COMMENTARIES ON THE LAWS OF ENGLAND
COMMENTARIES ON THE LAWS OF ENGLAND
COMMENTARIES ON THE LAWS OF ENGLAND

COMMENTARIES ON THE LAWS OF ENGLAND

(Oxford: Printed at the Clarendon Press, 1765- 1769).

Blackstone's method was to state that the object of law is to distinguish between right and wrong. Rights are either of persons or things; wrongs are either public or private; and these four categories served as the subjects of the four books of Commentaries, which can be seen as an "extreme example of the justification of an existing state of affairs by virtue of its history" (Printing and the Mind of Man, 212).
"The skillful manner in which Blackstone uses his authorities new and old, and the analogy of other systems to law, to illustrate the evolution of law in his day, had a vast influence both in England and America, in implanting in the profession a sound tradition of the historical development of the law. The Commentaries are not only a statement of the law of Blackstone's day, but the best history of English law as a whole which had yet appeared." Holdsworth, 22.
"Until the Commentaries, the ordinary Englishman had viewed the law as a vast, unintelligible and unfriendly machine; nothing but trouble, even danger, was to be expected from contact with it. Blackstone's great achievement was to popularize the law and the traditions which had influenced its formation.... If the English constitution survived the troubles of the nesxt century, it was because the law had gained a new popular respect, and this was due in part to the enormous success of Blackstone's work. Originally published over five years in four volumes quarto, they were reprinted in octavo and again a dozen times in almost as many years. Translations appeared in all the European languages and they remained a textbook for student of the law everywhere...He did for the English what the imperial publication of Roman law did for the people of Rome." PMM 212.
The American Constitution was greatly influenced by Blackstone's writings on the law, and many of the founders including Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, Jay, and Marshall were steeped in Blackstone's writings.
The Clifton manor is an ancient one in England, dating from the time of William the Confessor. The manor house stands on a rock of alabaster, curiously inlaid, in many places, with beautiful spar; and adorned, on the Trent side, with extensive plantations. Near Nottingham in England, the Clifton family still resides in the location. Item #31224

4 volumes. First Edition of each volume. With fine provenance, the Clifton Family bookplate with crest and the motto "Tenez et Droit" (Uphold Justice or Uphold the Right, in each volume. 4to (260 x 210 mm.), in an especially attractive binding of full contemporary diced calf, the spines with broad raised bands elaborately gilt tooled, richly gilt in the compartments of the spines in a hatch style pattern, two compartments lettered and numbered in gilt, the covers with gilt roll tooled outer borders enclosing elaborate inner borders roll tooled in blind, marbled endleaves. iii, errata, [iv], 473; [viii including the errata], 520, xix appendix; [viii], 455, xxvii appendix; [viii], 436, vii appendix, [xxxix General Index] pp. A very handsome set in rare contemporary binding, very well preserved, crisp and quite clean throughout with only occasional mellowing, some early notes or marginalia by an educated hand confined to a small number of pages, a very pleasing survival in its original contemporary binding.

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Price: $26,500.00