By Angela Fernandez, Markus D. Dubber

Legislations Books in motion explores the heritage of the felony treatise within the universal legislation global. instead of taking a look at treatises as shortcuts from 'law in books' to 'law in action,' the essays during this assortment ask what treatises can let us know in regards to the concerns that bothered lawyers at a given time, what influenced them to write down what they did, and what they was hoping to accomplish. This publication, then, is the 1st research of the felony treatise as a 'law ebook in action,' an lively textual content produced via people with principles approximately what they sought after the legislation to be - now not an insignificant stepping-stone to codes and different kinds of criminal writing, yet a multifaceted style of felony literature in its personal correct, sensible and fanciful, dogmatic and decorative in flip. legislations Books in motion might be of curiosity to felony students, legal professionals, and judges, in addition to to a person with a scholarly curiosity in legislation ordinarily, and criminal heritage specifically.

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Additional resources for Law Books in Action: Essays on the Anglo-American Legal Treatise

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Indeed, style lies at the heart of the Commentaries’ origins. Blackstone’s style was recognised and highlighted from the very first appearance of the Commentaries. Trained as a classical scholar, the author of critical notes on Shakespeare, the winner of a prize for a poem on Milton, Blackstone 37 Kunal M Parker wrote with a style acknowledged by friends and enemies alike. 60 Blackstone’s inveterate enemy, Jeremy Bentham, praised the Commentaries for their style, even as he recognised that the seductions of Blackstone’s style made the Commentaries all the more dangerous: Correct, elegant, unembarrassed, ornamented, the style is such, as could scarce fail to recommend a work still more vicious in the point of matter to the multitude of readers.

46 Even within the Anglo-American tradition, no one here has written about earlier works like Littleton on Tenures or ‘the ultimate treatises’47 or ‘mega treatises’48 of the late nineteenth century in the United States – Williston, Wigmore, Powell, Scott or Corbin. Rather than striving for an ever-elusive coverage, we have opted for a collection of essays that highlight important features of the treatise as a form of legal literature, as a law book in action, as a work that complicates simple steppingstone stories about the relationships among the treatise and codes or institutes and other forms of legal literature, and as a talky text that can and often does contain important ornamental aspects.

4 Later in life, the eminent New York jurist James Kent would declare that the Commentaries had ‘inspired [him], at the age of 15, with awe’ * Professor of Law and Dean’s Distinguished Scholar, University of Miami School of Law. I would like to thank Angela Fernandez, Mary Anne Franks, Christopher Tomlins, and the participants at the conference on ‘The Treatise in Legal History’ held at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto in October 2010, for their comments on earlier drafts of this paper.

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