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The State of the Prisons in England and Wales.

HOWARD (John).

HOWARD (John).


The State of the Prisons in England and Wales,
with Preliminary Observations, and an Account of some Foreign Prisons and Hospitals. The Second Edition.

11 engraved plates (10 of them folding).

8vo. [238 x 144 x 37 mm]. [4]ff, 449, [19] pp. Bound in contemporary tree calf, the covers with a gilt border composed of fillets and repeated impressions of an anthemion and other small floral tools. The spine divided into six panels by double bands with gilt compartments, lettered in the second panel on a red goatskin label, the first and sixth tooled with a repeated floral and pearl festoon roll, the third, fourth and fifth with a swag and small medallions, the edges of the boards and turn-ins tooled with gilt rolls, marbled endleaves, red marbled edges.
Warrington: by William Eyres, 1780.

A very fine copy in an exceptionally handsome binding with striking red marbled edges.

John Howard (1726-1790) began his work for prisoners in 1773, when as High Sheriff of Bedford he visited the local gaol. In his subsequent search for prisons in which the gaolers were paid a salary rather than by the inmates, he discovered a shocking degree of squalor. His findings prompted the passing of two Acts, which abolished gaolers' fees and provided for the improvement of the sanitation in prisons and for the medical care of the inmates. Not content simply with these reforms Howard undertook a tour of British and continental gaols, the findings of which were described in The State of the Prisons. First published in 1770, the work stands as the earliest major work on the subject.

"His single-handed campaign not only caused a revolution in his lifetime but is the direct progenitor of the subsequent work in the most crucial branch of penal reform" - Printing and the Mind of Man, 224.

Stock no. ebc2572

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Price: £2250