William Blackstone: Law and Letters in the Eighteenth Century
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Throughout he also remained engaged in his soc Lawyer, judge, politician, poet, teacher, and architect, William Blackstone was a major figure in eighteenth century public life. Throughout he also remained engaged in his society's literary and spiritual life. Despite the breadth and influence of his work, Blackstone the man remains little known and poorly understood, the lack of engagement with his public and private life standing in stark contrast to the scale of his influence, particularly on the development and teaching of the law.
Blackstone's 'Commentaries on the Laws of England remains the most celebrated and influential text in the Anglo-American common-law tradition. This great book has inevitably overshadowed its author, while the dispersal of his personal and professional papers further complicates the task of understanding the man behind the work. The lack of a thorough account of Blackstone's life has fuelled controversy surrounding his intellectual background and political views. Was he the deeply reactionary conservative painted by Bentham, or rather a committed reformer and early champion of human rights?
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The present biography makes full use of a considerable body of new evidence that has emerged in recent years to shed light on the life, work, and times of this neglected figure in English and American history. Exploring Blackstone's family upbringing and private life, his political activities and ideology, his religious outlook and championing of the enlightenment, Prest weaves together the threads of an extraordinary mind and career.
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Blackstone, Sir William
Sort order. Aug 05, Jacob Lines rated it liked it Shelves: law. Blackstone stands preeminent among legal authors in English and American history. His view of the common law is still cited by American courts. This biography presents the man and his times and does it well.
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He was born after his father died and his mother died when he was Some uncles and his own brains and amazing drive opened doors for education at Oxford. Once there, he distinguished himself as a scholar. It was his scholarly work that led him to the bench, not his accomplishments as a la Blackstone stands preeminent among legal authors in English and American history.
It was his scholarly work that led him to the bench, not his accomplishments as a lawyer. Lawyers -- Great Britain -- Correspondence. Judges -- Great Britain -- Correspondence.
Summary University of Adelaide historian Wilfrid Prest has published an edition of the letters of William Blackstone, an 18th century scholar and judge credited with writing perhaps the most influential law book in the English language. Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England is regarded as the first comprehensive account of English common law, the basis of both the Australian and American judicial systems.
Original copies of some of the letters now published are housed in over 30 archives, libraries and private collections on both sides of the Atlantic. Others survive only as facsimiles, transcripts and summaries in a variety of printed books, catalogues and periodicals. The letters will be of enormous interest to lawyers and legal historians, political and social historians, and indeed anyone interested in the eighteenth century. Notes Includes bibliographical references and index.
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