An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. London: W. Strahan; and T. Cadell, 1776. 2 volumes. , 510; , 587,  ad pp. Half-title in vol 2. 4to (274 x 216 mm). Near period diced calf. Vol 1 lacking final blank and with 2E & 2Z gatherings spotted, 3Q1 with long closed tear; rebacked, wear to corners and edges, spines sunned.
First edition. Smith spent ten years writing and perfecting this first major expression of the theory "that the individual had the right to be unimpeded in the exercise of economic activity. The certainty of its criticism and its grasp of human nature have made it the first and greatest classic of modern economic thought." (PMM). Kress 7621; Goldsmith's 11392; PMM 221; Rothschild 1897; Sabin 82303.
Provenance: morocco ex-libris of Blairhame; estate of Helen Dow Whiting.