Commentaries on the Laws of England, in four books. ... With the Last Corrections of the Author; And with notes and additions by Edward Christian, Barrister at Law, the Downing Professor of the Laws of England, and Chief Justice of the Isle of Ely.
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4 volumes complete. London: Printed by A. Strahan, Law-printer to the King's most Excellent Majesty, 1809. 8vo. Contemp. full tree calf with replaced spines. Gilt titled. With frontispiece portrait of Justice Blackstone in Volume I and a folding chart in Volume II. NOTE: Since its first publication in 1765, Blackstone's Commentaries has exercised enormous influence over common law in England and elsewhere. 'Until the Commentaries, the ordinary Englishman had viewed the law as a vast, unintelligible and unfriendly machine. If the English constitution survived the troubles of the (nineteenth) 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. ... He did for the English what the imperial publication of Roman law did for the people of Rome' (PMM). 'The influence of Blackstone's Commentaries is difficult to exaggerate .... There were translations into French, German, Italian, and Russian, while Blackstone's Commentaries continued to represent England's common law throughout the British imperial diaspora for more than a century after the author's death. The Commentaries long dominated legal education in North America, where nearly 100 editions and abridgements had been produced by 1900' (Oxford DNB).
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