Memoir of Walter Venning
A prison reformer, in a custom made box from Wormword Scrubs in 1975
First edition. Hardback, quarter cloth with paper covered boards. Paper title label to upper board. Housed in clam shell box of quarter leather with cloth covered board. (The box has a label stating it was made at HM Prison Wormwood Scrubs in 1975). 23.5 × 14.5cm, 102pp .
Full title: Memoir of the Life and Character of Walter Venning, Esq. A Member of the Committee of the London Society for the IMprovement of Prison Descipline, &c. Who Died at St Petersburg, January 10th, 1821, from a Fever Contracted in Visiting One of the Gaols of that City
A memoir of Walter Venning, the younger brother of Russian prison reformer John Venning. He began business life in London with an elder brother, William, but in 1799 he joined his brother John in St. Petersburg, remaining there till 1807. In 1810 Venning came under strong religious impressions, and after his mother's death joined a congregational church in 1811. On the formation in 1815 of the Society for the Improvement of Prison Discipline he became an active member; and when he returned to St. Petersburg in 1817, he founded a similar society there, in 1819. Through Prince Alexander Golitsyn Venning obtained permission to visit Russian prisons. In 1818 he visited those of Moscow. He proposed to visit Denmark on a similar mission in August 1820, but was beaten back by weather. He died at his brother's country house on 10 January 1821 of typhus, caught while visiting a prison in St. Petersburg. He was buried at St. Petersburg, where a monument was erected to his memory by the St. Petersburg Society for the Improvement of Prisons. The book has a frontispiece portrait of Venning and a plate of the memorial.
The book is in good condition for age but quite heavily foxed throughout with offsetting from the two plates. The boards have surface wear and some dulling and tanning, with a small divot to the rear board. The slipcase is very nicely made and in good condition.