First Edition of The Common Law in the Scarce Law-Calf Binding Holmes, Oliver Wendell, Jr. [1841-1935]. The Common Law. Boston: Little, Brown, And Company, 1881. [i]-xvi, 422 pp. Octavo (8-1/4" x 5-1/4"). Original law calf, rebacked retaining existing spine with raised bands and lettering piece, blind frames to boards, hinges mended. A few light scuffs to boards, a few small chips to board edges, faint creases to spine, corners bumped and moderately worn, early owner signature (Samuel L. Morris, Jr., 1/13/1908) to front and rear pastedowns. Moderate toning to interior, offsetting, light soiling and a few tiny chips to edges of endleaves. $1,750. * First edition, second issue, with the one-line printer statement reading "The University Press, Cambridge, Mass., U.S.A." at foot of the title page, verso, and foot of p. 422. As Friedman points out, "The Common Law was easily the most distinguished book on law by an American published between 1850 and 1900." In contrast to earlier Anglo-American jurists, and the reigning positivist ethos of the nineteenth century, Holmes proposed that the common law was not a science founded on abstract principles but a body of practices that responded to particular situations. This functionalist interpretation led to his radical idea that law was not discovered, but invented. This theme is announced at the beginning of Lecture I: "The life of the law has not been logic: it has been experience" (1). "Oliver Wendell Holmes and The Common Law," Meyer Boswell Books, Inc., Rare and Unusual Law Books, Catalogue Fourteen 2. Friedman, A History of American Law 544. Grolier Club, One Hundred Influential American Books 84.
Book number 75308