Handsome Early Edition of Blackstone's Commentaries Blackstone, Sir William [1723-1780]. Commentaries on the Laws of England, In Four Books. Oxford: Printed at the Clarendon Press, 1766, 1766, 1768, 1769. Four volumes. Volume II has copperplate "Table of Consanguinity" and fold-out "Table of Descents." Quarto (10-1/2" x 8-1/2"). Contemporary calf, gilt fillets and cat's-paw decoration to boards, gilt spines with raised bands and lettering pieces, gilt tooling to board edges, marbled endpapers, a few early repairs to joints and corners, speckled edges. Light rubbing and some minor scuffs and scratches to boards, moderate rubbing to extremities, joints cracked or starting, corners bumped and somewhat worn. Light toning to text, somewhat heavier in places, occasional light foxing. A handsome set. $3,500. * First edition of Volumes II, III and IV, second edition of Volume I. The most influential publication in the history of modern Anglo-American law, the Commentaries on the Laws of England is based on a course of lectures delivered at Oxford University. Because they were not intended for aspiring practitioners, they described general principles rather than practical specifics. Sensitive to the systematizing trends of the day and the prestige of the natural sciences, he described the common law as an intricate, well-designed system akin to Newton's mechanistic universe. The first edition of Volume I was published in 1765. By the time Volume II was published Volume I had been re-published in its second edition; both were issued in 1766. (A revised Volume II was published in 1767.) Due to this publication history there are many so-called "mixed" editions today. Volumes III and IV were later revised, along with the first two volumes, for the fourth edition, 1770. Eller, The William Blackstone Collection at Yale University 1, 2. Laeuchli, A Bibliographical Catalog of William Blackstone 1, 3.
Book number 67289