Title: Histoire Philosophique et Politique des Deux Indes, 1781. Volumes 1-9
Author: Guillaume Thomas Raynal
A scarce and early edition of Raynal’s History of the Two Indias, originally published in 1770. A Jesuit priest and editor, Raynal spent a decade publishing this work on commerce between Europe and the Far East most notably China and India. In depth, this work examines the history of colonization and charges of the treatment of indigenous peoples of the East Indies and Americas.
This work became a great success and influential work in the revolutionary climate of the era, seeing multiple editions, revisions, and translations. However, due to his attacks on immigration, colonization, slavery, and imperialism in general, this work became widely criticized throughout Europe, especially France. With the publications of this 1781 second edition, which contained attacks on the Roman Catholic Church and arguably painted France in a negative light, Louis XVI referred the book to Parliament and the Church for censorship, leading to its banning in France. It was subsequently burned en masse by the public hangman, and Raynal was eventually declared a public enemy, being forced to flee the country to Prussia, where he spent most of his time in exile. He was eventually allowed to return, although he was no longer allowed to enter Paris.
Each volume begins with an engraved frontpiece, with volume one bearing a frontpiece of Raynal himself. This set is still present in the original publisher bindings. This set contains volumes 1-9. 10 is lacking, as is the folio atlas.
Nine volumes in octavo, 452+516+471+391+352+404+471+426+362 pages, with several tables present throughout.
On note of condition, these volumes are in good shape, with wear and minor chipping noted at the original bindings. The fold out tables have been moved to the end of each volume, where present. The glue to the boards of Volume Two has begun to somewhat come loose.