[PENN, William]. ~ Some Fruits of Solitude, in Reflections and Maxims relating to the Conduct of Human Life. The second Edition. London: for Thomas Northcott, 1693.
12mo (121 × 70 mm), pp. [xvi], 134. Nineteenth century half morocco.
Second edition (appearing in the same year as the first) of one of the best-loved works of William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania. After Penn’s departure from Pennsylvania in 1684, he returned to England. At the time of the Glorious Revolution, and James II’s exile he faced charges of high treason and was forced to remain in seclusion for three years. During that time he wrote Some Fruits of Solitude, a collection of maxims on such subjects as marriage, family, friendship, religion, and the temptations of wealth. Licensed on May 24 1693, the aphorisms were published anonymously (to avoid the author’s reimprisonment for disloyalty) and epitomize the simple Quaker truths upon which the Republic would be based, distilling the essence of Penn’s spiritual idealism, combining it with practicality and common sense. Wing P1369; Smith, Descriptive Catalogue of Friends’ Books, II, p. 309.