8vo, pp. viii, 153, ; woodcut printer’s device and tail-piece; one or two very light spots, but a very good copy in contemporary sprinkled calf, flat spine with the remains of gilt fleurons (gilding mostly worn off), red morocco lettering-piece; spine rubbed and chipped at head, small hole at foot, corners a little worn, a few scratches to sides, extremities rubbed; contemporary ink initials M. D. on the title-page.
US $3859 €3096
First edition thus, rare, of an attack on the French tax system published on the eve of Turgot’s demise. Set out as a narrative, this work outlines the family history of the author as a tale of hard work, of strife against the injustice and abuse of tax collectors, progressive failure to meet impossible demands from thriving tax farmers, jail and confiscation, and ultimately ruin. Through his exemplary story the author calls out to Turgot for a radical reform. He details the French fiscal set-up describing taxes, the severely uneven distribution of their impact, and the cruelty of a system which appears solely to serve the interest of the tax collectors, to the detriment of both crown and people. This appears to be the reprint of a part of a work sometimes attributed to Turgot (Quérard): Sur les finances, ouvrage posthume de Pierre André ****** fils d’un bon laboureur.
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UTOPIA MORE, Thomas.
The Common-wealth of Utopia: containing a learned and pleasant Discourse of the best State of a publike-Weale, as it is found in the Government of the new Ile called Utopia …
Fifth edition of More’s Utopia in English, translated by Ralph Robinson – the last edition of his translation, first published in 1551, and revised in 1556. Alsop printed a corrected edition in 1624, with a dedication to More’s grandson, Cresacre More, which is reprinted here.
[VIVANT DE MEZAGUES].
Bilan général et raisonné de l’Angleterre, depuis 1600 jusqu’à la fin de 1761; ou Lettre à M. L. C. D. sur le produit des terres & du commerce de l’Angleterre.
First edition, very rare: ‘The object of the “letter” is to show that the wealth and trade of England were not greater than that of France. With this view the author examines into the balance of trade between England and other countries (including Ireland), the national income and debt, exchanges, imports and exports of bullion, war expenditure, etc. He concludes that England, after having been a gainer by her trade during the 17th century, was in 1761 a loser from a monetary point of view. He supports the argument by statistics from official and the best private estimates, and carefully considers objections. He calculates that the “territorial income” of England about 1760 was £20,000,000 sterling; also that from two-fifths to a third of the national debt was held by foreigners’ (Palgrave).