The Genesis of Blackstone's Commentaries Blackstone, Sir William [1723-1780]. A Discourse on the Study of the Law; Being an Introductory Lecture, Read in the Public Schools, October XXV, M.DCC.LVIII. Published by Direction of the Vice-Chancellor, Heads of Houses, And Proctors. Oxford: Printed at the Clarendon Press, 1758. 40 pp. Quarto (10" x 8"). Later period-style, stab-stitched marbled covers, bookplate of Christopher Clark Geest to front pastedown. Moderate toning, creases and minor chips to corners of a few leaves, including title page, which has light soiling and a few minor stains, light soiling to verso of final leaf. Item housed in cloth clamshell box, printed title panel to front cover. $4,500. * First edition. This is the published version of Blackstone's inaugural lecture as Vinerian professor of English law. Presented to a large audience, it was "[h]astened into print less than a fortnight later as A Discourse on the Study of the Law, by late December a London correspondent claimed to hear Blackstone's lecture 'commended wherever I go.' What one reviewer terms 'this sensible, spirited, and manly exhortation to the study of the law' was reprinted in a further thousand copies next year; it also prefaced subsequent editions of the Analysis of the Laws, and eventually the first volume of the Commentaries" (Prest). Geest was a notable Virginia historian and bibliophile. Prest, William Blackstone 151. Eller, The William Blackstone Collection in the Yale Law Library 233. Laeuchli, A Bibliographical Catalog of William Blackstone 542.
Book number 72323