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The Great Charter and Charter of the Forest, With Other Authentic
1759. Blackstone, Sir William [1723-1780]. 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. As in many copies, the half-title and table of contents (Tabula) are bound between pp lxxvi and p. 1. Folio (13-1/2" x 10-1/2"). Contemporary calf, gilt rules with corner thistle devices to boards, rebacked in period style, raised bands and lettering piece to spine, marbled endpapers, hinges mended. Light rubbing and some shallow scuffing to boards, areas near joints somewhat darkened. Light toning to text, early armorial bookplate (of E. Wyatt Edgell) to front pastedown, (illegible) early signature to front endleaf. A handsome copy. * First edition. Texts of documents in Latin, Blackstone's essay in English. The engraved dedication to the Earl of Westmoreland is surmounted with his armorial ensigns; initials in the text are ornamented with engravings of various buildings at Oxford University. The tail-pieces on pages lxxvi and 73 are historical vignettes; the other ten tail-pieces are facsimiles of the royal seals that are attached to the original documents. This remarkable work is esteemed for its production and scholarship. Its physical appeal 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." 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. Eller notes that Worrall's Bibliotheca Legum Angliae (1788) lists an edition from 1758 with the title Magna Charta and Charta de Foresta. She was not able to locate any
      [Bookseller: The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd.]
Last Found On: 2013-07-26           Check availability:      Biblio    

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