London: Chapman and Hall, 1843. First edition. Hardcover. Octavo (8 x 4 3/4"). VI, , 399, pp. Contemporary gilt-stamped full vellum, with gold lettering to spine. Marbled endpapers. Ribbon marker.
Composed in only seven weeks as a 'respite' from the harassing labor of writing "Cromwell," Thomas Carlyle's "Past and Present" was written as a response to the economic crisis of the 1840s, with its closure of factories, loss of jobs, the growth of slums in industrial centers, and the starving poor.
The work aimed to lead readers toward a "conversion experience" in order to stimulate social reform. In "Past and Present," the author provides a trenchant articulation of the political, social, religious, and economic climate of the mid-nineteenth century and a prophetic vision of the future.
Binding sunned along spine and edges. Previous owners' armorial bookplates on inside of front cover ( John Eliot Pringle) and front free endpaper (Henry Ernest Crawley). Minor and sporadic foxing to very first and very last leaves. Slight age-toning along paper margin. Binding in overall good- to good, interior in good+ to very good condition. g- to vg. Item #41504