Commentaries on the laws of England. Oxford: Clarnedon Press, 1765-1769.
Four volumes. 4to. [iv], viii, 473; [viii], With the engraved "Table of Consanguinity" and folding "Table of Descents" in Volume II. Modern half-morocco and cloth boards, spine gilt in 6 compartments, a.e.g. With the bookplate of Louis E. Goodman on the paste-downs. An excellent copy. PMM, 212. $20,000.00
FIRST EDITION of the author's great history of English law. Blackstone (1723-70) was the first to make the law accessible to the common person. "Blackstone's great achievement was to popularize the law and the traditions which had influenced its formation. If the English constitution survived the troubles of the next century, it was because the law had gained a new popular respect, and this was due in part to the enormous success of Blackstone's work" (PMM). "The Commentaries are not only a statement of the law of Blackstone's day, but the best history of English law as a whole which had yet appeared . . . the skillful manner in which Blackstone uses his authorities new and old, and the analogy of other systems of law, to illustrate the evolution of the law of his day, had a vast influence both in England and America, in implanting in the profession a sound tradition of the historical development of the law. . . ."