MALTHUS, THOMAS ROBERT. 1766-1834. An Essay on the Principle of Population, as It Affects the Future Improvement of Society.  London: J. Johnson, 1798.
Lot 36
MALTHUS, THOMAS ROBERT. 1766-1834.
An Essay on the Principle of Population, as It Affects the Future Improvement of Society. London: J. Johnson, 1798.
Sold for US$ 137,000 inc. premium

Lot Details
MALTHUS, THOMAS ROBERT. 1766-1834. An Essay on the Principle of Population, as It Affects the Future Improvement of Society.  London: J. Johnson, 1798. MALTHUS, THOMAS ROBERT. 1766-1834. An Essay on the Principle of Population, as It Affects the Future Improvement of Society.  London: J. Johnson, 1798.
MALTHUS, THOMAS ROBERT. 1766-1834.
An Essay on the Principle of Population, as It Affects the Future Improvement of Society. London: J. Johnson, 1798.
8vo (202 x 110 mm). [2], v, [1], ix, [1], 396 pp. Printed on blue paper. Contemporary half-calf and marbled boards. Some faint browning and a few scattered spots, front hinge cracked, first three leaves sprung, binding worn.
Provenance: E[dwin] Cannan (ownership signature penciled to title).

FIRST EDITION, ECONOMIST EDWIN CANNAN'S COPY. A foundational text of modern economics. Malthus sought to demonstrate that while the population of a community increases geometrically, food supplies increase only arithmetically. As a result, various "checks" emerge—which Malthus classified as either "vice" or "misery"—to keep the population from outstripping the food supply. These include wars, famines, plagues, delayed marriages, prostitution, and contraception. This relationship of food supply to population growth and the necessity of these checks, Malthus argued, meant that the perfectibility of society was not possible (the Essay was born from an argument with Malthus' father over the works of Godwin and other utopians).
The Essay proved both controversial and highly influential to early 19th century thinkers. Both Darwin and Wallace, for example, acknowledged its articulation of the struggle for existence as an important source in the development of their theory of natural selection.
"For today's readers, living in a post-Malthus era, the world's population problems are well known and serious, but no longer sensational. It is difficult therefore to appreciate the radical and controversial impact made by the Essay at the time of publication. It challenged the conventional notion that population growth is an unmixed blessing. It discussed prostitution, contraception, and other sexual matters. And it gave vivid descriptions of the horrendous consequences of overpopulation and of the brutal means by which populations are checked" (ODNB).
This copy bears the ownership signature of the British economist and economic historian Edwin Cannan (1861-1935), professor at the London School of Economics from 1925-1926, best known for his 1904 edition of The Wealth of Nations and his History of the Theories of Production and Distribution in English Political Economy (1893). Cannan analyzed Malthius in the latter, as well as in "The Malthusian Anti-Socialist Argument" (Economic Review January, 1892) and elsewhere. PMM 251.

Saleroom notices

  • Neatly rebacked.
Activities
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Arms & Armour, Coins & Medals, Motor Cars, Motorcycles, and Wine & Whisky:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first $150,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from $150,001 to $3,000,000 of the Hammer Price
12% on the excess over $3,000,001 of the Hammer Price

Payment Notices

Payment for purchases may be made in or by (a) cash, (b) cashier's check or money order, (c) personal check with approved credit drawn on a U.S. bank, (d) wire transfer or other immediate bank transfer, or (e) Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit, charge or debit card. A processing fee will be assessed on any returned checks. Please note that the amount of cash notes and cash equivalents that can be accepted from a given purchaser may be limited.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licences please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Contacts
  1. Customer Services & Bids (Los Angeles)
    Customer services
    Bonhams
    Work
    Work +1 323 850 7500
    FaxFax: +1 323 850 6090
  2. Customer Services & Bids (New York)
    Customer services
    Bonhams
    Work
    Work +1 212 644 9001
    FaxFax: +1 212 644 9009
  3. Customer Services & Bids (San Francisco)
    Customer services
    Bonhams
    Work
    Work +1 415 861 7500
    FaxFax: +1 415 861 8951
Similar Items