De l'administration des finances de la France.
NECKER Jacques (1784.)
£750.00 [First Edition]
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First edition, early issue. Three volumes. 8vo. iv, clix, , 354; , iii, , 536; , iv, 468 pp., Vol. 1 errata on p. 354 with eleven points listed and folding letterpress table, Vol. 2 errata on p. iii with six points listed, Vol. 3 errata on p. iv with six points listed. Contemporary mottled calf, spines panelled with gilt rules, the second and third panels lettered in red and green morocco labels, the rest floral gilt stamps, covers with double gilt fillet borders, red edges, marbled endpapers (some very neat restoration to head and tails of spines, otherwise an excellent set). N.p., n.p.
Described by the great Scottish political economist John Ramsay McCulloch as "the only authentic account of the finances of France previously to the Revolution. Owing to the popularity of its author, and the peculiar circumstances of the country at the time when it was published, the Revolution having all but commenced, the demand for the work was so very great that 80,000 were sold in the course of a few days" (The Literature of Political Economy: a Classified Catalogue, 1845, p. 347).
Indeed, the Kress Collection of Business and Economics holds six copies of this 1784 edition: "All are printed from same setting of type, but they differ slightly in terms of the pagination, the number of errata listed and the extent to which the errata have been corrected" (Carpenter). The present issue contains a number of uncorrected printing errors indicated by the errata, which suggests that it is at least an early issue as in later issues from 1784 virtually all of the errors were corrected.
In 1776 Necker was appointed finance minister of Louis XVI, where he proved to be a popular and capable reformer. However enemies at court, led by Marie-Antoinette, plotted his dismissal in 1781, and Necker subsequently wrote this, his most influential and important work, before being reinstated as finance minister in 1788.
Engraved armorial bookplates of François-Henry Haroüard de St. Sornin to front pastedowns of Vol. II & III.
Carpenter, Economic Bestsellers Before 1850, XXIX (3).
Stock Code: 239569