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The office of Lord Chancellor is one of the oldest in the British Constitution. Its holder combines in himself all three functions of government - he is at once the Speaker of the House of Lords, a member of the Cabinet and the head of the judicial system with considerable responsibilities for the proper administration of the law.
The biographies of the holders of the office down to the reign of Queen Victoria were written by Lord Campbell in a series of famous volumes. The task was continued by J.B. Atlay in The Victorian Chancellors.
The present author takes up the tale where Atlay in substance left off. Mr Heuston starts with Lord Halsbury in 1885 and ends with Lord Caldecote in 1940. The twelve Chancellors of this period include some of the most interesting figures in English legal and political life of the era - Halsbury, Haldane, Birkenhead, Hailsham, Sankey and Caldecote.
The author has had access to much material hitherto unpublished. New light is thrown on many events of legal and political interest, from the judicial appointments of Lord Halsburv to the Munich settlement.