Women and the Law in Eighteenth-Century England [Women]. [Great Britain]. The Laws Respecting Women, As They Regard Their Natural Rights, Or Their Connections and Conduct; In Which Their Interests and Duties as Daughters, Wards, Heiresses, Spinsters, Sisters, Wives, Widows, Mothers, Legatees, Executrixes, &c. Are Ascertained and Enumerated: also, the Obligations of Parent and Child, And the Condition of Minors. The Whole Laid Down According to the Principles of the Common and Statute Law, Explained by the Practice of the Courts of Law and Equity, And Describing the Nature and Extent of the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction. In Which are Inserted a Great Variety of Curious and Important Decisions in the Different Law Courts, And the Substance of the Trial of Elizabeth Duchess Dowager of Kingston, On an Indictment for Bigamy, Before the House of Peers, April 1776. In Four Books. London: Printed for J. Johnson, 1777. [xxiii], , 449,  pp. Octavo (7-1/2" x 5"). Recent period-style calf, blind rules to boards, raised bands and lettering piece to spine, endpapers renewed. Light browning, faint dampstaining to upper margins of preliminaries and first 20 leaves of text, negligible minor loss to text of index leaf, legibility not affected. Ex-library. Faint inkstamp and faint embossed stamp to title page. A nice copy in a handsome binding. $3,000. * Only edition. This is one of the earliest books on the English law concerning women. (The first was published in 1632.) Holdsworth holds it in high regard and considers it the best of the early books on the subject. It is in four books. The first book deals with the personal status of women, marriage law and the settlement of married women who are paupers. The second book deals with the proprietary status of spinsters, wives and widows. The third book deals with crimes, the fourth with parents and children and the position of minors. It also contains a critical account of the sensational Kingston bigamy trial, which inspired two plays by Thackeray. Holdsworth, A History of English Law XII:399-400. English Short-Title Catalogue T149863.
Book number 68164