8vo, pp. xxi, [i], 656, 10; some spotting to the initial quire containing preliminaries, but a very good copy, in the original publisher’s cloth, gilt lettering on spine; corners bumped, extremities a little rubbed; contemporary paper slip pasted opposite the title, with an inscription in Italian containing remarks on the rarity of the work and in particular of this copy; several minute authorial corrections in brown ink throughout the text.
US $2475 €2004
First edition thus (a previous version had been published ten years earlier under the title Man and Nature) of the first modern discussion of ecology and environmental issues. This copy bears several authorial manuscript corrections. A revised edition was posthumously published in 1885.
A polymath, linguist, and indefatigable diplomat, Marsh was elected to the US Congress in 1840; his studies of the effects of the interactions between people and the natural world began with a Commission report on fisheries. Appointed Minister to the recently unified Italy in 1860, Marsh spent there the remaining twenty-two years of his life, reporting to the State Department on affairs in Italy and in Europe, and developing his environmental studies. His groundbreaking work presented current affairs readers, who had so far celebrated human interventions on nature as unquestioned progress, with an unfamiliar and unsettling flip-side view, and with unprecedented ecological insights. Throughout history, Marsh argued, timber harvesting and sheep grazing magnified the effects of floods, water scarcity and soil erosion; extermination of insect-eating birds resulted in an increased number of crop-eating pests; rivers and harbours management and engineering had a bearing on erosion and land conformation issues; domestication, introduced species and seed dispersal would each carry interrelations and consequences. Indeed, he contended that every small and apparently insignificant modification of the environment could in time have dramatic consequences.
Marsh never advocated the utopian, absolute preservation of unchanged wilderness, but was the first to articulate the magnitude of the effects of the human impact on nature, and to call for policies of preservation. Marsh died in 1882 and is buried in Rome.
See T. G. Garvey, The Civic Intent of George Perkins Marsh’s Anthrocentric Environmentalism, ‘New England Quarterly’, 82 (2009), 80–111, and D. Lowenthal, George Perkins Marsh: Prophet of Conservation. Seattle, 2000.
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Johan Lockes oförgripelige tankar om werldslig regerings rätta ursprung/gräntsor och ändamål.
First edition in Swedish. The first translation into Swedish of Locke’s Two Treatises of Government, this edition – of the Second treatise – was translated, following order of the Swedish Ricksdag, by Hans Harmens from Mazel’s 1691 French edition. It was only the second time that any of Locke’s work had been translated into Swedish. Significantly, the Ricksdag’s interests focussed on the part of Locke’s work which addressed the topics of natural rights and the social contract.
SCIENTIFIC AGRICULTURE [YOUNG, Arthur].
A Six Weeks Tour, through the Southern Counties of England and Wales. Describing, particularly, I. The present state of agriculture and manufactures. II. The different methods of cultivating the soil. III. The success attending some late experiments on various grasses, &c. IV. The various prices of labour and provisions. V. The state of the working poor in those counties, wherein the riots were most remarkable. With descriptions and models of such new invented implements of husbandry as deserve to be generally known: interspersed with accounts of the seats of the nobility and gentry, and other subjects worthy of notice. In several letters to a friend. By the author of the Farmer’s Letters.
First edition. ‘Young’s own estimate of this book is that it is one “in which for the first time, the facts and principles of Norfolk husbandry were laid before the public”, but important as these facts were ... the book is more valuable than Young would have us believe. It laid before the public “the fact and principles” of the husbandry of a line of country from Bradfield to London and from London to South Wales, and the details given were quite all-inclusive. They comprised the crop rotations, the implements used, the cost of labour and provisions, which often varied surprisingly in a few miles, the size of farms, and the horses or oxen employed on holdings of different sizes ... Passing reference is [also] made to local industry, such as the manufacture of Witney blankets, and useful facts and figures about it are mentioned’ (Fussell).