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Recherches sur la Nature et les Causes de la Richesse des Nations: Traduit de l'anglois de M. Smith

Authors of source text

Adam Smith


Jean-Louis Blavet
Pierre Jacques Duplain

Related resources

is translation of
An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations has translation
has translation
Ricerche sulla natura, e le cagioni della ricchezza delle nazioni translation


First translated anonymously in 1778–79 (The Hague), with Section VI, on religious foundations, missing, along with 27 of Smith's original footnotes.

Blavet's translation was initially serialized in the Journal de l'agriculture (Jan 1779–Dec 1780). He had already translated Smith's 'Theory of Moral Sentiments'. While it first appeared in Paris in 1781 (with no publisher listed), a pirate edition from Yverdon (1781, reissued 1786 in Paris), led to the first complete edition being published in 1788 by Pierre J. Duplain.

It was reprinted several times, with substantial extracts included in the 'Encyclopédie méthodique. Économie politique et diplomatique' (Paris, 1784–88). A revised translation with a new preface and notes, following corrections to the 3rd English edition, was published in 1800 (Laran et Cie) with "traduit de l'anglais de Adam Smith, par le citoyen Blavet'" on the frontispiece. It was produced with the assistance of Abraham Guyot and directed at students.

See Kenneth E. Carpenter, 'The Dissemination of the Wealth of Nations in French and in France, 1776–1843' (NY: The Bibliographical Society of America, 2002); and Hiroshi Mizuta, 'A Critical Bibliography of Adam Smith' (Routledge, 2002), p.229-31.