Ueber den Ursprung und Charakter des Krieges gegen die französische Revoluzion. Friedrich von GENTZ.

“Indisputably One of Gentz’s Best Works”–A.D.B.

Ueber den Ursprung und Charakter des Krieges gegen die französische Revoluzion.

1 p.l., 333 pp. 8vo, cont. marbled half-calf & marbled boards (corners slightly rounded), spine ornately gilt, red morocco lettering-piece on spine. Berlin: H. Frölich, 1801.

First edition and an attractive copy of this important conservative analysis of the French Revolution and the resulting disruptions throughout Europe. Gentz (1764-1832), a prolific author and zealous critic of the Revolution and Napoleon, studied under Kant in Königsberg. During his years as a lower-level government official in Berlin, he wrote several essays and books to great acclaim, including a very successful translation of Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France. Aware of his significant influence, the British even paid Gentz for works antagonistic to the French cause or laudatory of Britain’s political and economic systems. Following his divorce and move to Vienna, he met and collaborated with Klemens von Metternich, and together they crafted the underpinnings of modern European conservatism, beginning with the Congress of Vienna, where Gentz served as secretary of the Austrian delegation.

In this work “Gentz’s whole conception of the Revolution had developed in a direction that was strikingly similar to that of Burke. Like the latter, Gentz began by considering the Revolution purely as an internal, constitutional phenomenon. Like Burke, he came to condemn it utterly, in this guise, as a species of corruption of the human spirit. More precisely, the Revolution came to signify to Gentz the eruption of the wildest form of anarchy and chaos into social life, the making absolute of that which was necessarily and inherently limited, namely personal freedom.”–Murray Forsyth, “The Old European States-System: Gentz versus Hauterive,” The Historical Journal, Vol. 23, No. 3 (Sept. 1980), p. 524.

A fine copy of a pivotal work in the development of European conservative thought.

❧ A.D.B., Vol. 8, p. 577-93. N.B.G., Vol. 19, cols. 953-57.

Price: $2,500.00

Item ID: 6282