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Really rare and Out of Print Books for Sale

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Reading these books will cause you to lose your intellectual virginity.

Warning: Reading these books may cause you to lose your "intellectual virginity."

We have now proved that Thomas Paine was the author of the “Junius Letters.” Click here to see the proof for yourself.


Robertson, John M.


A History of Freethought in the Nineteenth Century (in 2 volumes)




G. P. Putnam's Sons




New York






3rd Edition, Illustrated






This is the very scarce 1930 Putnam edition of this classic of freethought [see above for info on earlier editions]. Pages xxxv + 635.

Quoted from the author's "Preface."

"THE present volume is a new work — a rewriting, with manifold expansion, of the short section on the Nineteenth Century at the close of `A Short History of Freethought' (3rd ed., 2 vols., 1915). As was explained in the second edition, the relatively scanty treatment of the century in which freethought had made its most extensive progress was partly due to the knowledge that the author's friend, the late Alfred W. Benn, had been long engaged on a comprehensive `History of English Rationalism in the Nineteenth Century.' In the case of the third edition, in which the nineteenth century section was expanded but still scanted, the
issue of Mr. Benn's valuable work (2 vols ., 1906 [see above for Benn's work]) was pointed to
as largely making good the deficiency."

"There had also operated, however, the further consideration, which may now be avowed, that the title of `Short History' had begun to seem dubiously applicable to a treatise which in its
third edition more than trebled the size of the first. That this (remediable) obstacle did not excuse a visibly imperfect historical performance, justly complained of as such by friendly critics, was fairly clear to the author at the time; and the possession of some degree of long-lacked leisure has latterly enabled him to make a measure of amends by this book. It will, it is hoped, ultimately form the concluding part of a revised `History of Freethought' that will renounce the vain pretension of the term `Short' — though, as the considerate student will probably admit, its procedure will inevitably remain concise, relatively to the vastness of
the theme."

"The reasons for this attempt at completion of an inadequately finished task can be shortly put. The original `Short History' sought to trace the rise and progress of freethought throughout the world; and though Mr. Benn was exceptionally well qualified to do that for the nineteenth century, he chose to restrict his survey, substantially, to English thought and literature. This volume seeks to cover, on a necessarily smaller scale, the foreign ground, in connection with a fresh survey of the English field covered in Mr. Benn's treatise."

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