MARX, Karl.

Capital: A Critical Analysis of Capitalist Production.

Translated from the third German edition, by Samuel Moore and Edward Aveling and edited by Frederick Engels.

London: Swan Sonnenschein, Lowrey, & Co., 1887 Stock Code: 142462
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In the original cloth

First edition in English of Das Kapital, first issue, one of 500 copies printed; a remarkably well-preserved copy of a work rarely found without extensive repair. All subsequent English editions were based on this "authorized edition": it remained the standard text for the English-speaking public, and continued to be revised and republished until the 1950s.
Samuel Moore, a lawyer and translator active in the Manchester IWMA, was engaged by Engels to provide an English translation of Kapital, which, as a close friend of both Marx and Engels, he had studied since its publication. Moore was joined in this project by Edward Aveling in 1884, the same year that Aveling began his relationship with Marx's daughter, Eleanor. Using the text of the third German edition of book I, Moore and Aveling's translation took into account the substantial changes which Marx made for the French translation, published in livraisons between September 1872 and November 1875. Although book II of Kapital had already been published in 1885, Engels explained the reasoning behind translating just the first book in his preface to the present edition, saying that a translation of it without book III would be incomplete. The German edition of book III did not appear until 1894.
Moore and Aveling's translation was published, with Engels's approval, in January 1887. Draper notes that by early March "the first edition of the English translation has sold all but about 50 copies, almost half in America; a second printing is in preparation" (Register 1887/18). Sraffa notes that "a reprint was issued in the same year, recognisable because it does not have the half title to vol. II, and has no imprint on p. 800", and a cheaper single-volume stereotype edition was printed in 500 copies in April. The English translations of book II and III followed in 1907 and 1909 respectively.

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2 volumes, octavo. Original dark red cloth, spines ruled and lettered in gilt, covers panelled in blind, dark brown coated endpapers.


Continuously paginated between volumes. Engraved publisher's device to title pages.


Contemporary ownership signatures of Thomas Jones dated 1889 to half-title and title page of vols. 1 and 2 respectively. A copy especially notable for the cloth's unrestored state; spines faded, their lower halves flecked, ends worn with some resulting loss to head of vol. 1, extremities a little rubbed and a few small marks to covers, the hinges strong. Contents generally bright and clean excepting the occasional mark or faint crease, first and last leaves of both vols. lightly foxed, vol. 1 pp. 6-7 browned at gutter from book marker or paper slip sometime laid in, tiny closed tear to lower left corner of vol. 1 front pastedown. In very good condition.


Die Erstdrucke der Werke von Marx und Engels, p. 33; Draper M129 & ST/M5; Rubel 633; Sraffa 3873.


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