London: The Nonesuch Press, 1938. Limited Edition, #317 of 800 sets. Full calf. Octavos. xxviii, 415 and viii, 389 pages. Near fine. Full leather over boards with gilt-stamped spine title labels, five raised bands, top edges gilt. Slight darkening to spines. Housed in original slipcase which has modest wear along extremities.
Rousseau's "Confessions" is notable as one of the first major autobiographies ever written. Unlike other early autobiographies which focused on religious experiences, Rousseau shares his worldly experiences and personal feelings, and even some humiliating and shameful moments.
Rousseau coined the phrase translated as "Let them eat cake," in an incident described herein involving a great princess. This phrase has since become associated with Marie Antoinette, though there is no evidence that she ever uttered it.
The text is from the anonymous English version first published in 1783 and 1790, here revised and completed by A. S. B. Glover, with an Introduction by Havelock Ellis. Excellent typography designed by Francis Meynell, with wood-engraved ornaments by Reynolds Stone. A beautiful set.