"A PIONEER OF ECONOMIC HISTORY IN SCOTLAND": FIRST EDITION OF NICHOLSON'S MAGNUM OPUS, PRINCIPLES OF POLITICAL ECONOMY, 1893-1901
NICHOLSON, J[oseph] Shield. Principles of Political Economy. London: Adam and Charles Black, 1893-1901. Three volumes. Octavo, original navy cloth, uncut, gilt-stamped front boards. $950.
First edition of the magnum opus of the preeminent economist, an influential disciple of Adam Smith, this three-volume work renowned for its "skillful interweaving of theory and historical evidence" (ODNB), deemed a "creditable achievement" by Schumpeter, in original bright gilt-stamped cloth.
Nicholson, "a pioneer of economic history in Scotland" and lifelong advocate of Adam Smith, was chair of political economy at the University of Edinburgh for nearly five decades. Regarded as an "exceptional authority… Nicholson was 14 years in writing his main work, Principles of Economics,… its merits—vitality, lucid style, and skillful interweaving of theory and historical evidence—were immediately appreciated… He was a conciliatory bimetallist, a moderate under-consumptionist, a pragmatic free-trader and a subtle defender of the quantity theory of money (ODNB). To Joseph Schumpeter, Nicholson "did excellent work on money" and his Principles of Political Economy was "a creditable achievement' (History of Economic Analysis, 830). F.A. Hayek calls Nicholson one of the major figures credited with analyzing "the most important elements in the monetary factors chiefly connected with the Trade Cycle" (Business Cycles, 105). "An influential economist" (New Palgrave), Nicholson was remembered at his death by The Times for knowing "'his Wealth of Nations as thoroughly as the Scottish peasant knows his Bible'… Certainly it would involve a long search to find a truer disciple of Adam Smith" (ODNB). Batson, 148. Cossa, 257. Einaudi 4134. Front boards with gilt-stamped insignias, "New South Wales, Library of Parliament," inkstamps to title pages (II, III). Bookseller tickets.
Text generally fresh with light foxing mainly to fore-edges, inner hinges expertly reinforced, gilt-stamped cloth bright. A handsome near-fine copy.