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An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.
  • 96680

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SMITH, Adam.

An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.

With a Life of the Author, an Introductory Discourse, Notes, and Supplemental Dissertations by J. R. McCulloch.

Published: Edinburgh: for Adam Black and William Tait; and Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green, London, 1828

Stock code: 96680

Price: £1,875

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Based on the 1786 edition. “[T]he most well-known of the early nineteenth century English editions of Wealth of Nations because [John Ramsay] McCulloch was a distinguished political economist in his own right” (Tribe). In his Editorial Preface, McCulloch states that his own notes, of which the most important are collected in the final volume, are intended to “alert the reader to the fallacy of some principles advocated by Smith” while taking into consideration recent developments in academia and in legislation. The armorial bookplate is not that of noted Scottish physician Alexander Henderson, who lived in Edinburgh for a time, but rather a namesake who was employed as the Surveyor of Edinburgh Post Office. His inscription to the front free endpaper of volume one reads: “The Index to the [?] edition of this work (the same I presumed as that published in 1786 under A. Smith’s own eye) contains 2103 references. A. H.” The more modest bookplate above belongs to Robert Hoe, an American bibliophile who died in 1909.

4 volumes, octavo. Contemporary green half calf, comb-marbled boards, flat spines gilt-ruled in compartments, brown morocco labels, front and bottom edges untrimmed. Frontispiece, 2 plates, all with tissue guards. Laid-in issue of The Scots Times, dated February 23 1828 and containing a review of the present work. Two bookplate to front pastedown of each volume. Boards lightly scuffed and very slightly bowed, small tear to bottom of front joint on volumes one and three, volume four partly unopened, offsetting from frontispiece and plates to adjacent pages and from bookplates to front free endpapers of volumes two to four. An excellent set.

Bibliography: Tribe 139; Vanderblue, p. 15.

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