Paris: The English Press, 1793. Fifth edition, corrected. Hardcover. Octavo (8 x 5"). , 304pp. Original full calf, with gold lettering and ruling to spine.
Written by Joel Barlow (1754-1812), an American poet, diplomat and politician who supported the French Revolution and was an ardent Jeffersonian, "Vision of Colombus" opens with Columbus in prison at the end of his life and relays his vision for a New World founded, somewhat controversially, upon its indigenous inheritance. According to Cecelia Tichi, Barlow’s major writings mythologize America as a “nation destined to begin a global epoch of transcendent peace and progress.” For this ambitious plan, Barlow’s use of the epic style and heroic couplet to narrate America’s founding seems particularly appropriate. "The Vision of Columbus" was published in nine books with over 5,000 lines of heroic couplets. It was successfully received upon its original publication in 1787, and Barlow enjoyed immediate celebrity.
Originally published in London in February 1792, "The Conspiracy of Kings" is very much a work of its time, the first months of the constitutional monarchy in France. Louis XVI and the new Legislative Assembly began their uneasy relationship in October 1792. Outside France, exiled members of the nobility campaigned to persuade the sovereigns of Europe to intervene and restore them to their privileges. On the other side, friends of the French Revolution sought to discourage intervention and to discredit the principles of legitimacy and social hierarchy that supported the old order.
Binding rubbed along edges and joints. Engraved frontispiece portrait of the author missing. Upper margin of title page neatly cut. Sporadic and moderate foxing throughout. Binding in overall good, interior in good+ condition. g to g+. Item #42235