selective physiocracy

Principes sur la liberté du commerce des grains.

Amsterdam and Paris, Desaint, 1768.

8vo, pp. iv, 162; with 3 folding tables; a fine, crisp copy in contemporary mottled calf, panelled spine gilt with fleurons, red morocco lettering-piece; some surface abrasions to sides, corners and spine extremities rubbed.


US $1640€1398

Make an enquiry

First edition. Louis Paul Abeille, inspector of manufactures and later secretary of the bureau of commerce, was initially an early supporter of Quesnay and an ardent Physiocrat for many years. He pleads here for free trade in corn, arguing that this would lead to increased production, increased revenue and thereby greater salaries. From the late 1760s Abeille, who had embraced almost merely the liberal, free-market aspects of physiocratic doctrines, became increasingly less involved with the group of economistes close to Quesnay, prepared to accept his all-encompassing philosophy. Like Condillac, whose fundamental belief in probability as a tool for understanding economic dynamics grated with Quesnay’s assumptions, Abeille was eventually ejected from the inner circle of Physiocrats.

Goldsmiths’10425; Higgs 4730; INED 10; Kress 6513.

You may also be interested in...

HOLROYD, John Baker, Earl of Sheffield.

Observations on the Impolicy, Abuses, and False Interpretation of the Poor Laws; and on the Reports of the two Houses of Parliament.

First edition. Holroyd (1735–1821) highlights current abuses of the Poor Laws and praises the efforts at reform then being debated in Parliament. ‘There remains not a question that the Reports will encourage and promote various suggestions and useful observations, that will elucidate and enlighten still further this great, important, and interesting subject.’ (p. 60). This process culminated in the great reform of the Poor Laws in 1834.

Read more


Proyecto economico, en que se proponen varias providencias, dirigidas á promover los intereses de España, con los medios y fondos necesarios para su plantificacion: escrito en el año de 1762 … Obra postuma.

First edition. Despite McCulloch’s doubts that ‘anything approaching to a good treatise on Political Economy should have been published in Spain previously to its invasion by the French under Napoleon’ (pp. 31–2), Ward’s work has been described as ‘perhaps, the best digested and most methodical book written on these topics in Spain during the [eighteenth] century, giving a clear insight into the causes of the decay of the country, which, like his predecessors, Uztáriz and Ulloa, Ward ascribes to the neglect of trade and industry, and to the absurd system of taxation which had prevailed for more than two centuries. Like them, Ward is a mercantilist, but more discriminating and less extreme’ (Palgrave).

Read more