London: A. Millar, 1751.
Second edition. xxxii, 203,  pp. 12mo. Contemporary calf. Rebacked, corners worn. Cross III, p. 320. Provenance: William Frith (ex dono inscription on title); Louis & Anne Marie Davidson (bookplate). Item #308068
Second edition with revisions of Fielding's most important social tract, written as chief magistrate, "the most remarkable of his social tracts — a work as important for what it reveals about his temperament and character as for the remedies it prescribes for the disorders of the commonwealth" (Battestin, pp. 513-4).
Fielding advocates reforms to the penal code that would curb the social ills — drunkenness, gambling, prostitution, theft — that plagued mid-18th century England. The social order can only be maintained by instilling fear in the general population, and punishment should be harsh and swift. Executions, instead of being public spectacles, should arouse fear and terror and should be solemnly conducted in secret.
Price: $500.00 Free Domestic Delivery