“Every man has a certain sphere of discretion which he has a right to expect shall not be infringed by his neighbours. This right flows from the very nature of man.”GODWIN, WILLIAM
Enquiry Concerning Political Justice and Its influence on General Virtue and Happiness. London: Robinson, 1793
FIRST EDITION. In Political Justice, his most famous work, Godwin responds to Burke’s attacks on the French Revolution and Thomas Paine. He applies the principles of the Revolution to inquire into the philosophical basis of government. Believing that political and social institutions are tyrannical and corrupt, Godwin calls for reason to guide human affairs and advocates individual liberty.
STOWE, HARRIET BEECHER
Uncle Tom’s Cabin; or, life among the lowly. Boston: Jewett, 1852
FIRST EDITION, FIRST PRINTING. “These books are of such paramount historical importance that it is difficult to evaluate them as literature” (Merle Johnson). “Three thousand copies were sold on the day of publication, and before its first anniversary, over 300,000 copies were sold in America … More than twenty London editions appeared in 1852, so the English audience must have been as large as the American. No other American novel has been translated into so many foreign languages” (Grolier/American).
KEYNES, JOHN MAYNARD
General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money. London, 1936
FIRST EDITION of this classic of modern economics, “on which his fame as the outstanding economist of his generation must rest” (DNB). World-wide depression induced Keynes to re-examine classical approaches to economics. Urging the use of a national budget as a principal instrument of the planning of the national economy, Keynes placed responsibility for regulation of the economy squarely in the hands of the government.
MALTHUS, THOMAS ROBERT
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: J. Johnson, 1803
Second edition, expanded to four times the length of the 1798 edition. This is the first edition to have Malthus’s name on the title and the first to present data supporting his argument that population increases geometrically while food increases only arithmetically.