The First Critical Edition of Magna Carta Blackstone, Sir William [1723-1780]. The Great Charter and Charter of the Forest, With Other Authentic Instruments: To Which is Prefixed an Introductory Discourse, Containing the History of the Charters. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1759. [iv], lxxvi, [iv], 86 pp. Half-title and table of contents (Tabula) are bound between pp lxxvi and 1. Copperplate engraved tail-pieces. Collated and complete. Folio (13-1/2" x 10-1/4"; 34.5 x 26 cm). Recent period-style quarter calf over marbled boards, raised bands and lettering piece to spine, endpapers renewed. Light rubbing to extremities, small stain to head of spine. Light toning to text, some leaves have finger smudges, faint spotting or minor stains to margins, tiny chip to fore-edge of leaf r2 (pp. ixvii-lxvii), tiny tear to fore-edge of leaf t2 (pp. ixxiii-lxiv), light soiling to margins of title page. A desirable wide-margined copy. $6,000. * First edition of the first modern critical edition of the many versions of Magna Carta that were issued between 1215 and 1297. Blackstone's first important work, it contains the Articles of the Barons, the issues of the Great Charter from 1215, 1216 and 1217, with several charters of confirmation, the Charter of the Forest and the Statute of Marlebridge. The introduction is in English and the texts of the Magna Carta and Carta de Foresta in Latin. This remarkable work is esteemed for its appearance and scholarship. Its physical appeal was recognized as early as 1829 in Richard Thompson's An Historical Essay on the Magna Charta of King John, which described it as a "beautiful and rare edition" and with notably elegant typography. Along with its elegant typography, this edition features an elegant engraved dedication to the Earl of Westmoreland surmounted with his armorial ensigns, engraved historiated initials in the text depicting views of buildings at Oxford University, engraved tail-pieces on pages lxxvi and 73 with historical vignettes and ten other ten engraved tail-pieces depicting the royal seals that are attached to the original documents. Blackstone's essay, which is based on a great deal of original research, argued that the charter was the foundation of English liberties. This idea, first proposed by Coke, was a central tenet of Whig ideology. More important, Blac.
Book number 70726