Democracy in America (Original boards)
London: Saunders and Otley, 1835.
London: Saunders and Otley, 1835. First English language edition. A stunning copy of the first part of de Tocqueville's masterpiece of political commentary, complete as issued in two volumes. Publisher's original paper-covered boards with cloth spines and paper spine-labels. All original and completely devoid of any repair, restoration or other sophistication. Spines faded to tan with minor tears at the spine ends. Paper boards with corners bumped, some splitting to the paper. Inner hinges intact and all internal pages bright, clean and Fine, including the folding map in volume 2 with hand-colored boarders. Complete with both half-titles and final leaf of advertisements at the end of each volume. Translated by Henry Reeve in the same year as the original French edition, although the second part wouldn't be published in either language for five years. Rare in the publisher's boards, with the last copy at auction in 2003 and a handful of other copies before that, but always in inferior condition and usually lacking the folding map.
De Tocqueville, a French aristocrat, visited America between 1831 and 1832, ostensibly to study the penal system, although his interest was considerably broader. It seems logical that France, after embracing the goals of equality and democracy in 1789 at the start of the French Revolution, only to find itself a dictatorship under Napoleon, then one constitutional monarchy after another during the years following, would look to America as a beacon of hope that a democracy could be successful. De Tocqueville's astute observation of several aspects of American society and culture provides an invaluable lens of foreign perspective on our young nation's political growth. Near Fine (Item #1003)