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CRUMPE, Samuel.

An Essay on the Best Means of Providing Employment for the People....

To which was adjudged the prize proposed by the Royal Irish Academy for the best dissertation on that subject.

Availability: In stock

Published: Dublin Printed by Bonham, published by Mercier & Co., 1793

Stock Code: 129099

OR On display in 100 Fulham Road


First edition, first issue (preceding the London reissue). Samuel Crumpe (1766-1796) was awarded membership of the Royal Irish Academy for the present work, an early treatise on the best means to reduce unemployment among the people of Ireland. Crumpe's analysis is heavily influenced by Adam Smith and Arthur Young. "Crumpe emerges from this essay as opinionated and authoritarian. His characters are stereotypically Irish, particularly the poor and disadvantaged, who are portrayed as idle, shifty, and mendacious, prone to pilfering and drunkenness, alternately servile and riotous" (ODNB). These views did nothing to deter his readers, and Malthus cited him favourably in his Essay on Population: "Mr. Crumpe's Prize Essay on the best means of finding employment for the people is an excellent treatise, and contains most valuable information; but till the capital of the country is better proportioned to its population, it is perfectly chimerical to expect success in any project of the kind. I am also strongly disposed to believe that the indolent and turbulent habits of the lower Irish can never be corrected, while its potato system enables them to increase so much beyond the regular demand for labour" (book iv, chapter xi, footnote 44).
Provenance: The Lawes Agricultural Library, with their stamp and shelfmarks to pastedowns. The library was assembled in the early 20th century by Sir John Russell, director of the Rothamsted agricultural research institution in Hertfordshire, and ranked as one of the finest English collections of agricultural material.

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Octavo (212 x 127 mm). Contemporary tree calf, spine ruled in gilt with red morocco label.


Half-title and final errata leaf present. Some insect damage to calf, spine chipped at foot, light wear around extremities, label peeling slightly, light creasing to some page corners, marginal wormhole to second half far from text; a very good copy in a very well preserved and attractive binding.


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