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Letters to Sir William Windham and Mr. Pope   By: (1678-1751)

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In his thought-provoking compilation, "Letters to Sir William Windham and Mr. Pope," Henry St. John Bolingbroke reveals himself to be a visionary writer whose insights transcend the boundaries of his time. Originally intended as correspondence with his close friends, Bolingbroke's letters collectively bear witness to his profound understanding of politics, philosophy, and human nature.

One striking aspect of this collection is its relevance to contemporary issues, despite being penned in the early 18th century. Bolingbroke delves into wide-ranging topics such as the balance of power, the pursuit of liberty, and the dangers of corrupt governance. His astute observations on political systems and their flaws demonstrate a remarkable foresight, almost as if he were speaking to modern readers directly. By contextualizing historical events and concepts, Bolingbroke encourages readers to reflect on the significance of his ideas within our own societal context.

Another aspect that elevates these letters is Bolingbroke's eloquent writing style. His prose is imbued with a certain depth and clarity that captivates the reader from the very first page. Each letter exhibits a level of intellectual acuity combined with masterful rhetorical flourishes, making for a truly enjoyable reading experience. Bolingbroke demonstrates his mastery of language, persuasively conveying complex ideas in a concise and engaging manner. This makes "Letters to Sir William Windham and Mr. Pope" a valuable resource not only for scholars but also for anyone interested in the interplay between politics and philosophy.

Furthermore, the epistolary nature of the book allows readers to glimpse into the personal relationship between Bolingbroke and his correspondents. The intimate tone of the letters offers insights into Bolingbroke's character, highlighting his deep affection for his friends and his unwavering commitment to truth and integrity. This human element adds a layer of authenticity to the ideas discussed, rendering the text more relatable and compelling.

However, it is worth noting that the collection assumes a certain level of familiarity with 18th-century history and political philosophy. Some readers may find themselves grappling with the intricacies of the era and the specific context in which the letters were written. Despite this, Bolingbroke's overarching message of the importance of liberty and the dangers of unchecked power remains universal and accessible to a broader audience.

In conclusion, "Letters to Sir William Windham and Mr. Pope" stands as a timeless gem in the realm of political philosophy. Bolingbroke's profound insights, coupled with his eloquent prose, offer lasting lessons for readers across the centuries. This anthology provides a fascinating glimpse into the mind of a brilliant thinker who effortlessly bridges the gap between philosophy and politics.

First Page:

This eBook was produced by Les Bowler, St. Ives, Dorset.


Contents Introduction By Henry Morley Letter To Sir William Windham Letter To Alexander Pope


Henry St. John, who became Viscount Bolingbroke in 1712, was born on the 1st of October, 1678, at the family manor of Battersea, then a country village. His grandfather, Sir Walter St. John, lived there with his wife Johanna, daughter to Cromwell's Chief Justice, Oliver St. John, in one home with the child's father, Henry St. John, who was married to the second daughter of Robert Rich, Earl of Warwick. The child's grandfather, a man of high character, lived to the age of eighty seven; and his father, more a man of what is miscalled pleasure, to the age of ninety. It was chiefly by his grandfather and grandmother that the education of young Henry St. John was cared for. Simon Patrick, afterwards Bishop of Ely, was for some years a chaplain in their home. By his grandfather and grandmother the child's religious education may have been too formally cared for. A passage in Bolingbroke's letter to Pope shows that he was required as a child to read works of a divine who "made a hundred and nineteen sermons on the hundred and nineteenth Psalm... Continue reading book >>

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