Lisbon. 1794. ,iii,153,pp. Half title. Small quarto. 19th-century black polished calf and marbled boards, spine gilt, leather label. Bookplate of John Carter Brown on front pastedown, with his ink stamp on fourth leaf. Some light soiling on half title, else internally clean. Very good, untrimmed. Item #WRCAM41532
The scarce first edition of the "best known work by Azeredo Coutinho, the controversial figure of the Brazilian Enlightenment" (Borba de Moraes). Azeredo Coutinho (1742-1821) was a "member of the new rich sugar aristocracy of the Campos dos Goitacazes in Rio de Janeiro, [who] held many important ecclesiastical posts in Brazil and in Portugal and repeatedly prodded the government to undertake reforms that would benefit the economies of both the kingdom and her most vital colony. Thus, in 1791 he strongly opposed new price restrictions on sugar, arguing that higher prices would allow Brazilians to buy more goods from Portugal. Three years later he published a series of reform proposals in 'AN ECONOMIC ESSAY ON THE COMMERCE OF PORTUGAL AND HER COLONIES,' in which he revived the century-old argument that the 'true mines' of Brazil were her agricultural resources, not the gold placers which had produced illusory gains" (CAMBRIDGE HISTORY). Like many works of this time period, this piece was probably written in Brazil and then printed in Lisbon, as there was no printing press in Brazil itself until 1808. An interesting look at the economics of the sugar trade in Brazil. BORBA DE MORAES, p.309. SABIN 17949. CAMBRIDGE HISTORY OF LATIN AMERICA II, pp.657-58.