, le commerce, les manufactures, le nombre des habitans, & en général tout ce qui peut faire connoître à fond cette monarchie. London, T. Wood & S. Palmer then W. Roberts &
J. Brindley (vol. III), 1727-1728. 3 volumes in-folio (339 x 220 mm) of 4 ff.n.c., 14, XXVII pp., 1 f.n.c., 182 pp., 1 f.n.c., 387 pp., 2 ff.n.c., 1 large folding engraved map for volume I; 1 f.n.c., 581 pp. (pagination omitted between 503-504 as on the copy digitised on Gallica), 2 ff.n.c. for volume II ; 3 ff.n.c., 590, 38 pp. for volume III. Speckled calf, central coat of arms of the duke of La Rochefoucauld-Liancourt (OHR 647), spine ribbed and decorated, red edges (period binding).
ESTC, T129566; INED, 713; Goldsmiths', 6496; Kress, 3677.
First edition.
Boulainvilliers' work, an administrative survey of France, provides an essential account of the political and social structure of the Ancien Régime. As in his other historical works, published in the years following his death in 1722, Boulainvilliers strongly supported the rights of the parliaments and the nobility against the absolutism of the king, political views that were controversial throughout his life. The frankness with which he exposed the causes of France's financial distress meant that his Works were often banned, and most were not published until after his death, as here. His work has recently been re-evaluated as an early work of French nationalism, emphasizing the nation rather than the kingdom, and depicting an ancient and inalienable Frankish constitution that Bourbon absolutism was undermining (see Bell, The Cult of the Nation in France, pp. 57-59).
A good copy complete with the large map of France by Anville.
Small worm gallery to volumes II and III affecting some letters; spine and corners expertly restored.
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