10 March 2020

BOOK: Ian WARD, English Legal Histories (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2020). ISBN: 9781509912315, pp. 492, £75.00

Media of English Legal Histories
(Source: Hart Publishing)


English Legal Histories is an exciting and innovative approach to the study of English law. Written in an accessible style intended for students as well as a broader audience, it takes the reader beyond the narrower confines of legal doctrines and cases, and invites them to consider the myriad contexts within which English law has been shaped: the politics, the economics, the art, the poetry. Reaching from the Reformation through to the age of Reform, it tells stories, the 'histories', of English law. Histories of the constitution and government, of crime and contracts, tort and trespass, property and equity. Of the people who made that law, those who wrote it, and those who suffered it. For it is in the end a human story, of justice and injustice, of success and failure, good luck and bad. The law is full of statutes and instruments, cases and precedent, but its history is full of people and peculiarity. Which is what, of course, makes it so endlessly fascinating.


Ian Ward is Professor of Law at Newcastle University, and the author of a number of books on law, literature and history including 'Law and Literature: Possibilities and Perspectives' (Cambridge University Press, 1995), 'Shakespeare and the Legal Imagination' (Cambridge University Press, 1999), The English Constitution: Myths and Realities' (Hart Publishing, 2004), 'Law, Text, Terror' (Cambridge University Press, 2009) and most recently 'Law and the Brontes' (Palgrave, 2011).


Part I - 1613
1. England in 1613
2. 1613: Constitutional Law
3. 1613: Criminal Law
4. 1613: Private Law
5. 1613: Property Law

Part II - 1765
6. England in 1765
7. 1765: Constitutional Law
8. 1765: Criminal Law
9. 1765: Private Law
10. 1765: Property Law

Part III - 1887
11. England in 1887
12. 1887: Constitutional Law
13. 1887: Criminal Law
14. 1887: Private Law
15. 1887: Property Law

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