Well-Preserved Copy of Kent's Commentaries Kent, James [1763-1847]. [Kent, William (1802-1861), Editor]. [Eaton, Dorman Bridgeman, Editor]. Commentaries on American Law. New York: Published by William Kent, 1851. Four volumes. Star-paged to the second edition (1832). Octavo (9-1/2" x 5-3/4"). Contemporary sheep, blind rules to boards, raised bands and red and black lettering pieces to spines, blind tooling to board edges. Light spotting in places and a few minor scuffs, light rubbing to extremities, a few hinges starting, early owner signature (A.H. Ware) to front free endpaper of each volume. Very light toning to text, offsetting to margins of pastedowns and free endpapers. A well-preserved set. $1,500. * Seventh edition. Kent's Commentaries is probably the single most important interpretation of American law. Writing in 1847, Marvin ranked it above Blackstone and observes that it contains "not only a clear statement of the English law, with all the alterations that have taken place since the time of Blackstone, but a full account of the main principles of Equity, also, a review of the modifications engrafted on the English law by the different states of the Union." Marvin's latter observation points to the significance of this landmark work. Published at a time when there was significant opposition to English law, Kent's Commentaries established it in a manner that appealed to the majority of influential American jurists and legislators. As Roper notes, by transplanting English common law, the Commentaries "had the two-prong effect of helping to maintain the primacy of judge-made law in contrast to codification by legislatures, while providing the legal profession with the degree and kind of certainty it craved." Cohen, Bibliography of Early American Law 5404.
Book number 71884