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"). Contemporary diced calf, gilt fillets to boards, gilt spine with lettering piece, gilt tooling to board edges, gilt inside dentelles, marbled edges and endpapers. Negligible light rubbing and a few nicks and scuffs to boards, moderate rubbing to extremities, chipping to foot of spine, joints partially cracked, corners bumped, front hinge just starting at head, bookplate residue to front pastedown, early bookplate ("RW" monogram) to verso of front free endpaper. Light toning, light soiling and foxing to a few leaves, occasional light offsetting from engravings. Book housed in lightly worn cloth-covered slipcase. A desirable wide-margined copy. $8,500. * First edition of the first modern critical edition of Magna Carta, which surpassed all previous versions. 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 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, argu.
Book number 70930