Le Capital… Traduction de M. J. Roy, entičrement revisée par l’auteur

Autore MARX, Karl (1818-1883).
Tipografo Éditeurs Maurice Lachâtre et C.ie
Dati tipografici Paris, 
Prezzo 5500.00
Le Capital

“Not a mere translation, but rather an original work” (Marx)

Small folio (276x192 mm). 351, [1] pp. including: half-title with large allegorical vignette and the indication “1re Livraison, Prix de la Livraison: dix centimes”; title with a vignette showing the Pantheon; on the title-page verso the device of Typographie Lahurf; full-page portrait of Marx with his signature at the bottom; facsimile of a letter from Marx to the editor Maurice Lachâtre (the latter's reply is on verso: “Au citoyen Karl Marx”); Préface de la première édition dated 25 July 1875 (p. [9]); Avis au lecteur dated London, 28 April 1875 (p. 348); Extraits de la postface de la seconde édition allemande (pp. 348-351); errata (p. 351); and table of contents on the last page. Decorated head- and tail-pieces. Text in two columns from p. [13] onwards. Modern red half morocco with gilt title, panels made of clear Plexiglas, preserving the original editor's printed wrappers, which are still visible. Some minor foxing and staining, but a very good copy.

FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE of the first French translation of volume one of Das Kapital. The translation by M.J. Roy was based on the manuscript of the second German edition. Marx had amended the original text and had sent a copy of the revised manuscript to the socialist Parisian editor Maurice Lachâtre, a friend of Proudhon, before the publication of the Hamburg edition in June 1872. Marx regarded the translation as an original work, “which has a scientific value independent from the original and should be consulted even by readers familiar with the German language” (see the Avis au lecteur, p. 348). So Le Capital was not a mere translation, but rather an original work. As with the Russian edition, Marx was directly involved in the printing and praised the editor's choice to first distribute the book in serial form.

The edition was issued in installments between August 1872 and May 1875. The present copy is the first issue of the volume edition, which was reissued between 1878 and 1880 by the Librairie du Progrès with the preliminary leaves newly printed.

From Marx's correspondence it appears that the French government was worried about the publication of the book and tried to prevent it. Despite that, the publication went through, but its sale was temporarily forbidden and Lachâtre hesitated at first to sell copies. In the second issue, which appeared under the name of the Librairie du Progrès, the preliminary leaves, including Lachâtre's dedication to Marx, were either altered or omitted.

Die Erstdrucke der Werke von Marx und Engels, p. 33; PMM, 359; Rubel, 634; Books That Made Europe, p. 248; Einaudi, 3770.

  • Le Capital
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  • Le Capital