Essays on the nature and principles of taste.
Edinburgh, “printed for Bell & Bradfute, and Archd. Constable & Co Edinburgh” (and for two London publishers) 1811.
8vo. 2 vols. (27 ex xxix, no half title leaf) + (1) + 376pp ; (4) + 447 + (1)pp. Contemporary quarter calf, marbled boards (with early nineteenth century gilt stamp of Birmingham Botanical and Horticultural Society Library at foot of spines, but no other library markings). In this copy the title leaf and contents list of the second volume are bound at the end of the first volume
The definitive edition of this major theoretical work of the Edinburgh enlightenment. First published in 1790, and here in an enlarged second edition with added “observations on the origin of the beauty and sublimity of the human countenance and form”, it discusses the nature of beauty and sublimity, with reference to painting, landscape and literature, and sets out Alison’s theory of “association”, by which ideas or perceptions are generated by associations prompted by observation.