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EDEN, Sir Frederick Morton (1766-1809). The State of the Poor: or, an history of the labouring classes in England from the conquest to the present period. London: J. Davis for B. & J. White [et al], 1797.
3 volumes, 4o (279 x 219 mm). (Some light foxing on some preliminaries.) Original dark gray boards, UNOPENED AND UNCUT (spines rebacked, some wear to corners and edges).
FIRST EDITION OF THE FOUNDATION WORK OF SOCIOLOGY. relying on the earliest use of systematic statistical field study. "The State of the Poor is one of the classical works in the history of economics ... the first [volume] contained a description of the condition of the labouring classes and an analysis of its classes; the other two supporting facts in the form of parochial reports on the administration of workhouses and houses of industry, friendly societies, and other charitable organizations, with a lengthy series of appendixes, including tables of prices and wages and a list of works on poverty and its alleviation" (PMM). The greatest value of the work is the method he adopted of obtaining and systemizing the details of such a widespread problem--the earliest use of systematic statistical field study. PMM 249; Norman 677. (3)
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