Bentham's Prison: A Study of the Panopticon Penitentiary by Janet SempleBentham's Prison: A Study of the Panopticon Penitentiary by Janet Semple

Bentham's Prison: A Study of the Panopticon Penitentiary

byJanet Semple

Hardcover | November 1, 1995

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At the end of the eighteenth century, Jeremy Bentham devised a scheme for a prison that he called the panopticon. It soon became an obsession. For twenty years he tried to build it; in the end he failed, but the story of his attempt offers fascinating insights into both Bentham's complexcharacter and the ideas of the period. Basing her analysis on hitherto unexamined manuscripts, Janet Semple chronicles Bentham's dealings with the politicians as he tried to put his plans into practice. She assesses the panopticon in the context of penal philosophy and eighteenth-century punishment and discusses it as an instrument ofthe modern technology of subjection as revealed and analysed by Foucault. Her entertainingly written study is full of drama: at times it is hilariously funny, at others it approaches tragedy. It illuminates a subject of immense historical importance and which is particularly relevant to moderncontroversies about penal policy.
The late Janet Semple was a Research Fellow, Bentham Project at University College London.
Title:Bentham's Prison: A Study of the Panopticon PenitentiaryFormat:HardcoverDimensions:354 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.94 inPublished:November 1, 1995Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198273878

ISBN - 13:9780198273875

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Editorial Reviews

`the journey of discovery through the book is entirely a pleasure. The learning, the elegant prose and the humour of Janet Semple, create a new and credible portrait of the old man who still sits stuffed and hatted `perpetually enthroned in his wooden box in the cloisters of UniversityCollege, London'.'Utilitas