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A Prospect, says the Oxford Dictionary, is an extensive or commanding sight or view.
This book presents such a view over the long and varied history of Gray's Inn from the Middle Ages till to-day. For the lover of London and the social historian, no less than for the lawyers, the fascination of the Inns of Court is irresistible.
But this is more than a story of an Inn of Court and its members, or even of its six centuries of change in the shape of our legal system and the ways of the lawyers at study, at work and at play. Here Gray's Inn, starting as a manor house in the fields outside London, grows and changes as the city reaches out to enclose it. It feels the impact of religious change and civil war. Tudor, Stuart, Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian London grow up around it. The bombs of two wars devastate it.
Yet through every transformation its continuity is unbroken. And the Author demonstrates the essential part which that continuity plays in safeguarding the conception of freedom under the rule of law.