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Commentaries on the Laws of England, Volume 2

A Facsimile of the First Edition of 1765-1769

Sir William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765-1769) stands as the first great effort to reduce the English common law to a unified and rational system. Blackstone demonstrated that the English law as a system of justice was comparable to Roman law and the civil law of the Continent. Clearly and elegantly written, the work achieved immediate renown and exerted a powerful influence on legal education in England and in America which was to last into the late nineteenth century. The book is regarded not only as a legal classic but as a literary masterpiece.

Previously available only in an expensive hardcover set, Commentaries on the Laws of England is published here in four separate volumes, each one affordably priced in a paperback edition. These works are facsimiles of the eighteenth-century first edition and are undistorted by later interpolations. Each volume deals with a particular field of law and carries with it an introduction by a leading contemporary scholar.

Introducing this second volume, Of the Rights of Things, A. W. Brian Simpson discusses the history of Blackstone’s theory of various aspects of property rights—real property, feudalism, estates, titles, personal property, and contracts—and the work of his predecessors.

544 pages | xx | 6 x 9 | © 1979

Law and Legal Studies: Legal History

Table of Contents

Book II - Of the Rights of Things
1. Of Property, in general
2. Of Real Property; and first of Corporeal Hereditaments
3. Of Incorporeal Hereditaments
4. Of the Feodal System
5. Of the antient English Tenures
6. Of the modern English Tenures
7. Of Freehold Estates, of Inheritance
8. Of Freeholds, not of Inheritance
9. Of Estates, Less than Freehold
10. Of Estates upon Condition
11. Of Estates in Possession, Remainder, and Reversion
12. Of Estates in Severalty, Joint-Tenancy, Coparcenary, and Common
13. Of the Title to Things Real, in general
14. Of Title by Descent
15. Of Title by Purchase; and first, by Escheat
16. Of Title by Occupancy
17. Of Title by Prescription
18. Of Title by Forfeiture
19. Of Title by Alienation
20. Of Alienation by Deed
21. Of Alienation by matter of Record
22. Of Alienation by Special Custom
23. Of Alienation by Devise
24. Of Things Personal
25. Of Property in Things Personal
26. Of Title to Things Personal, by Occupancy
27. Of Title by Prerogative, and Forfeiture
28. Of Title by Custom
29. Of Title by Succession, Marriage, and Judgment
30. Of Title by Gift, Grant, and Contract
31. Of Title by Bankruptcy
32. Of Title by Testament, and Administration

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