The First English Translation of Cesare Beccaria’s On Crimes and Punishments. Uncovering the Editorial and Political Contexts

Rosamaria Loretelli


Following the trails of Pietro Molini, an Italian publisher residing in London whose name appears in one of Alessando Verri’s letters to his brother Pietro, and of John Almon, the publisher of the first English translation of Cesare Beccaria’s On Crimes and Punishments (1767), this article sheds light on the editorial, political and cultural environments in which the translation came into being. It also illustrates how, when Beccaria and Verri were in Paris in October and November 1766, they repeatedly met John Wilkes, who was living there in exile. 


Cesare Beccaria; John Wilkes; Book history; Translation history; Eighteenth-century British history and culture

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