Our shops are open and we are processing online, telephone and email orders as normal

MAITLAND, James, eighth Earl of Lauderdale.

An Inquiry into the Nature and Origin of Public Wealth, and into the Means and Causes of its Increase.

Edinburgh: Arch. Constable and Co., 1804 Stock Code: 146719
Reserve Ask us a question

First edition. Lauderdale "has been hailed as a forerunner of Keynes, in as much as he argued that over-saving was a distinct possibility and that public spending was required to offset private thrift if stagnation was to be asserted" (Blaug). In the present work Lauderdale questioned Adam Smith's theory of the relationship between labour and value, maintaining that wealth was a compound of labour, land, and capital, and value was a compound of utility and scarcity. He argued that capital was capable of harnessing productive labour to make profits by meeting market demand, and that such profits resulted only when there were no legislative restraints on commerce and no burdens, such as Pitt's sinking fund to redeem the national debt. "Lauderdale's importance in the history of economics lies, not in his conclusions, but in the fact that he was the first in England to consider systematically the fundamental conceptions on which the science is based. In this respect alone he is in advance of Adam Smith" (Palgrave II, p. 574).

Confused? Read our glossary


Octavo (211 x 128 mm). Contemporary calf, rebacked with black morocco label, recornered.


With folding table at rear.


Bookseller's ticket and later 19th-century bookplate to front pastedown, 20th century ownership signature to front free endpaper. Lacking rear free endpaper, a few pencilled annotations to text, rubbing to extremities with faint ring stain to front cover, light foxing to initial and final leaves. A very good copy.


Einaudi 3628; Goldsmiths' 8801; Kress B.4816; McCulloch, pp. 15-16.


With the exception of framed items*, Peter Harrington offers free delivery on all UK orders of rare books, maps and prints placed through this website. Delivery to USA and the rest of the world is similarly free for orders over £200.

View Full Delivery Details



Established in 1969, Peter Harrington is one of the leading rare book firms in the world. It is a proud member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association – along with ILAB, the PBFA and Lapada – and from shops in Mayfair and Chelsea, London, sells rare books, prints and ephemera to customers across the world.

Email: mail@peterharrington.co.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7591 0220

ABA Antiquarian Bookseller Association ILAB International League of Antiquarian Booksellers LAPADA The Association of Art and Anatique Dealers PBFA Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association

Our Guarantee Page

Ask us a question


Contact us with details of the book you are interested in or selling and we will contact you

Sell Old Books Help me find a book