Amsterdam: E. van Harrevelt (1771). 256pp.
An early French edition of this very influential book on the reformation of the penal system, originally published in Italian. Beccaria was a professor of law and economics in Milan and argued persuasively that the "gravity of a crime should be measured by its injury to society and that the penalties should be related to this." He denounced the use of capital punishment and torture and the book became a profound success in the field of criminology and was translated into twenty-two languages. He deals with a number of specific crimes and discusses laws against pederasty (homosexuality) and other sexually based offenses.
This is the third edition and the first to appear with the introduction by Voltaire. Very good in contemporary paper boards, spine cracking a bit, handwritten spine label, See Printing and the Mind of Man @209. Uncommon.