London: Printed for J. Morphew near Stationers-Hall, 1717.
Original Sewn Wrappers. First Edition. One of Defoe’s infamous pamphlets, published under his second period of employment by the British government as a literary fifth columnist. Defoe would publish political or current event pamphlets, either anonymously or posing as a Whig, Tory, Jacobite, whom he said “my very soul abhors” (DNB 738), or even a repentant double agent, all while writing revolutionary works that lacked their bite, incendiary news which proved incorrect, or polemical pieces with unsound arguments. In short, he worked a a pamphleteering agent of chaos, all in the service of the government, pacifying their erstwhile opponents. Defoe was seen as a renegade, traitor, and spy by a number of his contemporaries: “the little art he is truly a master of, of forging a story and imposing it on the world.” (DNB 737). Mercurius Politicus was published in the years shortly before his fantastical Robinson Crusoe. The periodical ran from May 1716 to December 1720. This being the April, 1717 issue. With “An Account of the Spaniards taking Twelve English Ships in the Bay of Campechy [sic], never printed before,” as well as new appointments for the Bank and the East-India Company, and updates on the Jacobite situation in Scotland. Sewn pamphlet, lacking original paper wrappers. 211-273 pp. An ex-library copy, with a punch-stamp, dampstain, and writing on the title page, not affecting the text; library stamp on the verso of the title page. (ESTC P2105. DNB V, 737-738).