TOCQUEVILLE, Alexis de (1805-1859) - [Henry REEVE, translator]
Democracy in America ... translated by Henry Reeve, Esq. Edited, with notes, the translation revised and in great part Rewritten, and the Additions made to the recent Paris editions now first translated, by Francis Bowen ...
Cambridge: Sever and Francis, 1864. 2 vols, 4to. (9 5/8 x 6 3/8 inches). xxiii, , 559; xiv, 499pp.
Purple cloth, paper labels to spine. Uncut. Housed within brick red slipcases and cloth chemises.
Large paper, limited edition of Tocqueville's famous classic Democracy in America: one of the most influential works of the 19th century.
From the time of its first publication, Democracy in America enjoyed the reputation of being the most acute and perceptive discussion of the political and social life of the United States ever published. The origins of the book lie in the observations Alexis de Tocqueville made during a nine month tour of the United States starting in the spring of 1831. He was accompanied by his friend and fellow student, Gustave de Beaumont, and their original goal was to study the penitentiary system of the United States. After visiting prisons in the East, they undertook a tour of the South as far as New Orleans, ascended the Mississippi, visited the Great Lakes and Canada, and returned via New York. After writing their report on prisons, Tocqueville worked on the first part of Democracy in America in 1833-1834, publishing it in Paris in an edition of less than 500 copies in 1835. The book was an instant and sustained success and numerous editions, many with revisions, followed quickly. The second part was equally as successful and the book remained in print throughout the 19th century. The present copy is a fine Civil War-era set of the fourth edition of this classic work and rare in this large format edition of 100.