Walter Bagehot

The English Constitution 1867 First edition

One of the most important texts in political literature. Queen Victoria’s daughter's copy

The English Constitution.

London, Chapman Hall 1867

Octavo, 7.4 x 4.6 ins, contemporary calf, double gilt fillets to covers, spine with five raised bands richly gilt with fleurs de lys in compartments, contemporary red morocco label lettered gilt,marbled endpapers, leaf edges marbled, pp.viii + 348 with the half title, engraved armorial bookplate of Princess Louise, Marchioness of Lorne with entwined L’s with coronets, a fine copy.

Provenance: Princess Louise [1848-1939] sixth child and fourth daughter of Queen Victoria. Between 1866 and 1871 she served as an unofficial secretary to her mother, the Queen. She married the Marquess of Lorne [later Duke of Argyll] in 1871.

Printing and the Mind of Man 358.

First edition of the classic account of the unwritten constitution. Bagehot gets rid of all the formal history of ‘checks and balances’, and shows where the centre of power really is; and why the House of Commons is so much more powerful than other representative assemblies. A brilliant writer, he was completely independent in the formation and expression of his views. Translated into many languages, this work has become one of the most important texts in political literature.


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