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. [BURDETT, Sir Francis - Trial of.]

    The Trial of Sir Francis Burdett, Bart., at Leicester, on Thursday, March 23d,...

    London, William Hone, 1820.

    First edition of Burdett’s trial for seditious libel after the publication of his Letter to the Electors of Westminster. In response to the Peterloo Massacre of August 1819, Sir Francis Burdett had published a letter calling on the electors of Westminster to ‘join the general voice’...


  2. [BURDETT, Sir Francis.]

    Sentence on Sir F. Burdett, in the court of the King’s Bench, on Thursday, Feb. 8, 1821.

    [London? 1821]

    Very rare broadside printing the speeches of James Scarlett (for the prosecution) and Thomas Denman (for the defence) at the sentencing of Burdett after his conviction for seditious libel in 1820-1.


  3. BURDETT, Sir Francis.

    The Address of Sir Francis Burdett to his constituents, in a letter, dated March 23, denying the power of...

    London, T. Broom, [1810].

    First edition(?) in book form, written in response to the arrest of the radical John Gale Jones for breach of privilege after he had challenged the exclusion of ‘strangers’ (i.e. the public) from the Commons debates about the disastrous Walcheren expedition.


  4. BURLAMAQUI, Jean Jacques.

    Principes du droit naturel.

    Geneva, Barrillot & fils, 1747.

    First edition of the first work, bound with a very early edition of the second work. The Droit politique was first published posthumously in 1751 as the necessary companion to the Droit naturel; when in contemporary bindings, they are sometimes found together in various combinations...


  5. BURNETT, Gilbert.

    The Life and Death of Sir Matthew Hale, Kt. Sometime Lord Chief Justice of His Majesties Court of King’s Bench.

    London, Shrowsbury, 1682.

    Second edition, first published 1681, one of two variant issues. Gilbert Burnett (1643–1715), or Burnet, later Bishop Burnet, was an extremely prolific author who took time from his ongoing History of the Reformation (first appearance 1679) to write this Life of the famous jurist of the...


  6. [BYRON.]

    The trial of William Lord Byron, Baron Byron of Rochdale, for the murder of William Chaworth, Esq; before the right honourable...

    London, Samuel Billingsley, 1765.

    Only edition of this comprehensive account of the murder trial of William Lord Byron, great uncle of the poet, in front of the House of Lords. Byron was accused (the facts of the matter were in little doubt) of the murder in a duel of his cousin, William Chaworth, in a dispute over the number...


  7. CALVERT, William John.

    The demand for labour is wealth … Supplement to monopoly and taxation vindicated against the errors of...

    Newark, M. Hage and London, Longman … 1822.

    Very rare first edition of Calvert’s supplement to his own work, Monopoly and taxation vindicated etc., published in 1821. Calvert wrote anonymously in the name of ‘a Nottinghamshire farmer’, but here uses his name. The supplement argues that Britain’s wealth and military success against France...


  8. CARLILE, Richard.

    The Life of Thomas Paine, written purposely to bind with his writings.

    London, M. A. Carlile, 1820.

    First edition, written by Carlile (1790-1843) during his incarceration in Dorchester prison. ‘His greatest contribution to the radical cause, and the most momentous, was his republishing of the writings of Tom Paine, which he did serially in the Weekly, individually as cheap pamphlets, and also...


  9. CARLILE, Richard.

    A Sketch of the public life and the last trial of Mr Carlile.

    London, James Watson, [c. 1831].

    First edition, rare. In late 1830, Carlile was indicted for writing in support of the Swing disturbances in his journal The Prompter. In January 1831 he appeared at the Old Bailey on charges of seditious libel and was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment and fined £200.


  10. CARLILE, Robert.

    New Year’s address to the reformers of Great Britain …

    [London, M. A. Carlile, n.d. but 1821].

    First edition, rare, written from Dorchester Gaol and published by Carlile’s sister Mary-Anne, who continued the London business after Carlile’s imprisonment in November 1819, until the seizure of the stock forced its closure. For the publication of this New Year’s Address, Mary-Anne...


  11. [CAROLINE of Brunswick, Queen.]

    The Trial at large of Her Majesty Caroline Amelia Elizabeth, Queen of Great Britain, in the House...

