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FIELDING, HENRY. - An Enquiry Into the Causes of the Late Increase of Robbers, &c. With some proposals for remedying this growing evil ... the second edition.

London, Millar 1751. 12mo contemporary (or publisher's?) calf (rubbed and a bit crazed, small chip from the spine, hinges cracking but firm); xxii,203pp. A little browning at the very ends, a rather good, fresh copy. With the half title advertising the book at 3/- bound, 2/6 sewn; bookplate of diplomat and Pennsylvanian folklorist Henry W Shoemaker. ¶ A timely best-seller. This second edition followed the first edition (which had an uncommonly large print run of 1500 copies; this second edition was even larger, with 2000 copies) by about six weeks, with minor revisions and corrections. Fielding's social and magisterial conscience made him a strenuous pamphleteer and this was his most important and influential foray into social and legal reform. The gin craze and other pernicious 'luxuries' rampant among the lowest classes; the civic 'lethargy' of government; the incoherent and helpless systems of policing and prosecution all fall under Fielding's inspection. Credit has been given, and is in some measure due, to this work for the Gin Law of 1751 and the inception of the modern police force. It is also a vivid picture of the degredation of London's poor or 'commonalty'. The three page notice 'To the Public' at the end advertises the establishment of a registry of servants in order to obviate the scourge of rudeness and insolence of servants hired without any good character.
AUD 375.00 [Appr.: EURO 232.75 US$ 273.27 | £UK 209.25 | JP¥ 30777] Book number 7963

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