Human Sciences

Contact Jonathan Harrison or Alfred Pasternack

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. [WADE, John.]

    The Black Book; or corruption unmasked! …

    London, John Fairburn, 1820.

    First edition of Wade’s infamous Black Book, the ‘bible’ of the English Reform movement, ‘a massive compendium of all the abuses, electoral, ecclesiastical, legal, which they sought to abolish. It was first published in 1820 and passed through edition after edition, continually...


  2. [WALKER, James].

    A vindication of the character of the late right hon. William Pitt, from the calumnies against him, contained...

    Edinburgh, John Ballantyne, 1810.

    Only edition, quite scarce, of this defence of Pitt against the attacks on him found in a recent issue of the Edinburgh Review. The author, seemingly a James Walker (possibly the later Bishop of Edinburgh?) defends Pitt against the suggestions that his support for abolition and parliamentary reform...


  3. WALRAS, Auguste.

    Théorie de la richesse sociale ou résumé des principes fondamentaux de l’économie politique.

    Paris, Guillaumin et, 1849.

    Three first editions, including the first appearance of the work which strongly influenced Léon Walras: his father Auguste’s Theory of social wealth.


  4. [WARREN, Samuel.]

    Ten Thousand a-Year.

    Edinburgh & London, Ballantyne & Hughes for William Blackwood & Sons, 1841.

    First English (and first authorised) edition of an influential legal novel, a satire in which a young upstart, Tittlebat Titmouse, discovers he is worth the massive endowment of the story’s title, and must defend himself against a host of avaricious villains of the legal profession bearing equally...


  5. WARREN, Samuel.

    Miscellanies critical, imaginative, and juridical, contributed to Blackwood’s Magazine.

    Edinburgh & London, William Blackwood & Sons, 1855.

    First edition of miscellaneous writings of the lawyer and novelist Samuel Warren. The Miscellanies were subsequently reissued by Blackwood with four other volumes of Warren’s works printed between 1854 and 1855; the text was also printed in two volumes.


  6. [WASHINGTON, George.]

    Eulogies and orations on the life and death of General George Washington, first President of the United States...

    Boston, Manning & Loring for W.P. and L. Blake, 1800.

    First edition of this collection of twenty eulogies and orations to George Washington – who had died on 14 December 1799 – presented ‘as a memorial of veneration and gratitude to the “man of the age”’ (p. [7]), and including a eulogy by Thomas Paine. A list of subscribers occupies...


  7. WATSON, Richard.

    An Apology for the Bible, in a Series of Letters, addressed to Thomas Paine, Author of a Book entitled The Age...

    Robson, and R. Faulder, 1796.

    Third edition of ‘a crucial defence of the political and social order’ (ODNB), published the same year as the first edition. Though his first political sermon, The Principles of the Revolution Vindicated, was in 1776 interpreted as a radical statement of support for the American rebels,...


  8. [WATT, Robert.]

    Trials of Robert Watt and David Downie for High Treason … with an engraving of the pikes … to which is subjoined...

    Edinburgh, Manners and Miller, [1794].

    First edition, scarce, later reprinted in London and Philadelphia (without the illustration).


  9. WATT, Robert.

    The Declaration and confession of Robert Watt, written, subscribed, & delivered by himself, the evening before his...

    Edinburgh, Bell & Bradfute, 1794.

    First edition. Robert Watt was an Edinburgh wine-merchant and radical, executed for his part in the ‘Pike Plot’, a plan to seize the city in a coup.



    The Danish Laws; or, the Code of Christian the Fifth, Faithfully translated for the use of the English...

    London, N. Gibson, 1756.

    First English translation of the parts of Christian V’s Danske Lov of 1683 that were relevant to the inhabitants of the Danish West Indies (the present-day U.S. Virgin Islands, plus the islands of St Thomas, St John, and St Croix).


