London: Kegan Paul, Trench, 1889.
Three Quarters Leather. First European Edition. First European Edition of The Diary and Letters of Gouverneur Morris, edited by Anne Cary Morris, complete in two volumes. Preceded by the Scribner edition the previous year. Portrait frontispiece at the start of each volume. Gouverneur Morris was a Founding Father, and signatory of the Articles of Confederation and United States Constitution. Author of the Preamble to the United States Constitution, Morris witnesses in his diary and letters the birth of the United States. After being appointed Minister to France in 1789, he then chronicles the turbulent early periods of the French Revolution until his return in 1798. This encompasses nearly the entirety of the French Revolution, from the end of the Ancien Regime, the Constitutional Monarchy, the National Convention, to The Directory, and has become a cornerstone of the primary source material for the time. The DAB states that “it was doubtless the French strain in Morris’ blood that lent to his conversation and his writings the charming combination of graceful manner, pervasive humor, and cynical philosophical detachment which contrasts so noticeably with the rather ponderous and prosaic rectitude of most of his revolutionary associates” (DAB 209), making him both a fantastic primary source and enjoyable read at that. “The voluminous diary which he kept during these years, supplemented by a diligent correspondence with Washington, Jay, Hamilton, Livingston, King, and other friends at home, furnishes a mine of information and shrewd comment on the men and measures of the Revolution” (DAB 211). Signed binding by L. Broca. Three quarters red morocco over patterned paper boards, with gilt rules, devices, and lettering on the spine. Top edges gilt. (DAB XIII, 209-212.).
Near Fine binding.