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    Description

    James Anderson. Essays Relating to Agriculture and Rural Affairs. Edinburgh: Printed for William Creech and T. Cadell, London., 1777.

    Second edition. Two octavo volumes (8.25 x 5 inches; 210 x 127 mm.). [4], xxii, 500; [2], xxxii, 413, [1] pages. With three engraved folding plates relating to draning and enclosures, and eighteen engraved plates of grasses.

    Half red-brown calf over marbled boards, spines tooled in gilt in compartments, gilt black morocco lettering piece, edges sprinkled blue, marbled endpapers. Lower outer corner of leaf N2 in volume 1 torn, and lower outer corner of N2 in volume 2 clipped, in both instances unaffecting text. Toning along edges of volume 1 half title. Plates 2, 3, 7, and [15] in volume 2 each with a small hole, and each recently backed. Overall a very good set.

    Anderson (1739-1808) -- farmer, economist, chemist, and inventor of the Scotch plough -- is best remembered as the author of two tracts from 1777 (the Observations and Inquiry) which delineate his differential theory of rent based on the extensive margin. The present work, a second, expanded edition published in the same year as Anderson's famous tracts, is of a far more practical nature; indeed, as George Edwin Fussell writes, "Anderson was in the most precise sense a miscellaneous writer ... much of his contribution was severely practical as might be expected from a man of his experience ... He turned to the farmer and saw him isolated and ill informed, so he decided to publish 'a concise view of all those subjects that ought to demand the farmer's attention'" (More Old English Farming Books, pp. 104-106).

    Goldsmith I, 11233.


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