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POMMELLES, Chevalier de. Tableau de la population de toutes les provinces de France, et de la proportion, sous tous les rapports, des naissances, des morts & des marriages depuis dix ans, d’après les registres de chaque Généralité. Paris, 1789.

Large 4to. [26.8 x 21 cm ], (1) f., with cancel pasted on of vendors, 68 pp., 1 large folding plate. Bound in marbled paper boards with morocco title label, gilt. Wide margins, mostly uncut. Very fine.


Very rare first edition of de Pommelles’ groundbreaking study of the population of France and its bearing on provincial militia quotas, important for the application of statistics to the study of large groups. Just before the Revolution, the lieutenant-colonel Chevalier de Pommelles combined the concerns of the contemporary enlightened mind: the development of a precise, quantitative national census to show the nation’s manpower with a concern for extracting a fairer percentage of men from the provinces for military duty.

De Pommelles provides a short history of the long-established militia tradition beginning with King Clovis I (466-511 AD), and correlates the demographics (culled from a more extensive sampling of regional records than his predecessors) with other data, including birth, marriage and death rates. A comprehensive and large format fold-out table, or Tableau de la Population, et rapport des Naissances, Mariages et Morts de toutes les Géneralités du Royaume , correlates and compares this birth-death-marriage data for thirty-one regions, totaling 25,065,883 residents, including 660,000 for the city of Paris alone.

OCLC: Stanford, Princeton.

* Goldsmiths 13816; INED 1396; not in Kress; not in Einaudi; Martin & Walter 10541; Forrest, Conscripts and Deserters: The Army and French Society during the Revolution, 1989.

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