Notes on Political Economy from the Colonial Point of View. By a New Zealand Colonist.

London: R. & R. Clark, Limited for Macmillan and Co., 1897.

8vo (195 x 125mm), pp. xix, [1] blank, 204; small pen mark on p. 47; original dark-blue cloth, boards ruled in blind, spine lettered and ruled in gilt, black endpapers, uncut and unopened; extremities very lightly bumped, otherwise a very good, fresh copy; provenance: unidentified library (withdrawal inkstamp on recto and verso of title, light traces of a removed label on the half-title).


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Notes on Political Economy from the Colonial Point of View. By a New Zealand Colonist.

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First edition. Moss (1827/1828-1904) was born on St Helena and, after a rudimentary education on the island, was sent to work for an uncle in Port Elizabeth, South Africa at the age of 12 or 13. He returned to St Helena in 1847 and then emigrated to South Africa in 1857, but left for New Zealand, due to poor prospects in Africa. In New Zealand Moss flourished as a businessman, newspaper publisher, and politician, becoming a prominent figure in the political and commercial life of New Zealand. Moss’ preface explains the book’s purpose thus: ‘Colonists are continually warned that Capital is timid and easily frightened away. Yet the Capital thus personified is no airy material but a mass of the most solid substances – iron, coal, railways, roads, buildings, implements, machinery, ships, food and clothing, with a small proportion of gold and silver and the thousand other articles that enable man, by the labour of the present, to provide for the time to come. Excepting the gold and silver, they lie inert till credit touches them with its magic wand. Credit, not Capital, is the sensitive creation which so easily takes fright and hides away. To give a clear conception of the difference between the two is one of the objects which these notes have in view’ (pp. [v]-vi).

Moss’ other books include A Month in Fiji (1868), Through Atolls and Islands in the Great South Sea (1889), and Freedom for the Legislature from Executive Control (1902), a plea for full self-government in New Zealand.

Hocken Supplement p. 36; NZNB M2076.

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