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Penguin Archive prompts new edition of Malthus

Image from the cover of the new Penguin Classics edition of An Essay on the Principle of Population and Other Writings

Press release issued: 1 June 2015

A new Penguin Classics edition of Thomas Malthus’s Essay on the Principle of Population and Other Writings, edited by Robert Mayhew, Professor of Historical Geography at the University of Bristol, is published this week.

The edition follows Professor Mayhew’s acclaimed book, Malthus: The Life and Legacies of an Untimely Prophet (Harvard University Press, 2014).

The project emerged from a comment Professor Mayhew found while working in the Penguin Archive, held in the Special Collections of the University.

Back in 1970, the Penguin team were damning about the edition they had just published: “if we had our time over again, we certainly wouldn’t ask Flew [the editor of the 1970 Penguin classic] to do Malthus, but equally, now that we’ve got it, its [sic] not by any means bad enough to warrant throwing it away and starting again.  Incidentally you’d better not put my view of Flew’s editing in writing; we don’t want a libel action.”

So, a few years ago Professor Mayhew suggested that Penguin commission him to produce a new edition which will hopefully please everyone rather more!

An Essay on the Principle of Population and Other Writings by Thomas Malthus edited by Professor Robert J. Mayhew is published by Penguin £9.99

About Professor Robert J. Mayhew

Robert J. Mayhew is Professor of Historical Geography and Intellectual History at the University of Bristol.  His main areas of research interest are the history of geographical writing, travel writing and literary representations of landscapes in Britain from 1600 to 1900 (with particular focus on the work of Samuel Johnson), and environmental history and politics in Britain from 1600 to 1900.

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