Human Sciences

Contact 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. BOLAÑO, Roberto.


    Barcelona, Editorial Anagrama, [2004].

    First edition of the Chilean writer’s last novel, the major preoccupation of the last five years of his life.


  2. [PRIMER.] 

    Abbecedario per imparar facilmente a sillabicare, coll’aggiunta di varie orazioni ad uso delle scuole. 

    Turin, Giacinto Marietti, [c. 1840?]. 

    A seemingly unrecorded Torino-printed primer, with a series of syllabised phrases on devotion and morality. 



    Abstract of the Rules and Regulations for the Students in the College of Aquhorties …

    Edinburgh, J. Moir, [1799?].

    Broadside rules for the newly established Aquhorties College, the only Roman Catholic college in Scotland, presumably designed to be posted up around the school.


  4. KEATE, George. 

    An Account of the Pelew Islands, situated in the western part of the Pacific Ocean: composed from the journals...

    Dublin, Luke White, 1788. 

    First Dublin edition of this popular work, first published in London earlier the same year, by the virtuoso George Keate, member of the Royal Society and Society of Antiquities (1729−1797). 



    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...


  6. PATON, Joseph Noel, Sir.

    Address read at the Delivery of the Prizes to the Students of the School of the Honourable the...

    [London, Clay & Sons, 1875].

    Presentation copies of two very rare academic addresses, that by Sir Noel Paton (one of 20 copies printed according to a note on the title-page) inscribed ‘John Skelton Esq., with N.P.’s kindest regards’, the Tulloch with a slip inscribed ‘From the Author’ tipped in.



    Almae Urbis Medicorum ex antiquis Romanorum Pontificum bullis congesta, & hactenùs per Sedem Apostolicam...

    Rome, Printer of the Apostolic Chamber, 1676 [– c.1745].

    The very rare enlarged and updated issue of the statutes of the medical faculty of Rome, a very rare and interesting document on its internal organization.


  8. [ABC.] 

    Alphabet mythologique. 

    [Paris,] lith. Durand, Ligny Jne. et Cie, [1840s?]. 

    A delightful and extremely rare ABC depicting figures from Greek and Roman mythology, alongside the Hindu river goddess Yamuna for the letter Y. 


  9. PETTY, William, Sir.

    Another essay in political arithmetick, concerning the growth of the City of London: with the measures,...

    1682. London, printed by H.H. for Mark Pardoe, 1683.

    First edition, exceptionally scarce – indeed unique in its uncut and unbound state – of Petty’s first work of political arithmetic, a landmark work of statistics, demography, and economics.



    An answer to an audacious letter from John Angelo Belloni, dated Rome the 4th of May, 1732. N.S. Being an antidote to...

    London, [n. p.], 1732.

    An extremely rare pamphlet of economic and political interest, relating to fraudulent activity in the Charitable Corporation and to one of the chief culprit’s rumoured links to the Old Pretender.


  11. JUSSIEU, Laurent Pierre de.

    Antoine et Maurice. Ouvrage qui a obtenu le prix proposé par la Société Royale pour l’amélioration...

    Paris, L. Colas, 1821.

    First edition, rare, of this unsurprisingly moralising novel by the writer, geologist, and natural historian Laurent Pierre de Jussieu (1792-1866), written in response to a competition held by the Royal Society of the Improvement of Prisons to find the best book to circulate amongst inmates.


  12. [BESLER, Georg, Hector PÖMER, and Wolfgang VOLPRECHT.]

    Appellation unnd Beruffung der Pröbst unnd des Augustiner Priors...

    [Nuremberg, Friedrich Peypus,] 1524.

    First and only edition of this pamphlet by the Lutheran provosts and Augustinian prior of Nuremberg, appealing Bishop Weigand von Redwitz’s ruling to excommunicate them as heretics, with magnificent near-contemporary hand-painted and illuminated illustrations of the defendants’ arms.



    Archive of photographs, printed material, student manuscripts relating to Crofton Grange School.


    A charming archive from the Crofton Grange girls’ boarding school, including over 3,600 leaves of poetry, short stories, and artwork produced by the students between 1930-1955, a poignant insight into a community – and a nation – irrevocably altered by war.


  14. [MURDER.]

    Arrest de la cour du Parlement, qui condamne Pierre Guyon, jardinier, à étre rompu vif ... dans la Place du Pilory...

    Paris, Pierre-Guillaume Simon, 1778.

    Very rare decree documenting the crimes and punishment of one Pierre Guyon, a murderous gardener from Poitiers; a case of green fingers turning blood-red.


  15. [SEX-WORK.] 

    Arrêtés des 3 et 4 Juin 1833, concernant les femmes et filles livrées à la prostitution publique. 

    Toulon, ‘de l’imprimerie d’Aug. Aurel’, 1833. 

    An apparently unrecorded set of decrees intended to regulate sex-work in the French port of Toulon on the Mediterranean coast, ‘for the maintenance of good morals and public health’. 


  16. RHOADS, James Evans.

    Autograph letter signed (‘James E. Rhoads’) to Henry Horniman.

    Philadelphia, 22 July 1869.

    A letter from the first president of Bryn Mawr College near Philadelphia. Rhoads (1828–1895) helped establish the college as a nondenominational, internationally respected school, and the first higher education institution to offer graduate degrees to women.


  17. BEAUMONT, Gustave-Auguste de la Bonninière de.

    Autograph letter signed (‘Gustave de Beaumont’) to Sarah Austin.

    Birmingham, 27 June [1835].

    A warm and personal autograph documenting the relationship between Beaumont (1802–1866), prison reformer and travel companion to Alexis de Tocqueville, and one of the most accomplished contemporary catalysts of philosophical exchange, the translator Sarah Austin.


  18. CHERUBINI, Luigi.

    Autograph note signed ‘L. Cherubini’ regarding the cellist Auguste Franchomme.

    [Paris,] 19 December 1825.

    A short note in which the composer and director of the Conservatoire de Paris Luigi Cherubini records that ‘Mr. Franchomme’ has been admitted into the class of ‘Mr. Seuriot’ and that he will begin there on 22 December 1825.


  19. RENGGER, Albrecht.

    Bericht über die Armen-Erziehungs-Anstalt in Hofwyl, im Namen der zu Beaufsichtigung derselben niedergesetzten...

    Tubingen, Cotta, 1815.

    First edition of an account of the agricultural school for poor children founded by Philipp Emanuel von Fellenberg on the estate of Hofwyl in Switzerland in 1799. This is a detailed account of the workings of the school, and its ethos, which was designed to be self supporting and taught children the...


  20. [ISLE OF WIGHT].

    By-laws for the regulation and government of the Poor, in the House of Industry, in the Isle of Wight.

    Newport, J. Mallett, 1789.

    First edition thus of a rare survival (two other copies known), documenting the transition from the Poor Relief Act of 1662 to the New Poor Law. The Isle of Wight was granted a licence to manage a House of Industry in 1771. This book of its by-laws consequently reflects the growing belief that the poor...