30 April 2008
PETTY, William (1623-1687). The Political Anatomy of Ireland. London: D. Brown and W. Rogers, 1691.
8° (174 x 110mm). Title within double rule. (Some browning.) Contempoary dark brown morocco, gilt-panelled covers with floral corner-pieces, spine gilt in compartments with red morocco lettering-piece, comb-marbled endpapers, gilt edges (a little rubbed and chipped). Provenance: Francis Ferrand Foljambe (stamp on title) -- 'Belongs to library at Shireoaks' (inscription on front blank).
FIRST EDITION of this 'wide survey of Irish institutions and government with much statistical evidence', written in 1671 after Petty's second long stay in Ireland, and subsequently published by Nahum Tate. It concludes with Verbum sapienti, a short treatise on the wealth of the nation and its capacity to pay taxes, bearing no special relation to Ireland and probably written no later than 1667. Nahum Tate, who signs the dedication to the second Duke of Ormonde, appears to have relied on the manuscript which Petty gave to his friend, Sir Robert Southwell. Goldsmiths' 2868; Keynes 37; Wing P-1931.
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