Thomas HOBBES of Malmesbury : Leviathan : Or, the Matter, Forme & Power of a Commonwealth, Ecclesiasticall and Civill

Publication Information : Book Title : Leviathan : Or, the Matter, Forme & Power of a Commonwealth, Ecclesiasticall and Civill. Contributors : Thomas Hobbes – author, A. R. Waller – editor. Publisher : Cambridge University Press. Place of Publication : Cambridge, England. Publication Year : 1904.


Copies of Leviathan dated 1651 may roughly be divided into two classes, the original folio issue of that year and later, inferior reprints. These last, though also dated 1651, can be identified by the coarser and lighter impressions of the engraved title page, by the lines on the handle of the sword in the right hand of the ‘Mortal God’ running diagonally instead of straight, by (in some copies) a misprint ( Ckooke for Crooke) in the imprint on the printed title page, and by many other small differences. Some of these differences were thus characterised by Whewell, in his lecture on Hobbes, Lectures on the History of Moral Philosophy in England, 1842, p. 21.

‘In the common editions, the face has a manifest resemblance to Cromwell (the work was published in 1651), although it wears, as I have said, a regal crown : and in these, the engraving is well executed and finished. But in the copy belonging to Trinity College Library, the face appears to be intended for Charles the First. The engraving of this copy is very much worse than the other, and is not worked into the same careful detail by the artist, although the outline is the same : and the text of the book is a separate and worse impression, although the errata are the same with the other copies, as well as the date. How Hobbes himself, or any other person, should come to print the Leviathan in this manner, I am quite unable to explain.’

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