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[Tract volume containing 7 pamphlets by Sinclair bound together presumably on his behalf.]
London: , 1782-3. 7 works bound in 1 volume, octavo (202 x 125 mm). Contemporary half calf, marbled paper boards, red morocco label to spine, compartments ruled in gilt. Armorial bookplate to front pastedown of the Kinnaird baronetcy of Perthshire. Pages trimmed in the binding process, most noticeable on the title pages, very good copies. Six early individual works and one duplicate by the Scottish agriculturalist and politician, bound together presumably at his request. Thoughts on the Naval Strength of the British Empire (the fifth pamphlet included in this volume) "began what was to become a vast list of publications" (ODNB) by Sinclair, and he wrote prolifically on agriculture, political economy, government finance, and health. Between 1790-1 he produced the vast 21-volume Statistical Account of Scotland, for which he is generally credited with the first use of the word "statistics" in the English language. The Sinclair family owned about a quarter of Caithness county during the 18th and 19th centuries, and Sinclair began his political career by representing it at the general election of 1780. He shaped much of the surrounding countryside, having planned the town of Thurso and encouraged the establishment of the British fishing industry in nearby Wick. He was also a major catalyst behind the creation of the Board of Agriculture in 1793 of which he was the first president. Despite needing a house in London for his political career, his family home was in Edinburgh. In 1791, the farmer and journalist James Anderson wrote to Jeremy Bentham: "Of Sir John Sinclair you entertain, with justice, a high opinion, respecting his industry and application. In these respects, perhaps, I know no man who is his equal, and I believe his dispositions at bottom are very good... he has the art of picking up ideas from one and another, and then bringing them out in some measure as his own. He may thus be the means of doing much good, and... he has, in this way, been already of much use, and may be of more" (Milne, letter 782). Bound up together are the following texts: 1. Lucubrations During a Short Recess. London: printed for J. Debrett, 1782. Bound without the half-title. First edition of the author's second work which provides a theoretical support to the idea of parliamentary reform. 2. Duplicate copy of Lucubrations During a Short Recess as described above. 3. Lucubrations during a Short Recess containing A Plan for a More Equal Representation of the People. London: printed for J. Debrett, 1783. With the one-page publisher's advertisement to the rear. Title page with annotation in ink "from the author" trimmed in the binding process, lower corner of title page partially uncut. Second edition corrected. 4. Hints addressed to the Public. Calculated to dispel the gloomy ideas which have been lately entertained of the state of our finances. London: printed for T. Cadell, 1783. Title page with annotation in ink "from the author" trimmed in the binding process, corrections made in ink to 12 pages. First edition. Goldsmiths' 12502. 5. Thoughts on the Naval Strength of the British Empire. London: printed for T. Cadell, 1782. With an additional printer's blank to the rear. First edition of Sinclair's first book in which he argued for the superiority of the British navy above those of France and Spain, in contradiction with many of his contemporary's opinions. Goldsmiths' 12374. 6. Memoir: containing a Plan for Re-establishing the Public Credit, and Finances of the Country. London: [n. pub.], 1783. First edition. 7. Reflexions on the Expediency of Increasing the Present Number of the Representatives of the People. London: printed for T. Cadell, 1782. Minor loss to top right corner of title page but text unaffected. First edition.
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington]
Last Found On: 2018-02-26           Check availability:      Biblio    

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