Item #17593 Conversations on Political Economy; in which the Elements of that Science are Familiarly Explained. Jane Marcet.
Conversations on Political Economy; in which the Elements of that Science are Familiarly Explained.
Conversations on Political Economy; in which the Elements of that Science are Familiarly Explained.
Conversations on Political Economy; in which the Elements of that Science are Familiarly Explained.

Conversations on Political Economy; in which the Elements of that Science are Familiarly Explained.

London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1817. Second edition, as stated. First published in 1816. Slight edgewear. Some toning and dustsoiling, as usual, but overall quite clean. A very good copy. Attractively rebound in modern light brown calf over marbled boards. Spine titled in gilt. Twelvemo. xii, 485 pp. Item #17593

The present work uses the format of a conversation between a teacher and her young pupil Caroline. In the Oxford DNB, Elizabeth J. Morse writes, “Conversations on Political Economy utilized Ricardian principles before the publication of Ricardo’s Principles on Political Economy. “As in all her works Marcet laid no claim to original through, but she wrote in a lucid, pleasant style, incorporating the latest, often controversial, theories in her popular works. Conversations on Political Economy was praised by Macaulay and Say, and was approved by Malthus, McCulloch, and Ricardo. Her confident presentation of complex ideas in the form of appealing dialogue repelled later economists (notably Alfred Marshall) and led others to conclude that hers was economics for schoolgirls (Schumpeter), but the book’s popularity with adult readers grateful for a simple introduction to a new and forbidding field of knowledege indicates Marcet’s accurate perception of a wide and generally sophisticated readership for an introductory economics text.” Macaulay added that “every girl who has read Mrs. Marcet’s little dialogues on political economy could teach Montagu or Walpole many lessons in finance.”.

Jane Haldimand Marcet (1769-1858) was a writer on science and economics and an important figure in the history of women’s education. Her Conversations on Chemistry (1805) was one of the first elementary science textbooks, written after Marcet attended the lectures of Sir Humphry Davy at the Royal Institution. Michael Faraday read it while working as a bookbinder’s apprentice. Though the author insists in the Preface that her knowledge of the subject is “but recent” and she “can have no real claims to the title of chymist,” her work was popular and influential. Marcet was also a friend and colleague of many important women intellectuals, including Maria Edgeworth and Harriet Martineau. Morse notes that Conversations on Political Economy inspired Martineau to begin writing fiction with economic themes, like her Illustrations of Political Economy (1832). Marcet was married to the important physician Alexander Marcet (1770 – 1822). The Feminist Companion to Literature in English, p. 713.

Price: $950.00

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