Two vols, 8vo, pp. xxviii, 432; 480; a very good copy in contemporary quarter calf, spines gilt, one corner and spine of vol. I a little gnawed.
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Histoire de l’économie politique en Europe, depuis les anciens jusqu’à nos jours, suivie d’une bibliographie raisonnée des principaux ouvrages d’économie politique …
First edition of ‘the first major history of political economy’ (The New Palgrave). Blanqui (1798–1854) taught at the Institution Massin, where he came into contact with J. B. Say, who was greatly impressed by him. In 1833, he succeeded Say as holder of the chair of political and industrial economy at the Conservatoire des Arts et des Métiers. The Histoire, in addition to the history of economic ideas, covers economic history from the ancient world to the early 1840s, and according to Schumpeter ‘enjoyed international success because of its indubitable usefulness’ (p. 498). The ‘Bibliographie raisonnée’ covers some 84 pages, listing works in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.
Goldsmiths’ 29765; Kress C.4312; Mattioli 343; this edition not in Einaudi.
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Fascetto di pratiche matematiche spiegato alle persone popolari per uso del comercio umano, e civile, in questa seconda edizione corretto ed accresciuto di altre molte importanti notizie.
A lovely copy of the second edition, considerably augmented from the first of 1754, of this book of applied mathematical problems by the Veronese mathematician Gaetano Marzaglia (1716-1787), heavily influenced by the work of Wolff, who provides the motto to the book, and whose works he edited and expanded. The work contains arithmetical and geometrical problems applied to mercantile, architectural, and industrial settings, dealing with the nature of money, and of weights and measures, the construction of sundials, and the division of royalties within trading companies, among many other questions. One interesting section discusses the measurement of metal coins through water displacement. Marzaglia was professor of mathematics at the Military College in Verona, and a correspondent of many of the leading scientists and mathematicians in Europe, in particular with Scipione Maffei.
A PRELUDE TO L’ESPRIT DES LOIS MONTESQUIEU, Charles de Secondat.
Histoire véritable publiée d’après un nouveau manuscrit avec une introduction et des notes par L. de Bordes de Fortage.
Second edition of Montesquieu’s philosophical, quasi-oriental tale, a prelude to his great work L’Esprit des lois. Written in the 1730s and again in 1754, and influenced by Lucian and the 18th-century vogue for oriental fiction, the Histoire véritable remained unpublished until 1892. This 1902 second edition is based on a manuscript written prior to that used for the first. The Histoire is a fabulous account of the numerous animal and human incarnations experienced by its narrator: as a little dog he is persecuted by his mistress, while as an ox he is worshipped by the Egyptians; as a human his soul occupies the bodies of a hangman, a cuckolded husband, an underfed poet, a courtier, a fop, a virtuous woman, a eunuch, an African chief, a king’s fool, among many others. ‘The different reincarnations are so many opportunities to expose human turpitude from the inside and to underscore, from the vantage point of a single conscience, retrospectively enlightened, the corruption and wickedness of men ... Montesquieu’s originality is to create, based on conventional processes of narrative fiction at the time, a philosophical tale inducing meditation about the conditions of virtue and happiness ... The Histoire véritable would also raise, in the story’s framework, questions to which L’Esprit des lois would try to respond: how to reconcile relativism and norms of universal justice, articulate uniformity and diversity, find constancy in change? To this degree, the work would be, as Alberto Postigliola put it, an “epistemological prelude” to its author’s major work’ (Carole Dornier in Dictionnaire Montesquieu).