    London, William Clowes for T. Kelly, 1821.

    First edition of the trial of Queen Caroline. Defended by Henry Brougham and Thomas Denman against allegations presented to the House of Lords on behalf of George IV, Queen Caroline’s cause proved enormously popular; though the bill of pains and penalties, intended to end the King’s marriage and...


  12. CARTWRIGHT, John.

    England’s Aegis; or, the military Energies of the Empire ...

    London, Richard Phillips, 1804.

    First edition, scarce, by the gentleman reformer and former naval officer John Cartwright. ‘Ever the patriot, when Britain was facing possible French invasion he took up a passionate advocacy of the utility of the pike and the creation of an Anglo-Saxon-type militia in his … England’s...


  13. [CATHERINE II, Empress of Russia].

    Le Czarewitz Chlore. Conte Moral. De main impériale & de maitresse.

    Berlin, Fréderic Nicolaï, Lausanne, François Grasset, 1782.

    First edition, very rare, of a speculum principis of the Enlightenment, by one of the time’s most enlightened monarchs. Le Czarewitz Chlore is a moral tale written by Catherine II of Russia for her two grandsons, the future Alexander I and his younger brother Constantine, while their father and mother,...


  14. [CAVALLERI, Paolo Agostino].

    Lettera dall’Adriatico del signor Antonio Bianchi sopra l’opera del sig. Abate D. Nicola Spedalieri.

    Rome, Giovanni Zempel, 1792.

    First edition, uncommon, of this counter-revolutionary polemic written in response to Spedalieri’s I diritti dell’uomo of the previous year and attributed to the Barnabite Paolo Agostino Cavalleri (1742-1803). Spedalieri had attempted a Catholic response to the revolutionary ideas of the rights of...


  15. [CHARLES I.]

    The Trial of Charles Stuart, King of England, before the High Court of Justice, for High Treason; 24 Charles I. A.D....

    [London, T.C. Hansard for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, & Brown, … and T.C. Hansard, 1816.]

    Extract from the State Trials, comprising the trial of Charles I for High Treason. The text contains a full transcript of the trial and an account of the preparation for and execution of the sentence of regicide.


  16. CHEVRET, Jean.

    Épitre a l’humanité et a la patrie en particulier, sur le bon ordre & l’idée de la véritable liberté. Suivie...

    [Paris?], au temple de la vérité, 1789.

    A good copy of this rare essay on the workings of society and the conditions required for human flourishing, by the controversialist and librarian Jean Chevret (1747-1820). After a brief letter addressed to humanity in general and France (even, perhaps, Chevret’s own home town of Meulan) in particular,...



    An Act for the better regulating the Nightly-Watch, and Beadles within the City of London, and Liberties thereof;...

    [London, 1737].

    Rare first edition of an act providing for the ‘raising and levying of Monies’ for the employment of night-watchmen in the City of London. ‘The said Constables, shall … use their best Endeavours, to prevent Fires, Murders, Burglaries, Robberies, and other Outrages, and Disorders …’. The act...


  18. [CIVIL LAW.]

    COMMENTARY, in Latin; a complete paper leaf, double columns of 61 lines, the words commented on written in a large...

    Much of the commentary is concerned with legal transactions and gives instructions about how to produce a valid legal document, such as putting the name of the reigning emperor at the start of the text. The commentary also discusses the different professions and occupations such as head of state, judge,...


  19. CLARKSON, Thomas.

    Memoirs of the private and public Life of William Penn.

    London, Richard Taylor & Co. for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, & Brown, 1813.

    First edition, an early biography of the founder and namesake of Pennsylvania. Penned by the abolitionist Thomas Clarkson (1760-1846), the account records highly favourably the life of the Quaker leader, ‘a Statesman, who acted upon Christian principle in direct opposition to the usual policy of the...


  20. [CLIFFORD, Jeronimy].

    The case of Jeronimy Clifford, merchant and planter of Surinam. Paper, No. 160.

    [London, n.p., 1711].

    First extended account of Clifford’s long-running legal battle with the Dutch West India Company in Surinam over Corcabo, his sugar plantation. The earlier publications had been just four pages long; this work furnishes us with plantation account details and testimonies, chronologically arranged with...