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2020-12-15 20:37:25
Sir William Blackstone, Knt.| [Mary Willing Byrd] [Byrd Family]
LAW] [AMERICANA] COMMENTARIES ON THE LAWS OF ENGLAND. BOOK THE FOURTH. (VOLUME 4, ONLY)
Philadelphia: Printed for the Subscribers by Robert Bell, 1772. Full Leather. Good binding. William Byrd of Westover built one of the largest libraries in the colonies. He and his first wife, Lucy Parke, had a tumultuous relationship, and quarreled often. He tried (in vain) to keep her out the library -- during one of their many fights she hurled a book at him. His second wife, Mary Willing Byrd, must not have been a stranger to his library either. Mary Willing Byrd's signature is on the pastedown. Also are the signatures of two of William Byrd III sons -- Wm. P[owell] Byrd on the endpaper and Otway Byrd at the top of the first page of Subscribers.~It is noted in Printing and the Mind of Man that "[u]ntil the Commentaries, the ordinary Englishman had viewed the law as a vast, unintelligible and unfriendly machine; nothing but trouble, even danger, was to be expected from contact with it. Blackstone's great achievement was to popularize the law ... The law might be as much an ass after Blackstone as before, but it was a familiar ass." [PMM, 212]. Surely the same could be said of Blackstone's influences on the colonies of America, perhaps with greater impact. The influence apparently extended to women as well as to "gentlemen". Printed on the eve of the American Revolution, one wonders how many women in the colonies would have put their signature in Blackstone's Commentaries.~Book the Fourth only of the First American Edition of Blackstone's Commentaries, with (according to OCLC) an erroneous date on the title page of DCCLXXII. In contemporary calf, with loss at t … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: BLACK SWAN BOOKS, INC., ABAA, ILAB [Richmond, VA, U.S.A.]

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