3 December 2010
SMITH, Adam (1723-1790). An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. London: W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1776.
2 volumes, 4o (277 x 220 mm). A TALL COPY. Half-title in volume 2 only, as issued, leaf of publisher's advertisements in vol.2. (Q4 in Vol.1 with lower corner torn and repaired; both vols with light dampstains to corners and gutters at front, vol.2 with light dampstains to margins of pp.538 to end). Contemporary half calf and marbled paper boards, red and green gilt-lettered spine labels (a few discrete repairs to joints, minor chipping to extremities). Provenance: James Robertson, engraved armorial bookplates.
FIRST EDITION OF "THE FIRST AND GREATEST CLASSIC OF MODERN ECONOMIC THOUGHT" (PMM). In his Wealth of Nations, Smith "begins with the thought that labour is the source from which a nation derives what is necessary to it. The improvement of the division of labour is the measure of productivity and in it lies the human propensity to barter and exchange... The Wealth of Nations ends with a history of economic development, a definitive onslaught on the mercantile system, and some prophetic speculations on the limits of economic control" (PMM). Goldsmith 11392; Grolier English 57; Kress 7621; PMM 221; Rothschild 1897. (2)
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