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  • Razsuzhdenīe o prestuplenīi︠a︡kh i nakazanīi︠a︡kh... [Dei Delittie e delle Pene / On Crimes and Punishments in Russian]. by BECCARIA, Cesare, marchese di. Dmitri YAZYKOV, translator. BECCARIA, Cesare, marchese di. Dmitri YAZYKOV, translator. ~ Razsuzhdenīe o prestuplenīi︠a︡kh i nakazanīi︠a︡kh... [Dei Delittie e delle Pene / On Crimes and Punishments in Russian]. St. Petersburg: Gubernskom Pravlenīi, 1803.
    First edition in Russian of Beccaria’s Dei Delittie e delle Pene (1764) translated from the French version of Morellot. In his fundamental Enlightenment legal treatise… (more)

    First edition in Russian of Beccaria’s Dei Delittie e delle Pene (1764) translated from the French version of Morellot. In his fundamental Enlightenment legal treatise Beccaria opposed the death penalty and ‘maintained that the gravity of the crime should be measured by its injury to society and that the penalty should be related to this’ (Printing and the Mind of Man). It was enthusiastically read (in French) by Catherine the Great while codifying her own celebrated legal manifesto, Nakaz, in which almost a third of the text came directly from Beccaria, alongside major borrowings from Montesquieu’s L’Ésprit des lois. Given Catherine’s intellectual omnipotence it is perhaps unsurprising that no Russian edition of Dei Delittie e delle Pene itself appeared during her reign, even though its spirit imbued her widely disseminated Nakaz — required reading for anyone involved in Russian law and government. Thus Beccaria’s principles came to serve as ideals for future legislators in Russia and were fully incorporated into Russian criminal law by the end of the nineteenth century. The title of Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment (Prestupléniye i nakazániye, 1866) is only the most prominent emblem of Beccaria’s influence in Russia.

    ‘The first [Russian] translation of Beccaria came out in 1803. It was done by the poet D. Yazykov from the French translation by Morellet, edited by Roederer in 1797... the translation is one of the best in Russian. It manages to convey not only the ideas of the treatise but also the spirit, the language of Beccaria and his contemporaries. It is dedicated to Alexander I...’ (Cizova).

    Dmitry Ivanovich Yazykov (1773-1845), writer, translator, academician and director of the Ministry of Public Education later published a translation of Montesquieu’s Esprit des Lois in 1809–14. Cf. Printing and the Mind of Man 209. Rare: Worldcat lists only the NYPL and Yale copies in anglophone countries. T. Cizova, ‘Beccaria in Russia.’ Slavonic and East European Review, Vol. 40, No. 95 (Jun. 1962), pp. 384-408.

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  • L’Ombre immortelle de Catherine II au tombeau d’Alexandre Ier. by LE NORMAND, Marie-Anne Adélaïde. LE NORMAND, Marie-Anne Adélaïde. ~ L’Ombre immortelle de Catherine II au tombeau d’Alexandre Ier. Paris: Mlle Le Normand, auteur-éditeur,... Dondey-Dupré père et fils,... et chez les principaux libraires de la France et de l’étranger, 1 Février 1826
    First edition of Le Normand’s panegyric for Alexander I and her prophecies for the state of Russia following the Emperor’s death in 1825. Marie-Anne Lenormand… (more)

    First edition of Le Normand’s panegyric for Alexander I and her prophecies for the state of Russia following the Emperor’s death in 1825. Marie-Anne Lenormand (1772–1843) was a celebrated (or notorious) clairvoyant, publisher, and self-publicist Famed throughout Europe for her exclusive clientele, she popularised cartomancy and spawned an enormous wave of imitators. At the height of her career she claimed to have advised the likes of Robespierre, Talleyrand, Metternich, the Empress Josephine and Emperor Alexander himself; others argued that the whole thing was a sham, and she was frequently arrested, spending several weeks in prison.

    The title verso here gives a list of Le Normand’s other prophesies, both published and forthcoming. Though the half-title verso bears an author’s statement, requiring authorised copies to be signed by her, this copy is unsigned (though genuine).

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  • Histoire de la vie, du regne, et du detronement d’Iwan III. Empereur de Russie. Assassiné à Schlüsselbourg dans la nuit du 15. au 16. Juillet (ns.) 1764. Par Mr. de M****. by [MAUVILLON, Éléazar de]. [MAUVILLON, Éléazar de]. ~ Histoire de la vie, du regne, et du detronement d’Iwan III. Empereur de Russie. Assassiné à Schlüsselbourg dans la nuit du 15. au 16. Juillet (ns.) 1764. Par Mr. de M****. Londres: [s.n.], 1766.
    First edition, a rare account of the short and tragic life of Ivan Antanovitch, who reigned briefly as an infant Emperor of Russia from 1740-1… (more)

    First edition, a rare account of the short and tragic life of Ivan Antanovitch, who reigned briefly as an infant Emperor of Russia from 1740-1 before being spirited away after the coup of Elizabeth of Russia in 1741 and then conveniently assassinated in 1764, shortly after the accession of Catherine the Great. A false ‘Londres’ imprint: ESTC suggests printing in the Netherlands (and list no copies outside Europe). No copy listed in the catalogue of the Bibliothèque nationale.

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  • A Political Fair. by WOODWARD, [George Murgatroyd]. WOODWARD, [George Murgatroyd]. ~ A Political Fair. London: Thomas Tegg, October 1st 1807.
    George Woodward, affectionately dubbed ‘Mustard George’ by his contemporaries, was one of the pioneers of English caricature. Like his drinking-partner Thomas Rowlandson, Woodward absorbed high… (more)

    George Woodward, affectionately dubbed ‘Mustard George’ by his contemporaries, was one of the pioneers of English caricature. Like his drinking-partner Thomas Rowlandson, Woodward absorbed high and low culture omnivorously and paid keen attention to contemporary politics.

    A Political Fair is ‘a fantastic survey of the international situation’ in 1807 and is considered one of Woodward’s finest images, the print catalogue of the British Museum devoting two full pages to its complex allegories. At the heart of the fair is a large booth (‘The Best-Booth in the Fair’) representing Great Britain holding aloft on its platform images of Britannia, John Bull, together with an Irishman, Scotsman and Welsh harpist gathered convivially around a punchbowl, while a waiter sweeps into the chamber below with a vast joint of roast beef on his platter. All this was typical of Woodward’s patriotism and was intended to portray the essential unity of the nation amidst the host of clamouring figures in the neighbouring booths representing the other nations. Napoleon, in tricorn and feathers, rebuffs a disgruntled Dutchman complaining about his King with the words ‘I never change Mynheer after the goods are taken out of the Shop’. High up on the right, the American booth displays a placard advertising ‘Much ado about Nothing with the Deserter’, a reference to the friction between Britain and the United States over recent defections from British to American ships and the ban on armed British ships in American ports. The Danish booth on the left advertises ‘The English Fleet and The Devil to Pay’ in reference to the hideous bombardment of Copenhagen by the British fleet in September that year.

    Musical and theatrical references abound, with many of the placards punning on the titles of plays and musical performances then showing in London: Much ado about Nothing, All’s well that ends well (Shakespeare), The Padlock (Bickerstaffe), The Deserter (Dibdin), The Double Dealer (on the Russian booth, by Congreve) and The English Fleet (Dibdin again). BM Satires, 10763

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