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Of Public Wrongs is Blackstone's treatise on criminal law.


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Here, Blackstone the apologist takes centre stage; he seeks to explain how the criminal laws of England were just and merciful, despite becoming later known as the Bloody Code for their severity. He does however accept that "It is a melancholy truth, that among the variety of actions which men are daily liable to commit, no less than an hundred and sixty have been declared by Act of Parliament to be felonious without benefit of clergy ; or, in other words, to be worthy of instant death".

Blackstone frequently resorted to assuring his reader that the laws as written were not always enforced, and that the King's power of pardon could be exercised to correct any hardships or injustices. Blackstone for the first time made the common law readable and understandable by non-lawyers.

At first, his Commentaries were hotly contested, some seeing in them an evil or covert attempt to reduce or codify the common law which was anathema to common law purists. For decades, a study of the Commentaries was required reading for all first year law students.

Commentaries on the Laws of England: In Four Books, Volume 1

Lord Avonmore said of Blackstone: "He it was who first gave to the law the air of a science. He found it a skeleton and clothed it with life, colour and complexion. He embraced the cold statue and by his touch, it grew into youth, health and beauty. While there is much valuable historical information in the Commentaries , later historians have tended to be somewhat critical of the uses Blackstone made of history. There is a lot of what would later be called " Whig history " in the Commentaries [ citation needed ] ; the easy and contradictory assurance that England's current political settlement represented the optimal state of rational and just government, while claiming simultaneously that this optimal state was an ideal that had always existed in the past, despite the many struggles in England's history between overreaching kings and wayward Parliaments.

But Blackstone's chief contribution was to create a succinct, readable, and above all handy epitome of the common law tradition. While useful in England, Blackstone's text answered an urgent need in the developing United States and Canada. In the United States, the common law tradition was being spread into frontier areas, but it was not feasible for lawyers and judges to carry around the large libraries that contained the common law precedents. The four volumes of Blackstone put the gist of that tradition in portable form.

William Blackstone: Commentaries on the Laws of England ()

They were required reading for most lawyers in the Colonies, and for many, they were the only reading. Eller 83 [her copy imperfect]; Lauechli Publisher: Printed.

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Two Volumes. In Four Books. Burn, LL. Eller 14 Publisher: Printed for W.

Displaying 1-50 of 138 results for author "Blackstone, William, Sir, 1723-1780."

Strahan; T. Cadell, in the Strand [etc. Description: The closest we come to Blackstone's "received text", incorporating the manuscript corrections in his hand found in his own copy, becoming the edition, in the words of William Hammond, from which "most of the current editions are printed" Condition: Contemporary tree calf, the spines elaborately extra-gilt, lightly rubbed and chipped, but altogether quite an appealing, even gorgeous set Book No. Description: An early, mixed edition of the pre-eminently collectible work of Anglo-American law, the principal fruits of Blackstone's Vinerian Professorship at Oxford, the first legal chair in the English speaking world whose first occupant was Blackstone Condition: Contemporary calf, rubbed, rebacked, the spines elaborately gilt in a lighter colored leather, a good, wide-margined set Book No.

Description: The edition which will now become the standard scholarly edition, tracing the changes made by Blackstone in the eight editions which appeared during his lifetime between and and the ninth on which he was working at his death in Condition: Original cloth, as new in the dustjackets, still wrapped in the publisher's clear plastic Book No. Description: The facsimile re-issue in paperback of the first edition printed at Oxford between and ; with four brief scholarly introductions, one for each volume Condition: Original printed illustrated wraps, as new Book No.

Eller ; Lauechli Publisher: Printed for R. Baldwin at the Rose in Pater-noster-Row, London, The Fourth [sic] Edition. Description: A very early Dublin-printed, pirated edition the second of Blackstone's classic work, appearing during the same year as the first American edition, and the first in Ireland in which all four volumes were published during the same year Condition: Contemporary calf, rubbed, a few repairs, new labels; a sound set Book No.

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Not separately listed in Eller, who also does not list the London variant printings of ; compare Eller Quarto Publisher: Printed for T. Cadell Successor to Mr. Millar in the Strand, London, Condition: NEW. For all enquiries, please contact Herb Tandree Philosophy Books directly - customer service is our primary goal.

Book Description Routledge Cavendish. Seller Inventory Language: English. Brand new Book. Seller Inventory BTE Book Description Routledge-Cavendish. Items related to Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England Wayne Morrison. Publisher: Routledge-Cavendish , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available.

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