Human Sciences

Contact Private: Edmund Brumfitt, Jonathan Harrison, Alfred Pasternack or Barbara Scalvini

Human Sciences at Quaritch embraces a wide range of books and manuscripts documenting the history of ideas from the earliest times up to about 1960. Our strengths are in the history of economic thought and in philosophy, but we also deal in law; finance and banking (including speculation, actuarial science and insurance); politics and political theory; sociology; psychology; agriculture; education; logic; and the theory of language.

Some notable items which have recently passed through our hands include the only known copy of the Communist Manifesto inscribed by Karl Marx, Rudolf Carnap’s annotated copy of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus (Logisch-philosophische Abhandlung), Joseph Penso de la Vega’s Confusion de Confusiones (1688, the first book to describe the practice of a stock-exchange) and a copy of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations (4th edition, 1786), inscribed in Smith's own hand to Bonnie Prince Charlie's private secretary.

As well as dealing in individual books and manuscripts, we also offer collections. In recent years we have sold author collections of Friedrich Nietzsche, Bertrand Russell, Thorstein Veblen, Emile Durkheim and Jeremy Bentham. Among subject collections we have offered are the Herwood Library of accounting literature (including Pacioli's Summa de Arithmetica, 1494, the first printed exposition of double-entry book-keeping); the philosophy of language; texts pertaining to the theory and study of language in the West, and the history of probability - the calculus of probabilities, statistics and their applications.

  1. SIDNEY, Algernon.

    The very Copy of a paper delivered to the Sheriffs, upon the scaffold on Tower-Hill, on Friday Decemb. 7. 1683....

    London, R[obert]. H[orn], J[ohn]. B[aker]. and J[ohn]. R[edmayne]. for Walter Davis, 1683.

    First edition – Sidney’s famous speech as he ascended the scaffold for execution at Tyburn.


  2. SIDNEY, Algernon.

    Letters of the Honourable Algernon Sydney to the Honourable Henry Savile, Ambassador in France, in the Year 1679,...

    London, R. Dodsley, 1742.

    First edition of Sydney’s letters reporting on English politics. The republican political writer relates court happenings to Henry Savile (1642–1687), envoy-extraordinary in Paris. The text discusses the events relating to the Earl of Essex, Duke of Monmouth, and Lords Russell and Howard,...


  3. SIDNEY, Algernon [and William SCOTT, Baron Stowell].

    The Essence of Algernon Sidney’s work on government. To which...

    London, for J. Johnson, 1795.

    First edition of this abridgement of Sidney’s masterpiece of republican eloquence, Discourses concerning government, first published in 1698. Its defence of rebellion, of change, and of the principles of liberty, reason and virtue, explain the work’s exceptional impact in Britain, continental...


  4. SIDNEY, Richard Chase.

    A brief Memoir of the life of the Honourable Colonel Algernon Sidney; with a short account of his trial,...

    London, Bohn, 1835.

    First edition of this memoir reclaiming Sidney as a modern hero of independent thought and ‘disinterested’ republicanism. The reproduction, apparently by lithography, of the Stephanoff painting, made widely available through John Charles Bromley’s engraving, is accompanied by a description of the...



    C. L. Simonde de. Nouveaux principes d’économie politique, ou de la richesse dans ses rapports avec la population...

    Paris, Delaunay, Treuttel & Wurtz, 1819.

    First edition. ‘A number of concepts and theories that later became important in the history of economics first appeared in the writings of the Swiss economist J. C. L. Simonde de Sismondi … Sismondi developed the first aggregrate equilibrium income theory and the first algebraic growth model....


  6. SMITH, William.

    The Speeches of Mr. Smith, of South Carolina, delivered in the House of Representatives of the United States, in...

    Philadelphia printed, London reprinted for John Stockdale, 1794.

    First London edition, a rebuff to the punitive anti-British tariffs proposed by the future President James Madison, first printed in Philadelphia in the same year and also reprinted in Edinburgh.


  7. SOUTHCOTT, Joanna.

    An Answer to Thomas Paine’s third part of The Age of Reason, published by D. I. Eaton; likewise to S. Lane,...

    London, Marchant and Galabin, 1812.

    First edition, scarce pamphlet dictated to Southcott’s secretaries, Ann Underwood and Jane Townley, consisting of her refutations of Thomas Paine’s attack on religion, the Age of Reason (first published 1794), as well as her spirited defence against contemporary abusers: a preacher...



    St. Petersburg, [Vol’naia Tipografiia for “Shipovnik”], 1907.

    Rare first edition of this anthology of stories, novellas and poems by Russian authors; a publication intended to raise funds in support of the exiled and imprisoned (as the title translates), the victims of the Tsarist reaction after the 1905 revolution. Among the mainly socially oriented and neo-realistic...


