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LE TROSNE, Guillaume-Francois.

De l’administration provinciale, et de la réforme de l’impôt.

[Bound with:] Manière de simplifier la plan proposé. Addition à placer à la fin de l'ouvrage intitulé, De l'administration provinciale et de la réforme de l'impôt.

Published: Basle: [no printer,] 1779

Stock code: 83936

Price: £7,500

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First edition, very rare, especially complete with the additional 24 page note. A French lawyer and economist, Le Trosne studied natural law philosophy with Pothier, planning to become a magistrate. He joined the Physiocrats in 1764 by publishing a book defending the free trade in grain and articles in the Ephémérides du citoyen and other journals, followed by De l’ordre social in 1777. In 1775, the growing difficulties of solving the problem of taxation, along with the decreasing revenues of the government drew public attention to the project which Mirabeau had been advocating as early as 1750. The Académie of Toulouse invited written solutions to this problem, of which this was one of the essays submitted. The work is an important source of information on the organisation of society before 1789. “A ponderous tome, scientific in tone, which, from the point of view of the financier, had the advantage of appearing four years before the work of Necker on the administration of the financial affairs of France; and from the point of view of the politician, of appearing ten years before the celebrated night of 5th August 1789” (A. Courtois in Palgrave). Le Trosne omitted to take into consideration the requirements of the clergy and the work was outlawed in 1780, the year of his death, which may explain its rarity. A two-volume octavo edition followed in 1788. From the celebrated library of the Ducs de Luynes, with the Dampierre bookplate.

Quarto (256 x 195 mm). Contemporary mottled calf, triple line gilt rule border to covers, spine decorated gilt, red morocco label, red edges, marbled endpapers, green silk ribbon marker. Dampierre bookplate to front pastedown. Closed tear to the 12 leaves of the “Manière de simplifier le plan proposé” skilfully repaired, affecting one or two characters only; an excellent copy in a splendid contemporary binding.

Bibliography: Kress S. 4942; Mattioli 1964.

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