Very Good. Item #5998
London: John Murray, 1804. Second Edition. Small Octavo; Vol. I xvi + 379pp + 4pp of publisher's prospectus; Vol. II 420pp; Vol. III vi + 322pp + 2pp of publisher's prospectuses. Each volume has an engraved portrait frontispiece (Moreau, Pichegru, and the Duc d'Enghien, respectively); the third also includes a tipped-in fold-out reproduction of an autograph letter from Méhée de La Touche. Stained calf with gilt foliage border on all panels, gilt-decorated board edges, and gilt stamping with rules and ornaments on spines. Blue stormont marbled endpapers.
Minor scuffing to all edges and spine crowns and feet, but gilt dentelles still visible. Small button-sized scrape on back panel of Vol. I. All joints and hinges solid. Closed tear on final blank page of Vol. II. Very faint foxing in all three volumes. Textblocks unmarred and unmarked.
Stewarton was a pro-Revolution agent of Napoleon before he was an anti-Revolution, anti-Napoleon polemicist. In covering the leading figures of the French Revolution and its aftermath—David, Talleyrand, all the Bonapartes, Louis XVIII, Murat, and some 20 others—our author was blunt. On Marie-Joseph Chenier (André’s brother): “Considering the public life of Chenier both in his literary and political career, it has been alike inconsistent, immoral, and atrocious.” The biography of Napoleon in Vol II is a Savonarolan screed against the French general and emperor. Three volumes of spirited, delicious invective mixed with some sycophantism but no clear political alignment.