  9. STAUNFORD [Stanford], Sir William.

    Les Plees del Coron, Divisees in Plusors Titles & Comon Lieux. Per Queux Home Pluis Redement...

    [London], Richard Tottell, 1583.

    The definitive edition, and that owned by Thomas Jefferson, of the first book devoted entirely to criminal law. First published posthumously in 1557 and based on Bracton and the Year Books, Les Plees deals in turn with offences, jurisdiction, appeals, indictments and defences. The third part is devoted...


  10. STEPNIAK, Sergius [pseudonym for Sergius Mikhailovich KRAVCHINSKII].

    Podziemna Rosja. Obrazki z przeszłości młodej Rosji.

    Lviv, [printers of the Dziennika Polskiego] for Gubrinowicz & Schmidt, 1897.

    Extremely rare first edition in Polish, anonymously translated and printed in nowadays Ukraine, of Stepniak’s most successful, translated and influential book.



    Souscription patriotique de la part du beau-sexe de Strasbourg.

    [S.l., s.n., 1789?.]

    Rare first edition of this entertaining satirical piece on women's clothing, published in the aftermath of the French Revolution. After complaining that the recent craze for ‘gauze, muslin, linen and feathers’ had brought the country to its knees, the text describes how the patriotic women...


  12. STUART, Andrew.

    Letters to the Right Honourable Lord Mansfield.

    London, [privately printed,] January 1773.

    First edition, the octavo issue, of Stuart’s attack on Lord Mansfield. A bitter dispute lasting begun in 1761 over the inheritance of the extinct duchy of Douglas, the Douglas Cause was appealed in the House of Lords in 1769, where the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Mansfield, disparaged Stuart’s...


  13. STUART, Gilbert.

    Observations concerning the Public Law, and the constitutional History of Scotland: with occasional Remarks concerning...

    Edinburgh, Printed for William Creech; and J. Murray, London, 1779.

    First edition. At the time of the publication of these Observations, Gilbert Stuart (1742–1786), a prolific reviewer, sometime reader for John Murray, co-founder of the short-lived Edinburgh Magazine, and author of various historical works, was a candidate for the professorship of public law in the...


  14. SURTEES, William Edward.

    A Sketch of the lives of Lords Stowell and Eldon; comprising, with additional matter, some corrections...

    London, Chapman and Hall, 1846.

    First edition of this biography of the Scott brothers, William (1745-1836) and John (1751-1838), both of whom served as chief justices, the younger John rising to be Lord Chancellor. In his youth he had eloped into Scotland with Bessie Surtees, daughter of Aubone Surtees, a Newcastle banker. The author...


  15. [SWEDIAUER, Franz Xavier].

    The Philosophical dictionary: or the opinions of modern philosophers on metaphysical, moral and political...

    London, for G.G.J. and J Robinson, 1786.

    First edition of this philosophical dictionary, featuring extracts from ‘the writings of the most eminent philosophers in Europe’ (preface) chosen by Swediaur, who originally compiled the collection as a sort of commonplace book for his private use. The broad-reaching content includes contributions...


  16. SWEEZY, Paul Malor.

    The theory of capitalist development. Principles of Marxian political economy.

    London, Dennis Dobson, 1946

    First British edition (first issued in 1942), of Sweezy’s ‘seminal work’ (The New Palgrave). Based on lectures which he gave at Harvard on the economics of socialism, this work is a ‘comprehensive review of Marxian economics up until the time of World War II’ and ‘did much to determine the...


  17. ŚWIATŁO.

    Czasopismo popularno-naukowe. Organ Polskiej Partyi Socyalistycznej. Rok pierwszy [- drugi].

    London, Printers of the Federation of Polish Socialists Abroad for the Polish Socialist Party [– Printers of the Polish Socialist Party],...

    The first two complete years (eight consecutive issues) of the very rare quarterly magazine of the PPS, the largest Socialist Party of Poland, lead by Piłsudski. Altogether 19 issues appeared up to 1904. The annual titles, which are apparently not always present were designed by Teofil Terlecki...


  18. SYDNEY, Algernon.

    Discourses concerning Government … with his Letters, Trial, Apology, and some Memoirs of his Life.

    London, A. Millar, 1763.

    Second Millar edition of Sidney’s important Discourses, accompanied by other works. A prominent political theorist opposed to monarchy, Algernon Sidney (1623–1683) wrote the Discourses between 1681 and 1683, argues for armed resistance to oppressive government; the text, which...


  19. TAYLOR, Alfred Swaine.

    On the Processes for detecting Blood in medico-legal Cases.

    [London, Guy’s Hospital Reports, 1870.]

    Taylor’s own offprint of this interesting article on detecting blood ‘for the purposes of pathology and legal medicine’, in which he publishes, for the first time, a description of the spectroscopic process developed by the eminent microscopist and geologist Henry Clifton Sorby (1826–1908),...