Claude Adrien Helvetius. De l'Esprit. First edition, 4to, pp.xxii, 643, , 26cm, A Paris: Chez Durand, Libraire, Rue Du Foin, 1758.
Half-title, large woodcut floral ornament by Papillon on title. Some light spotting and staining, some scattered wormholes towards the end. Finely and newly bound by the Wyvern Bindery in quarter morocco with five raised bands and marbled paper-covered sides, spine titled in gilt and gilt extra. Bookplate of J.S.L. Gilmour. "Burnt by Order" (later pencil inscription on front free endpaper). A very good bright copy.
The author's most controversial book: His militant utilitarianism, vilified by the Sorbonne, Louis, Dauphin de France and the Pope, led to copies being burnt by the public executioner. The author later retracted many of the book's basic tenets.