The Earl of Chesterfield's Letters… to his Son contain eighteenth-century guidelines for gentlemanly behavior and proper manners. Written by Philip Dormer Stanhope to his illegitimate son and published posthumously, these missives stress the values of the age and teach the art of graceful living. These were likely of interest to Washington because he valued these qualities and acted as a guardian and mentor to the gentlemen of his household who served as aides and secretaries. Washington purchased this four-volume set, the first American edition, while presiding over the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia on September 5, 1787.
For George Washington's other volumes from this series, see ML-236-W/A, ML-236-W/B, and ML-236-W/C.
Volume four of a set of four volumes. Original leather sheepskin binding, duodecimo (twelvemo) size. The spine has embossed gilding and contains the book's title embossed with gilt on a red ground: CHEST: / LETTER. Just below the title, the spine contains the volume number embossed with gilt: 4. Signed by George Washington on the half-title page. George Washington's bookplate inside the front cover. All four volumes are stored together inside a custom made book box, which is brown with the title embossed on it in gilt. The Earl of Chesterfield's LETTERS…TO HIS SON are fashionable books of manners comprised of letters instructing his son in gentlemanly behavior.
The full title of this volume is LETTERS WRITTEN BY THE LATE RIGHT HONOURABLE PHILIP DORMER STANHOPE, EARL OF CHESTERFIELD, TO HIS SON, PHILIP STANHOPE, ESQ.: LATE ENVOY EXTRAORDINARY AT THE COURT OF DRESDEN; TOGETHER WITH SEVERAL OTHER PIECES ON VARIOUS SUBJECTS: PUBLISHED BY MRS. EUGENIA STANHOPE, FROM THE ORIGINALS NOW IN HER POSESSION: IN FOUR VOLUMES: THE THIRD EDITION., VOL. IV.
Size: 12 mo.
Note: The 1979 Christie's catalogue and all of MVLA's paperwork and catalogue cards describe the size as 12 mo. However, the Athenaeum catalogue and the 1876 auction catalogue describe the books as 16 mo. Washington's Inventory described it as 8 vo.
Leather, gilt, ink, laid paper
Overall: 7 in. x 4 3/16 in. x 7/8 in. (17.78 cm x 10.64 cm x 2.22 cm)
Half-title page, top right, in brown ink: Go:Washington
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