History of the Great French Revolution: A course of six lectures (delivered at South Place, Finsbury); A second course of lectures (delivered at the Hall of Science, London); A third course of lectures (delivered at the Hall of Science, London)
Third Edition, a later impression (suggested by catalogue). Three volumes in one, each with a separate title page, but continuous pagination. 8vo, pp. 286, viii index to rear, 28 catalogue (dated June 1886). Rust cloth, spine lettered and ruled in gilt, gilt ruling and Freethought’s device to upper board (the letters A and C intertwined, over which a honey bee hovers, encircled by a belt). Yellow endpapers. Pushing and wear to spine ends, small chip to lower joint, a little light staining. Edges toned, first and last pages tanned, last few pages creased and a little dusty, else, clean and bright. A very good copy of Besant’s successful lecture series, comprising 14 lectures. Jisc LHD lists 3 holdings for the third edition (UoLeicester, NLW/LGC and Senate House Library).
Annie Besant (1847-1933) was a prominent British socialist, theosophist and campaigner for women’s rights and Irish and Indian self-rule. A brilliant orator – with “the voice of a beautiful soul,” according to Beatrice Webb – and prolific author, Besant’s fire and focus shifted across her lifetime as she took on different struggles and met significant figures, such as George Bernard Shaw and Madame Blavatsky. An important early collaborator and friend was Charles Bradlaugh, with whom Besant founded the Freethought Publishing Company in early 1877, claiming: “All that we publish we shall defend” (ODNB). In its first year, they published, and were forced to defend, Charles Knowlton’s treatise on birth control Fruits of Philosophy against the charge of obscenity. Besant conducted her own defence and although both were found guilty, the case was eventually thrown out on a technicality, but with devastating personal consequence to Besant, who lost custody of her daughter, Mabel.
Author BESANT, Annie
Publisher London: Printed by Annie Besant and Charles Bradlaugh for the Freethought Publishing Company
Condition Very good