Essay on the Principle of Population

Thomas Robert MALTHUS

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Essay on the Principle of Population
Essay on the Principle of Population


MALTHUS, T[homas] R[obert]. An Essay on the Principle of Population; or, a View of its Past and Present Effects on Human Happiness; with an Inquiry into our Prospects Respecting the Future Removal or Mitigation of the Evils which it Occasions. London: for J. Johnson by T. Bensley, 1803. Quarto, period-style full green straight-grain morocco, elaborately gilt-decorated spine and boards, raised bands, marbled endpapers.

Second and greatly expanded edition, the first to carry Malthus’ name, of one of the landmark works in economics—four times larger than the first edition and extremely important. Beautifully bound.

This 1803 edition, the first with Malthus' name, was four times larger than the first: "practically a new book" (Osler 1297). "Malthus was one of the founders of modern economics. His Essay was originally the product of a discussion on the perfectibility of society with his father, [who] urged him to publish. Thus the first edition (published anonymously) was essentially a fighting tract, but later editions were considerably altered and grew bulkier as Malthus defended his views against a host of critics… The Essay was highly influential in the progress of thought in early 19th-century Europe [and] his influence on social policy was considerable… Both Darwin and Wallace clearly acknowledged Malthus as a source of the idea of 'the struggle for existence" (PMM 251). "In 1803 Malthus published under his own name the stout quarto that embodies his mature views of his subject. The author confesses in his preface that he had taken too gloomy a view of human nature in his first essay… The achievement of Malthus was the exposition of the theory of population; and his name has been associated so closely with this theory that, like Darwin's, it has added a new adjective to the language of civilized peoples" (Palgrave II:670-1). The first edition was published in 1798. Garrison & Morton 1693. Kress B4701.

Interior generally fresh, title page expertly cleaned. An about-fine copy, beautifully bound.

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