First Italian Edition of Bentham's Theory of Legislation Bentham, Jeremy [1748-1832]. Dumont, Pierre Etienne Louis [1759-1829], Editor and Translator. Azzariti-Stella, Michele, Translator (into Italian). Trattati di Legislazione Civile e Penale: Preceduti da' Principi Generali di Legislazione, E da un Proggetto di un Corpo Completo di Dritto: Terminati da un Saggio Sulla Influenza de' Tempi e de' Luoghi Relativamente alle Leggi. Naples: Presso Angelo Trani, 1818. Three volumes. viii, 432, ; xii, 484; xi, 504 pp. Each volume has half-title. Complete set. Octavo (7-3/4" x 5"). Contemporary quarter morocco over marbled boards, gilt titles, fillets and volume numbers to spine. Light rubbing to boards, somewhat heavier rubbing to extremities, corners bumped, hinges of Volumes I and II cracked, text blocks of both somewhat loose. Light toning to text, faint dampstaining and light foxing to some leaves. Later owner stamp to front free endpaper of each volume, interiors otherwise clean. A handsome copy of a rare edition. $3,000. * First Italian edition. This seminal work on penal reform and legislation established Bentham's reputation. The first of his works edited by Dumont, it consists partly of papers by Bentham, some originally written in French, and partly of a digest by Dumont of Bentham's ideas, including an essay on the Panopticon. Dumont, a Swiss writer and journalist, met Bentham at the house of Lord Shelburne in 1788. This meeting resulted in an enduring relationship. Devoted to Bentham's ideas, Dumont translated and edited many of his works and served as his informal literary agent. The first edition of The Theory of Legislation was published in Paris in 1802 as Traites de Legislation Civile et Penale. Our Italian edition came next, followed by an edition in Spanish in 1821-1822 and one in German, with an abridged text, in 1830. The first edition in English was published in Boston in 1840. The first British edition followed in 1864. Harrison, Bentham xvii. OCLC locates 2 copies of the first Italian edition in North America (at George Washington Law School and Yale). Muirhead, A Jeremy Bentham Collection 17.
Book number 65640