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NECKER, Jacques.

State of the Finances of France, laid before the King.

By Mr. Necker, Director-General of the Finances, in the month of January 1781. Translated from the Paris edition. Printed by order of his most Christian Majesty.

London: printed for G. Kearsley, T. Becket, J. Walter, J. Ridley, [and 6 others in London], 1781 Stock Code: 137896
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First edition in English, originally printed in France the same year under the title Compte Rendu au Roi. Jacques Necker (1732-1804) was the finance minister to Louis XVI, popular among the people for his commoner background and perceived financial acumen. Published as the French involvement in the American Revolutionary War was still ongoing, Necker presented a rosy picture of the French finances to the king. Its publication reassured the French financiers, leading to the French government successfully raising new loans, which was part of the aims of the report. However, it was a distorted picture of France's finances, disguising the serious financial problems that the country was facing, which would eventually lead to the Revolution. Necker resigned due to court hostility a few months later; as the financial situation deteriorated under successive ministers, he was recalled in 1789 before being dismissed once more, leading to the events of the storming of the Bastille. This edition has two known states, without significance for priority of issue, this with the catchword "but" on p. 53.

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Octavo (206 x 127 mm). Recent brown quarter cloth, marbled sides, black morocco label to front cover lettered in gilt, marbled sides, red speckled edges.


With 2 folding maps of France at rear.


One trivial paper fault minorly affecting text to pp. 93/94, some light toning and foxing, folding maps without tears. A very good copy.


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