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Rare first edition of Das Kapital on sale

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This first edition of the first volume of Das Kapital was published in Hamburg in 1867 and was the only volume of the book to be published during Marx’s life.

 by . Saturday 5th May is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx. Peter Harrington, the UK’s largest rare bookseller, currently has several copies of his books for sale including an exceptionally rare first edition of the first volume of Das Kapital of which only 1,000 copies were printed.

This first edition of the first volume of Das Kapital was published in Hamburg in 1867 and was the only volume of the book to be published during Marx’s life. It was the culmination of over 25 years of study, much of which took place in the Reading Room of the British Museum.

As Pom Harrington the owner of Peter Harrington says “This book is a masterpiece which changed the world and its impact cannot be overestimated. The book we have for sale is a bright, clean copy and we are sure there are lots of people who would love to hold this historic book in their hands and own it.”

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The book is for sale for £100,000 and as Adam Douglas of Peter Harrington says “Marx would certainly have raised a thick black eyebrow at our price, although he understood perfectly that the capitalist system tended to produce high priced luxury goods. Marx spent most of his adult life in poverty, but he was a firm believer in the power of literature to change minds, being a prodigious writer whose collected works fill fifty volumes. 

Das Kapital was the most important work published in his lifetime, a thorough critique of the classical economic theories espoused by the likes of Adam Smith. It was not seen at the time as a harbinger of revolution, but was read with interest by sober German bankers and financiers, and was even issued in serial form. It found its most eager readership however in St Petersburg and was soon translated into Russian, where Marxist theories would have their most dramatic effect. But now, after the fall of those states supposedly based on communist economic theory, in a global marketplace of increasing economic inequality, Marx has never seemed more relevant.”

Das Kapital is on display at the Peter Harrington shop in Dover Street, Mayfair and Ben Houston one of the Peter Harrington experts has made a short video about the book.