1781 FINANCES of PRE-REVOLUTIONARY FRANCE with 2 Fold-Open MAPS First Edition COMPTE RENDU AU ROI
COMPTE RENDU AU ROI, par M. Necker (Monsieur Necker), Directeur Général des Finances. Au mois de Janvier 1781. Imprimé par ordre de Sa Majesté.
(Report to the King, by M. Necker, Director General of Finance. In the month of January 1781. Printed by order of His Majesty.)
Paris, de L'Imprimerie du Cabinet du Roi (the Printing Office of the King's Cabinet), M.DCC.LXXXI (1781).
Hardcovers, marbled paper covered boards, 8x10 inches. Pagination, 2 blank leaves, title-page,  table-of-contents, 116 pages. Contains TWO COLOR FOLD-OPEN MAPS of FRANCE showing various tax districts. One is a gabelle map (a tax on salt) and the other titled Carte Des Traites. They are quite lovely, each suitable for framing imho. There is also a large fold open table. The two maps are often missing in copies of this book.
FAIR condition, the covers are well worn, with scrapes, chipping, rubs, etc. Internally, the inner hinge is split but the pages remain bound with the three strong cord bindings; the front pastedown has a French paper company notice pasted on it; the blank front endpapers have tears and pieces missing at the corners, and a previous owner's name and inscription in French: "Stephen Bates / mil huit cent et onze / Juni vingt huit (June 28, 1811)", the table-of-contents leaf is torn at the bottom affecting the bottom couple of lines, the fold-open table at the rear has a few inch closed tear; there is some foxing throughout; but the pages overall are bright, clean, clear and fully legible.
The Compte Rendu Au Roi is one of the most important documents relating to the finances of pre-revolutionary France. It is the work of Mr. Jacques Necker, then Minister of Finance for Louis XVI. In the midst of the American War of Independence, and the immense debt France was taking on as a participant in the War, Necker presents in detail the financial situation of France.
About JACQUES NECKER and the COMPTE RENDU AU ROI (from Wikipedia):
******Jacques Necker, b.1732 d.1804, was a Genevan banker and statesman who served as finance minister for Louis XVI. He was a reformer, but his innovations sometimes caused great discontent.
Necker held the finance post between July 1777 and 1781, when in the latter year, he earned widespread recognition for his unprecedented decision to publish the COMPTE RENDU - thus making the country's budget public - a novelty in an absolute monarchy where the state of finances had always been kept a secret. Necker was dismissed within a few months of its publication. By 1788, the inexorable compounding of interest on the national debt brought France to a fiscal crisis and Necker was recalled to royal service. His dismissal once again on 11 July 1789 was a factor in causing the Storming of the Bastille.
By 1781, France was suffering financially, and as director general of the royal treasury he was blamed for the rather high debt accrued from the American Revolution. After Necker had shown Louis XVI his annual financial report, the king tried to keep its contents secret. Necker met the challenge aggressively by making the Compte Rendu Au Roi public. It is his most influential work, and brought him instant fame, Necker summarized governmental income and expenditures to provide the first record of royal finances ever made public. The Account was meant to be an educational piece for the people, and in it, he expressed his desire to create a well-informed, interested populace.******