Paris: Imprimerie Royale. 1843-1847.
First collected edition. Seven volumes. 4to. 275x218mm. pp. Vol. I. [vi], xv [ibl], 420; Vol. 2. [iv], xvi, 440; Vol.3. [viii], xx, 381; Vol. 4. [iv], xl, 552, 1 folding plate; Vol. 5. [vi], vi, 540, 2pp errata. Vol. 6. [iv], vii [i bl], 479; Vol. 7. [vi], cxcv, 691. Volumes 1-5 contain the Traité de Mécanique Céleste, volume 6 is Exposition du Systeme du Monde, and volume 7 is Théorie analytique des Probabilités. Contemporary quarter calf, marbled paper covered boards. Spine lettered in gilt. Marbled endpapers. All edges marbled. Some rubbing and scuffing to the boards with a tear to the paper on the front board of volume 7. Some bumping to corners but overall this is an excellent set in very good condition. Internally fine.
Often referred to as the French Newton, Laplace (1749-1827) worked in the fields of astronomy, physics and mathematics. His main (and certainly his longest work), Traité de Mécanique Céleste (Celestial Mechanics) refocused the study of classical mechanics from geometry to calculus. He was also one of the first scientists to indicate the possibility of the existence of black holes. This is the first edition of the works published by the French state between 1843 and 1847. The edition was begun by Laplace’s widow but quickly, and in recognition of the brilliance and importance of the scientist, the government took over its publication following the agreement of the Assembly and the granting of funds. The books remain among the central texts of western science.