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An Introduction to English Legal History [Paperback]

J.H. Baker
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: £39.99
Price: £35.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

24 May 2002
This book traces the development of the principal features of English legal institutions and doctrines from Anglo-Saxon times to the present. It has become a standard work on the subject. It has now been updated and improved in consequence of the rapid pace of research in legal history over recent years, which has made this new edition a necessity.

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An Introduction to English Legal History + Historical Foundations of the Common Law 2/E
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Product details

  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Butterworths; 4th edition (24 May 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0406930538
  • ISBN-13: 978-0406930538
  • Product Dimensions: 24.5 x 15.9 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 128,044 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

J.H. Baker, Downing Professor of the Laws of England and Fellow of St Catharine's College, Cambridge; Honorary Bencher of the Inner Temple

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Indispensable Book 3 Jan 2014
By Scruff
Along with Manchester; Modern Legal History, these two books take a narrative sweep across the whole of English Law from approximately the reign of Henry II to 1947. If one really wants to learn English Legal History then this would be the first text to choose. I was put on to this text by two blokes (Academics) from Wolves Poly as it was then, and I would strongly suggest that you read it. Most lawyers who you talk to will also finds it interesting to talk to them about it so the reading will not be wasted at either undergrad (possibly postgrad, I don't know?) or at interview for that job (I mean wah wah wah ... how many times have I heard that prospective trainee say that they had always wanted to be a Commercial Lawyer from about the age of three).

The really interesting thing is the Baker has in each chapter end, given references to further reading on each subject.

True if you want a snapshot of the law before Baker then go for Holdsworth extracts and these cover areas he doesn't (as do the books from the Seldon Society).

The pages on Baker's book do leap out actively in the face though.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This vivid history of the English legal system is essential reading for lawyers, historians and anyone with a sense of time and place about 'Englishness'. The book is far more than a text book but a rich tapestry of how legal history has developed to met the requirements of the people. The feeling that laws are handed down to people is shown to be false and reworked to show developement by the changes that commerce, travel and even plague that have stamped on our law. The book contributes a greater understanding of a common law system which evolved with the history of a people. This book proves beyond reasonable dout that the law far from being an "ass" is the law that people deserve and create for themselves. An excellant book and a worthy addition to any book shelf!
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars BE CAREFUL 3 Jan 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This particular book is from 1972 so is mostly useless! ALL the material would need to be checked in line with current jurisprudence as it has, in all probability, changed!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Work 28 Oct 2009
By B. D. Cooper - Published on Amazon.com
I don't understand the other reviewer's rating for this book. Even if he got the first edition by mistake rather than the 4th, it too was astonishingly good and deserved 5 stars. Frankly, this is the only comprehensive single volume history of the English common law that is fully up-to-date. Professor Baker is incredibly skilled at summarizing a complex or controversial matter in a paragraph or a page (which for students does require close reading). His writing is clear and easy to comprehend. The sourcebook that he and Professor Milsom edited is a valuable supplement to this text, but not required. Some lawyers really like Plucknett's Concise History of the Common Law, which is very good, but it's 50 years out of date.
2 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beware -- this is not the current version! 7 Dec 2006
By Alexander Volokh - Published on Amazon.com
The information above suggests that this book is the 4th ed. from 2002. As of this writing, there's one used copy available. Note that the bookseller says that one was printed in 1971. That would make this the 1st ed. The new version of this book is available elsewhere on Amazon.
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