Blackstone's First Critical Edition of Magna Carta in a Handsome Recent Period-Style Binding Blackstone, Sir William [1723-1780], Editor. 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) bound between pp. lxxvi and 1. Copperplate engraved tail-pieces. Collated and complete. Folio large paper copy (13-1/2" x 10-1/2"). Recent period-style calf, gilt fillets and large corner fleurons to boards, gilt spine with raised bands and lettering piece, existing marbled endpapers retained, early armorial bookplate (of William Wrightson) to front pastedown. Moderate toning to text, light foxing in a few places, light soiling to a few leaves. An exceptionally handsome wide-margined copy. $12,000. * First edition of the first modern critical edition of Magna Carta. Blackstone's first important work, it contains the Articles of the Barons, the issues of the Great Charter in 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. 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, Blackstone's research into the original texts demonstrated that all earlier editions of the charter were based on the significantly different reissue of 1225, in the reign of Henry III, rather than the original one endorsed at Runnymede. His philological approach was highly influential; it established the textual focus that has governed subsequent study of the charter. This edition is esteemed for its handsome appearance, which 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 the "elegance of typography is very great." The engraved dedication to the Earl of Westmoreland is surmounted with his armorial ensigns; engraved historiated initials in the text depict view.
Book number 72610