14 Pages

Early Editions of Adam Smith’s Books in Britain and Ireland, 1759–1804:

WithRichard B. Sher

Smith’s first book was published in London at the end of April 1759 with the simple title The Theory of Moral Sentiments.2 It is a one-volume octavo of 550 pages, with thirty narrow lines (about 200 words) to the page. The title page identifies the author as ‘ADAM SMITH, Professor of Moral Philosophy in the University of Glasgow’, and the co-publishers as A. Millar, in the Strand, and the Edinburgh firm of A. Kincaid and J. Bell. The book was printed in April 1759 by William Strahan, whose ledgers record a print run of 1,000 copies.3 In a letter of 26 April, Andrew Millar told the author that the printing required thirty-four sheets, on the basis of which he planned to sell the book for six shillings bound.4