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John Wilson, Hume's first printer

1988

Abstract

THE first two volumes of David Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature were published (anonymously) in January of 1739, by John Noon. The third and final volume was published (again anonymously) near the end of October, 1740, by Thomas Longman. None of the volumes includes the name of the printer, but, despite the fact that the work was issued over a period of nearly two years, and by two different booksellers, the three volumes are sufficiently alike in appearance to suggest that they were the work of a single printer, a fact first noted, I believe, by J. M. Keynes and P. Sraffa; 'Though the publisher [of the third volume] was different, nevertheless the printer was clearly the same, as is shown by the identity of the ornaments.'

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