[Rede, Leman Thomas, Supposed Author]. Strictures on the Lives and Characters of the Most Eminent Lawyers of the Present Day: Including, among other Celebrated Names, Those of the Lord Chancellor, and the Twelve Judges. Originally published: London: Printed for G. Kearsley, 1790. Portrait frontispiece, xv, 232 pp. Reprinted 2005 by The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. ISBN-13: 9781584775072. ISBN-10: 1584775076. Hardcover. New. $95. * A series of caustic-satiric biographies of contemporary eminent jurists, including the Earls of Mansfield and Camden, Sir Francis Buller and others. Unabashedly ad hominem, they are often quite funny. Sir Nash Grose is compared to a poisonous spider. Sir Richard Perryn's language "is poor, insipid and nerveless" and his manner "conveys an idea of weakness and insipidity" (178). Mr. Anstruther's voice often "sounds discordant, and ungrateful to the ear of harmony" (221). The book concludes with an essay titled "The Character of an Honest Lawyer," which is introduced with the following note: "After so much has been said of lawyers of the present day, the insertion of the following character from an old writer may not, perhaps, be thought impertinent or improper.": 225. Given the nature of contemporary English libel law, the author was wise to publish this book anonymously. Though it is sometimes attributed to Edward Wynne [1734-1784], an English barrister (by Halkett & Laing), it was probably written by Leman Thomas Rede [1754/55-1810], a member of the Inner Temple.
Book number 41212