New York, Park Avenue
8 November 1996
[MALTHUS, THOMAS ROBERT]. An Essay on the Principle of Population, as it affects the Future Improvement of Society. With Remarks on the Speculations of Mr. Godwin, M. Condorcet, and other writers. London: Printed for J. Johnson 1798. 8vo, 211 x 129 mm. (8 5/16 x 5 1/16 in.), contemporary half calf and marbled boards, flat spine with double gilt fillets and red morocco gilt-lettered label, upper and lower joints both with 3-inch crack at top, head of spine and one corner worn, small stain on D1 and inner joint slightly cracked at the same place, occasional minor foxing, pencil note on p. 73 reinforced with ink. FIRST EDITION, blue-tinted paper, errata on verso of A8, Q8 cancelled. Goldsmith 17268; Kress B-3693; McCulloch 259; PMM 251.
"Malthus...was one of the founders of modern economics....The central idea of the essay -- and the hub of Malthusian theory -- was a simple one. The population of a community, Malthus suggested, increases geometrically, while food supplies increase only arithmetically....Malthus recognized two other possible checks to population expansion: first 'vice' -- that is homosexuality, prostitution and abortion...and second 'moral restraint' -- the voluntary limitation of the production of children by the postponement of marriage"--Printing and the Mind of Man.
Provenance: "Earith Book Club. No. 137", neat ink inscription on title-page -- a few contemporary pencilled notes, trimmed by the binder.
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