Traité de l'association domestique-agricole.

FOURIER Charles (1822 &1823.)

£3500.00  [First Edition]

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First edition. Two volumes. 8vo (205 x 135mm). lxiv, 592; viii, 648 pp. Some occasional minor foxing throughout both volumes. Later half speckled polished calf with contemporary marbled paper covered boards, spines panelled with elaborate gilt rolls, lettered in gilt on black morocco labels, blue speckled edges (some minor offsetting to endpapers). Paris, Bossange père; Londres, Martin Bossange et Comp. 1822.

[bound with:]

Sommaire du traité de l'association domestique-agricole ou attraction industrielle. 

First edition. 8vo. 16, [1329]-1448 pp. Paris, Bossange père; Londres, Martin Bossange et Comp. 1823.

A foundational text of communitarian socialism and "the essence of Fourier's doctrine" (Evans, Social Romanticism in France 1830-1848, p. 129). Signed by the author to the verso of the half title of Volume One and bound with the scarce supplement, published the following year. 

Comfortably one of the more explicitly utopian proponents of nineteenth-century communitarian socialism, particularly when compared to the relative secularism of Robert Owen, the French social theorist Charles Fourier (1772-1837) advocated social reform through the channeling of natural "passions" of human personality to re-structure the inequalities of competitive, bourgeois society with the establishment of small, harmonious cooperative communities, named "phalanxes" in which people would be free to choose their work and share property. For Fourier, "phalanxes" would be "composed of 1,620 persons inhabiting a huge central dwelling, or 'phalanstery', surround by the workshops, fields, and cultural institutions necessary to a varied and fulfilling existence for each resident" (Guarneri, The Utopian Alternative, p. 2). 

Bound with the scarce supplementary Sommaire, published the following year in 1823 and envisioned as a concise and more readily accessible introduction to Fourier's sprawling treatise. Published partly in response to muted reception of the Traité in Parisian literary circles, the Sommaire was comprised of "prefatory material designed to catch the eye of even the hastiest, most negligent reader. Thus when the book appeared, the main body of the text was preceded by an eight-page Argument du sommaire, a special Avis aux journalistes, a proposal for a Rural Shareholders' Bank, an Avertissement aux propriétaires et capitalises sur le triplement du revenu en association, and finally Instructions pour le vendeur et l'acheteur, presenting in dialogue form the sales pitch to be used by booksellers who had not read the book" (Beecher, Charles Fourier: The Visionary and his World, p. 362).

Fourier remained a largely neglected figure in his own lifetime and it was in the United States, rather than Europe, that his theories enjoyed their greatest practical application, popularised by the works of Albert Brisbane. It was Marx and Engels who would provide the classic assessment of Fourier, grouped together along with Saint-Simon and Robert Owen as the "Utopian Socialists". 

Provenance: Karl Sieveking (1787-1847), diplomat and politician, Syndicus of Hamburg from 1820 until his death, with his ownership inscriptions in black ink to the front free endpapers of both volumes. Two clipped engraved portraits of Fourier, two engraved views and one plan of a Phalanstère, all from unidentified sources, loosely inserted.

Kress, C.864 & C.1060; Goldsmiths, 23694 & 23997; Einaudi, 1960 (both works).

Stock Code: 230935

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