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When I was helping my husband to prepare a third edition of his Manual of Political Economy, it occurred to us both that a small book, explaining as briefly as possible the most important principles of the science, would be useful to beginners, and would perhaps be an assistance to those who are desirous of introducing the study of Political Economy into schools. It is mainly with the hope that a short and elementary book might help to make Political Economy a more popular study in boys and girls' schools that the following pages have been written. In order to adapt the book especially for school use, questions have been added at the end of each chapter,



In preparing a second edition of this little book, I have made no alterations in its general character and scope. Each page has, however, been carefully revised, and at the end of each chapter I have added, after the questions, a few little puzzles, which the learner is expected to be able to solve for himself or herself; they may also, in cases where this book is used in a class, serve as a vehicle for introducing a discussion.

I am greatly indebted to Mr E. E. Bowen of Harrow School for his kindness in suggesting this addition; and I am also specially indebted to Prof. J. E. Cairnes for many most valuable criticisms, of which in preparing this edition I have largely availed myself.

LONDON, 1872.


SOME of the puzzles which I have added at the end of each chapter raise questions of no little complexity and difficulty to the beginner; and it will, no doubt, be often found that in solving these little problems the student will need to go a good deal beyond the contents of the chapter to which they are appended. In order to help beginners through some of the difficulties connected with the subjects of currency and foreign trade, I have published a little book called Tales in Political Economy, which I hope may be useful to those young students who find that some of the puzzles carry them out of their depth.

I have only to express once more my obligations to the teaching of the late Prof. Cairnes. So far as I thought the subject lay within the scope of an elementary book, I have adopted, in this edition, the theory of cost of production, which is fully and clearly described in his Leading Principles of Political Economy Newly Expounded.

LONDON, 1876.

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