Hoppit, Julian (University College London)
The Historical Journal, 49 (1), (2006)
This article explores some of the main bibliographical dimensions of economic literature at a time when there was much interest in economic matters but no discipline of economics. By looking at what was published in the round much economic literature is shown to be short, ephemeral, unacknowledged, polemical, and legistlatively orientated. This fluidity is underscored by the uncertainties about what constituted key works of economic literature and by the failure of attempts to make sense of that literature through dictionaries and histories. Economic literature in the period was, consequently, more unstable and uncertain than has often been acknowledged. It cannot, therefore, be simply characterized as either ‘mercantilist’ or nascent ‘political economy’.