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This book is the first interdisciplinary study of the relation of law and rhetoric in the early modern period in Europe. It brings together the work of eminent social and legal historians, literary scholars, and historians of rhetoric and of political theory. The book provides a historical perspective on such issues as the role of contract law in the production of the modern subject, the intersection of rhetoric and law in the construction of gender and sexuality, and the contribution of theories of equity to early modern notions of intention and political agency. The contributors include Kathy Eden, Carla Freccero, Peter Goodrich, Lorna Hutson, Constance Jordan, Victoria Kahn, Jane O. Newman, Annabel Patterson, David Harris Sacks, Barbara J. Shapiro, