Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    First Edition of Malthus on Population

    [Thomas Robert Malthus]. An Essay on the Principle of Population, as it Affects the Future Improvement of Society. With Remarks on the Speculations of Mr. Godwin, M. Condorcet, and Other Writers. London: Printed for J. Johnson, 1798. First edition. Octavo. 396 pages, without advertisement at end. Contemporary full speckled calf with gilt-stamped borders to covers. Morocco spine labels with gilt titles and gilt-stamped decorations and ruling. Rich inner dentelles with extensive gilt, as well as spine ends and corner edges. Marbled endpapers. All edges gilt. Very light wear to covers. A few spots of minor foxing and toning throughout. Minor offsetting to endpapers. Owner signature to title. Otherwise, a near fine copy of this important work.

    In Malthus' best known work, he posits the idea that food supplies tend to grow arithmetically while population tends to grow geometrically, with famine, war and poverty being the inevitable conclusion. As economics became known as the "dismal science" shortly thereafter, this work played an important role, being incorporated into the works of the early classical economists Jeremy Bentham, James Mill, and David Ricardo. The broad interest in Malthus with various social sciences, along with Darwin recognizing its influence on The Origin of the Species, make the first edition of this Enlightenment work of great historical significance and as sought after as Smith's Wealth of Nations.

    Garrison-Morton 1693. Kress B.3693. Norman 1431. Printing and the Mind of Man, 251. From the James and Deborah Boyd Collection.

    Fees, Shipping, and Handling Description: Books & Catalogs (view shipping information)

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2012
    11th-12th Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,740

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $50,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $50,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2018 August 18 Americana & Political - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    The department director has the heart of a true and highly knowledgeable collector with the business acumen of someone who has been not only successful but has decades of an impeccable track record
    David Greenburg,
    Chicago, IL
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2018 March 17 Western Americana & Texana Grand Format Auction - Dallas
    2018 March 17 Western Americana & Texana Grand Format Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $327,896