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. A new edition, very much enlarged.
London: Printed for J. Johnson...by T. Bensley, 1803.
The Economics of Population
MALTHUS, T[homas] R[obert]. 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. A new edition, very much enlarged. London: Printed for J. Johnson... by T. Bensley, 1803.
Second edition, enlarged and revised. Quarto. viii, , 610 pp.
Contemporary calf, skillfully rebacked to style and with corners renewed. Spine decoratively tooled in gilt compartments with burgundy morocco gilt lettering label. Endpapers renewed. Occasional light foxing. Title-page with publisher's diagonal paper flaw crease. Overall very good.
A completely revised and greatly expanded edition of the most influential work on population ever written. Malthus published the first edition of his Essay in 1798, and was apparently unprepared for the torrent of controversy that his ideas provoked. His response to the public outcry was to spend the next five years refining and expanding his theories for this second edition, so much so that "in its present shape, it may be considered a new work, and I should probably have published it as such, omitting the few parts of the former which I have retained, but that I wished it to form a whole of itself, and not to need a continual reference to the other." (preface)
Malthus' basic argument--that population increases geometrically at a greater rate than does the means of subsistence, which increases arithmetically--was one of the earliest modern economic and social theories, and his contention that it would eventually become necessary for society to impose some form of restraint on over-population provided the premise for heated socio-economic debate for almost two centuries.
Kress B4701. See Printing and the Mind of Man 251.