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NECKER, Jacques.

De l'administration des finances de la France.

Paris: n.p., 1784 Stock Code: 109029
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First edition, described by the great Scottish political economist John Ramsay McCulloch as "the only authentic account of the finances of France previously to the Revolution. Owing to the popularity of its author, and the peculiar circumstances of the country at the time when it was published, the Revolution having all but commenced, the demand for the work was so very great that 80,000 were sold in the course of a few days!" (The Literature of Political Economy: a Classified Catalogue, 1845, p. 347). For this reason there were many print runs of the first edition and it is, bibliographically, a difficult book to get to grips with. However, as this set has the correct number of errata listed in each volume (as called for in the scarce first issue) this indicates that it is at least an early issue. In 1776 Necker was appointed finance minister of Louis XVI, where he proved to be a popular and capable reformer. However enemies at court, led by Marie-Antoinette, plotted his dismissal in 1781, and Necker subsequently wrote this, his most influential and important work, before being reinstated as finance minister in 1788. A lovely set.

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3 volumes, octavo (195 x 115 mm). Contemporary speckled calf, gilt banded spines, red morocco labels, yellow edges.


Vol. I with a folding table, errata on p. vii with 12 points listed (p. 266 mispaginated); vol. II errata on p. vii with 10 points listed; vol. III errata on p. viii with 8 points listed, (p. 255 not mispaginated).


Armorial bookplates of the Earls of Macclesfield (also with their neat embossed stamp on half-titles and titles). Volume II with slight chip at foot of spine, front joint of volume III just split at head.


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