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The Bentham Brothers and Russia: The Imperial Russian Constitution and the St Petersburg Panopticon

Bartlett, Roger; (2022) The Bentham Brothers and Russia: The Imperial Russian Constitution and the St Petersburg Panopticon. [Book]. UCL Press, UK: London, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

The jurist and philosopher, Jeremy Bentham, and his lesser-known brother, Samuel, equally talented but as a naval architect, engineer and inventor, had a long love affair with Russia. Jeremy hoped to assist Empress Catherine II with her legislative projects. Samuel went to St Petersburg to seek his fortune in 1780 and came back with the rank of Brigadier-General and the idea, famously publicised by Jeremy, of the Inspection-House or Panopticon. The Bentham Brothers and Russia chronicles the brothers’ later involvement with the Russian Empire, when Jeremy focused his legislative hopes on Catherine’s grandson Emperor Alexander I (ruled 1801-25) and Samuel found a unique opportunity in 1806 to build a Panopticon in St Petersburg – the only panoptical building ever built by the Benthams themselves. Setting the Benthams’ projects within an in-depth portrayal of the Russian context, Roger Bartlett illuminates an important facet of their later careers and offers insight into their world view and way of thought. He also contributes towards the history of legal codification in Russia, which reached a significant peak in 1830, and towards the demythologising of the Panopticon, made notorious by Michel Foucault: the St Petersburg building, still relatively unknown, is described here in detail on the basis of archival sources. The Benthams’ interactions with Russia under Alexander I constituted a remarkable episode in Anglo-Russian relations; this book fills a significant gap in their history.

Type: Book
Title: The Bentham Brothers and Russia: The Imperial Russian Constitution and the St Petersburg Panopticon
ISBN-13: 9781800082373
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.14324/111.9781800082373
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.14324/111.9781800082373
Language: English
Additional information: Text © Author, 2022 Images © Author and copyright holders named in captions, 2022 Cover image: panorama of St Petersburg, foregrounding the Admiralty. The Empire-style Admiralty building was constructed between 1806 and 1823 to the design of architect Andreian Zakharov and is considered his masterpiece.Any third-party material in this book is not covered by the book’s Creative Commons licence. Details of the copyright ownership and permitted use of third-party material is given in the image (or extract) credit lines. If you would like to reuse any third-party material not covered by the book’s Creative Commons licence, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright owner. This book is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International licence (CC BY-NC 4.0), https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/. This licence allows you to share and adapt the work for non-commercial use providing attribution is made to the author and publisher (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work) and any changes are indicated. Attribution should include the following information: Bartlett, R. 2022. The Bentham Brothers and Russia: The Imperial Russian Constitution and the St Petersburg Panopticon. London: UCL Press. https://doi.org/10.14324/ 111.9781800082373 Further details about Creative Commons licenses are available at http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/
Keywords: history, Russia, Jeremy Bentham, bentham studies, Alexander the first
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > SSEES
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10155956
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