Wilfrid Prest (ed.)
Re-Interpreting Blackstone's Commentaries,
A Seminal Text in National and International Contexts
This collection explores the remarkable impact and continuing influence of William Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England, from the work's original publication in the 1760s down to the present. Contributions by cultural and literary scholars, and intellectual and legal historians trace the manner in which this truly seminal text has established its authority well beyond the author's native shores or his own limited lifespan.
In the first section, 'Words and Visions', Kathryn Temple, Simon Stern, Cristina S Martinez and Michael Meehan discuss the Commentaries' aesthetic and literary qualities as factors contributing to the work's unique status in Anglo-American legal culture.
The second group of essays traces the nature and dimensions of Blackstone's impact in various jurisdictions outside England, namely Quebec (Michel Morin), Louisiana and the United States more generally (John W Cairns and Stephen M Sheppard), North Carolina (John V Orth) and Australasia (Wilfrid Prest). Finally Horst Dippel, Paul Halliday and Ruth Paley examine aspects of Blackstone's influential constitutional and political ideas, while Jessie Allen concludes the volume with a personal account of 'Reading Blackstone in the Twenty-First Century and the Twenty-First Century through Blackstone'.
This volume is a sequel to the well-received collection Blackstone and his Commentaries: Biography, Law, History (Hart Publishing, 2009).
- Wilfrid Prest is Professor Emeritus in Law and History at the University of Adelaide.
List of Contributors
List of Illustrations
List of Figures and Tables
List of Abbreviations
I WORDS AND VISIONS
1 Blackstone’s ‘Stutter’: the (Anti)Performance of the Commentaries, Kathryn Temple
William Blackstone: Courtroom Dramatist?, Simon Stern
2 Blackstone as Draughtsman: Picturing the Law, Cristina S Martinez
3 Blackstone’s Commentaries: England’s Legal Georgic?, Michael Meehan
II BEYOND ENGLAND
4 Blackstone in the Bayous: Inscribing Slavery in the Louisiana Digest of 1808, John W Cairns
Legal Jambalaya, Stephen M Sheppard
5 Blackstone and the Birth of Quebec’s Distinct Legal Culture 1765–1867, Michel Morin
6 Blackstone’s Ghost: Law and Legal Education in North Carolina, John V Orth
7 Antipodean Blackstone, Wilfrid Prest
III LAW AND POLITICS
8 Blackstone’s King, Paul D Halliday
Modern Blackstone: the King’s Two Bodies, the Supreme Court and the President, Ruth Paley
9 Blackstone’s Commentaries and the Origins of Modern Constitutionalism, Horst Dippel
10 Reading Blackstone in the Twenty-First Century and the Twenty-First Century through Blackstone, Jessie Allen