'Liberty is dead!' — Political Tract by Shelley
"We Pity the Plumage, but Forget the Dying Bird." An Address to the People on the Death of Princess Charlotte. By The Hermit of Marlow.
[London: Reprinted for Thomas Rodd, Great Newport Street (Compton & Ritchie, Printers, Middle Street, Cloth Fair), c. 1843].
First edition. 16 pp. 1 vols. 8vo. 'Liberty is dead!' — Political Tract by Shelley. Sewn as issued. In half blue morocco slipcase and chemise. Fine Ashley V, p. 64; Granniss Shelley, pp. 43-44; Wise Shelley, p. 46. Item #245808
According to Wise: "In 1843, when advertising the present pamphlet for sale, Rodd asserted that it was a facsimile reprint of an alleged original edition of which the author had printed twenty copies in 1816. No example of this mysterious original has ever been unearthed; no trace of it beyond Rodd's own statement has ever been discovered; and no mention of any kind either of its printing or distribution is to be found in the correspondence of Shelley or any of his friends. My own opinion is that no original ever existed, that the private impression of twenty copies was a myth, and that Rodd's so-called facsimile reprint of 1843 is in fact the actual princeps of the Address."
Political essay arguing that the death of Princess Charlotte in childbirth was "a private grief," while the execution of three weavers for high treason in Derbyshire was a national tragedy.
“The execution of Brandreth, Ludlam, and Turner is an event of quite a different character from the death of Princess Charlotte ... It is a national calamity that we endure men to rule over us, who sanction for whatever ends a conspiracy which is to arrive at its purpose through such a frightful pouring forth of human blood and agony ... Liberty is dead!”
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