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Wollstonecraft, trans) Necker, Jacques.

Of the Importance of Religious Opinions.


First Edition
(Wollstonecraft, Mary, trans.) Of the Importance of Religious Opinions. Translated from the French of Mr. Necker. London: J. Johnson, 1788.
8vo.; bookplate and signature of William Middleton, Esq, of Crowfield Hall, Suffolk, on the front pastedown, offset onto the front endpaper; marbled paper-covered boards, leather spine and tips, stamped in gilt. In a specially made quarter-morocco slipcase.
First edition of Wollstonecraft's translation of Necker's De l'importance des opinions religieuses. She notes in an "advertisement" following the title page, "In rendering this work into English some liberties have been taken by the translator, which seemed necessary to preserve the spirit of the original." In 18 chapters spanning over 450 pages, Necker explores the relationship between religion and society, tackling subjects such as law, government, personal and public opinion, and philosophy, and a number of "objections." The role of religion and virtue in creating and maintaining happiness gets two chapters; "that there is a God" gets three; chapter 17 is titled, "Reflections on the Morality of the Christian Religion," and the final chapter is his "Conclusion." Windle B1a; CBEL II 1255.
After the close of the text, Necker adds an additional leaf:
I was engrossed by the last cares which the publication of this book occasioned, when M. de Calonne's Second Memorial made its appearance. I have read it; and I here publicly engage to answer this new attack, and fully to support the credit which is justly due to the account I presented to the King in 1781.

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