Discourses on various subjects; read before literary and philosophical societies.

London, Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1852.

8vo, pp. viii, 276, [1] advertisements, [1] imprint; some light dust-soiling to the edges; a good copy, uncut and partly unopened in the original publisher’s decorated cloth, spine lettered gilt, corners worn, small nick to head of spine.


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First edition. Samuel Bailey (1791–1870), known as the ‘Hallamshire Bentham’, was the author of one of the most important treatises on the theory of value in the Ricardian period, A Critical Dissertation on the Nature, Measures, and Causes of Value (1825).

This ‘goodly pile’ of Discourses was written ‘at considerable intervals, not with any view to publication, but simply for the occasions on which they were read, and on subjects that happened at the time to interest the writer’s mind’ (p. v). Among them are papers on the fossil of a mammoth discovered at the mouth of the Lena in Russia in 1801, changes which have taken place in the English language over the previous 300 years, the mechanical causes of thunder, and one on the theory of wit. There is also one entitled ‘On the science of political economy’ – ‘a science which has latterly attracted great attention’ (p. 106).

Not in Einaudi.

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