[MIRABEAU, Victor Riquetti, Marquis de.]
Theorie de l’impot.
First edition of a spirited and able attack upon the financial administration of France, and especially upon the “fermiers généraux”, whom Mirabeau regarded as parasites preying upon the vitals of the nation. The work highlights the problems and injustices of the French system of taxation, and added fuel to the fire of the coming revolution. The king disapproved of the work; Mirabeau was imprisoned on 16 December 1760, but through the efforts of Madame de Pompadour and others, was released on Christmas Eve, under orders to leave Paris for his estate at Bignon. The work proposes a reorganization of financial administrative machinery, the abolition of the “Fermes”, a reduction in the taxation upon salt, with the object of increasing the total yield, and a special tax upon tobacco farms. The domaine, the post, and the mint were to be further sources of revenue. The author ranks as one of the earliest important writers on taxation. Higgs notes that the book is “of real importance in the history of financial theory” (The Physiocrats, p. 57).
Quarto (257 x 192 mm). Contemporary sprinkled calf, spine ruled and decorated gilt in compartments, red morocco label, sprinkled edges. Additional engraved frontispiece portrait of the author. Spine ends and corners skilfully repaired. Manuscript note to title-page “par Mr Mirabeau père” with a short verse “helas dans le Siècle ou nous sommes / pour avoir dit la vérité / Mirabeau, cet ami des hommes |vient de perdre la liberté” in a neat calligraphic hand. Occasional light foxing. A very good copy.
Bibliography: Goldsmiths' 9836; Higgs 2881; INED 3204; Kress 6120.Don't understand our descriptions? Try reading our Glossary