Mixed Edition of "The best history of English law"
BLACKSTONE, Sir William. Commentaries on the Laws of England. Oxford: Printed at the Clarendon Press , 1766-1769.
Mixed edition. Volume I, second edition, Volume II, third edition, and Volumes III and IV are first editions. Four quarto volumes (10 13/16 x 8 1/8 inches; 275 x 205 mm.) [4], iv, [4], [1]-485, [1, blank]; [8], [1]-520, xix, appendix, [1, blank]; [8], 455, [1, blank], xxvii, appendix, [1, blank]; [8], 436, vii, appendix, [1, blank], [39, index], [1, blank] pp. With the engraved “Table of Consanguinity” and folding “Table of Descents” in Volume II.

Uniformly bound in contemporary calf. Spines with orange and green morocco lettering labels. Spine stamped and lettered in gilt. Board edges tooled in gilt. Outer hinges and spines with some professional repairs. Inner hinges of volumes I and II repaired. Volume II with some worming to the insides of the boards, and to the first and last few leaves, not affecting text. A tiny wormhole through a few pages of volume III, not affecting text. Otherwise a very clean set. Previous owner's old ink signature on title-pages of each volume. Overall a very good and very attractive set.

“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” (Printing and the Mind of Man).

"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 skilful 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..." Holdsworth, Historians, 22.

Grolier, 100 English, 52. Printing and the Mind of Man 212. Rothschild 407.

HBS # 67477 $3,500