Small octavo, original blue paper covers, worn and dust stained, spine frayed, stitched as issued, engraved portrait of David Hume by T.Cook, half title + pp.iv + 62pp, duststained, uncut, ownership in ink on the recto of plate Robert Barclay, Capilrig.
Provenance: Robert Barclay [died 1783], purchased the estate of Capelrig, in Newton Mearns, Renfrewshire in 1765 from the baron of the Scottish Exchequer William Mure of Caldwell, who David Hume described as the oldest and best friend I had in the world. Robert Barclay, whose mentor was William Mure, gave him a lucrative post as a tax collector, becoming Deputy Admiral of the Clyde. He was a lawyer in the Glasgow firm of Barclay & Grahame. He corresponded with with David Hume’s physician and friend Dr William Cullen 1783 concerning his health
Todd edition A with correct reading ‘myself’ on line 3, p.29. Vanderblue,p.46. Jessop, p.6, p.39. Kress B47. Goldsmith 11936. Rothschild Library 1179. Chuo,no.83. see Mossner ‘Life..’ pp.604-605.
First edition, First Issue of David Hume’s autobiography. A remarkable copy in the original blue paper covers. Described by Jessop ‘as one of the shortest autobiographies written by famous men’. Published after his death and including from pp.37-62 Adam Smith’s famous Letter from Adam Smith, LL.D. to William Strahan, Esq. in which he writes:
It is with real, though very melancholy pleasure, That I sit down to give you some account of the behaviour of our late excellent friend, Mr Hume, during his last illness.
In May 1776 Hume had written to Adam Smith “You will find among my Papers a very in-offensive Piece, called My own Life, which I composed a few days before I left Edinburgh, when I thought, as did all my Friends, that my Life was despaired of. There can be no Ob-jection. that this small piece shoud be sent to Messrs Strahan and Cadell and the Proprietors of my other Works to be pre-fixed to any future Edition of them."