Re-Interpreting Blackstone's Commentaries: A Seminal Text in National and International Contexts
Edited by Wilfrid Prest
(Hart Publishing, 2014)
This collection explores the remarkable impact and continuing influence of William Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England, from the work's original publication in the 1760s down to the present. Contributions by intellectual and legal historians, together with cultural and literary scholars, trace the manner in which this truly seminal text has established its authority well beyond the author's native shores or his own limited lifespan.
In the first section, 'Words and Visions', Kathryn Temple, Simon Stern, Cristina S Martinez and Michael Meehan discuss the Commentaries' aesthetic and literary qualities as factors contributing to the work's unique status in Anglo-American legal culture.
The second group of essays traces the nature and dimensions of Blackstone's impact in various jurisdictions outside England, namely Quebec (Michel Morin), Louisiana and the United States more generally (John W Cairns and Stephen M Sheppard), North Carolina (John V Orth) and Australasia (Wilfrid Prest). Finally Horst Dippel, Paul Halliday and Ruth Paley examine aspects of Blackstone's influential constitutional and political ideas, while Jessie Allen concludes the volume with a personal account of 'Reading Blackstone in the Twenty-First Century and the Twenty-First Century through Blackstone'.
This volume is a sequel to the well-received collection Blackstone and his Commentaries: Biography, Law, History (Hart Publishing, 2009).
Table of Contents: http://www.hartpub.co.uk/pdf/9781849465380.pdf
Wilfrid Prest is Professor Emeritus in Law and History at the University of Adelaide.
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