  11. WEYLAND, John.

    Observations on Mr. Whitbread’s Poor Bill, and on the Population of England: intended as a supplement to A Short...

    London, J. Hatchard, 1807.

    First edition of each work. The barrister John Weyland (1774–1854) ‘was a well-to-do man whose landed possessions were extensive enough for him to be a magistrate in three counties, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Surrey’ (James, p. 372). In 1807, he wrote two works supporting the poor laws, entitled...


  12. [WILKES, John.]

    The North Briton [– the third Volume of the North Briton].

    Dublin, [s.n.,] 1764 [– 1765].

    Fourth Dublin edition, printed the year after the first, of Wilkes’s satirical periodical. Established in June 1762 to criticise the government of George III’s new Prime Minister, Lord Bute (for whom the work is named), the North Briton had soon reached a circulation of almost two thousand....


  13. WILKES, John.

    The History of England from the Revolution to the accession of the Brunswick line. Vol. I.

    London, J. Almon, 1768.

    First edition of this Wilkes fragment, the introduction only of an unfinished work; the leaf of advertisements present here promises ‘the reigns of King William and Queen Anne are in the press and will speedily be published’.


  14. [WILKES, John.]

    The Life and political writings of John Wilkes, Esq; four times elected Knight of the Shire for the County of Middlesex,...

    Birmingham, Sketchley and Co., 1769.

    First and only edition, scarce. At the rear of this edition is a complicated note to the subscribers, promising a second volume, which was presumably never published; and a portrait of Wilkes, not yet finished, to be delivered gratis with the second part.


  15. [WILKES, John.]

    An Authentick account of the proceedings against John Wilkes, Esq; … containing all the papers relative to this...

    London, J. Williams and J. Burd. [1763.]

    First edition, quickly re-printed in Boston and Philadelphia.


  16. [WILKES, John.] [ALMON, John.]

    A Postscript to the letter, on libels, warrants, &c. In answer to a postcript [sic] in the...

    London, J. Almon, 1765.

    First edition, likely the first of four issues in 1765, this with the error in both pagination and the title. This Postscript to John Wilkes’s Letter concerning libels of the same year and Charles Lloyd’s Defence of the majority (1764) is often attributed to Almon, who...


  17. [WILKES, John.] [CRADOCK, Joseph.]

    The Life of John Wilkes, Esq; in the manner of Plutarch. Being a specimen of a larger work....

    London, J. Wilkie, 1773.

    Second edition of a satirical ‘biography’ of Wilkes, published in the same year as the first; Cradock, whose windows had been broken by a Wilkite mob earlier in the year, ironically praises Wilkes’s many remarkable achievements.


  18. WILKES, John and John Horne TOOKE.

    The controversial Letters of John Wilkes … John Horne, and their principal adherents,...

    London, Sherlock for Williams, 1771.

    First and only edition thus. Letters charting the friendship and quarrels of John Wilkes (1725–1797) and John Horne Tooke (1736–1812). Tooke was a member of the Society of Supporters of the Bill of Rights, which existed to pay of Wilkes’s debts in the name of the radical cause, but he later...


  19. WILKINSON, George Theodore.

    An authentic history of the Cato-Street conspiracy; with the trials at large of the conspirators, for...

    London: Thomas Kelly, [1820].

    First edition of the first thorough account of the Cato Street conspiracy, a plot to assassinate the prime minister and his cabinet, and to install a new revolutionary government. Written by the editor of the New Newgate Calendar Improved, the reports follow the sensationalised approach...


  20. WILKS, Mark.

    Athaliah; or the tocsin sounded by modern alarmists: two collection sermons, towards defraying the expense of the...

    Norwich, J. March, 1795.

    Only edition of these two sermons preached by the Norwich Methodist-turned-Baptist Mark Wilks (1748-1819) to raise money for the three radical publishers and writers newly acquitted of high treason. The climate as it now is, Wilks says, is one where even to use a French phrase is to invite suspicion,...