"a distinct row of books in a bookcase against the wall. I can see 'Wealth of Nations', 'Matter and Motion' (by Maxwell), thick books bound in brown linen"

    The Wealth of Nations is an influential analysis of the principles of trade by Scottish philosopher Adam Smith (1723-1790), pioneering the theory of economics now called 'capitalism'.  Smith made the argument, ever-popular amongst stockbrokers, that the freedom for each person to amass as much wealth as possible without government intervention benefits the economy in general as much as the individual. 

   James Clerk Maxwell (1831–1879) was a theoretical physicist, particularly respected for his innovative work in the field of electromagnetism, which united and greatly advanced the study of electricity and light.  His Matter and Motion is an ambitious text examining the dynamics of movement at all levels; beginning with an elementary account of how particles interact within the atom, its focus ultimately expands to compare the gravitational manoeuvrings of planets.


Online edition of Adam Smith's 'Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations', (first published 1776)

Online edition of James Maxwell's 'Matter and Motion', (first published 1876)