[Item #61964] A Few International Historical Sketches of Internal Administration [title from cover: Sketches of Nineteenth Centiry Whitewash Civilization]. W. CHAPMAN, William?

A Few International Historical Sketches of Internal Administration [title from cover: Sketches of Nineteenth Centiry Whitewash Civilization]

N.p. by the Author, 1895. First and only edition. Octavo (20.5cm). Original pictorial cloth-covered boards; 128pp; illus. Mild external wear and soil; thin cracks to endpapers at gutters; Very Good.

An exceedingly odd and correspondingly uncommon work. OCLC cataloguing identifies the author, certainly incorrectly, as the 19th French-Canadian journalist and poet William Chapman (1850-1917). There is no internal evidence here to support such an attribution, and in fact a review in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle for October 5, 1895 identifies the author as a native of that city. The work is a hodge-podge of sensational accounts of human cruelty, with an overarching anti-authoritarian (but not explicitly anarchist) slant. The catalogue of horrors includes slavery, torture, lynching, flogging, and the extremest forms of public capital punishment, including burnings at the stake, beheadings, and keel-hauling. The author's intent in offering up these vignettes is putatively humanitarian, but the book's point of view and organization are so muddled that its actual intent is far from clear (the author describes lynching in America, for example, as "...the result of the exasperation of the well-disposed part of the community at the well-known and oft repeated delays, uncertainties and inconsistencies of the law..."). Illustrated throughout after line illustrations by various artists. Scarce; OCLC notes but six physical locations, of which only 4 in North America.

Price: $200.00

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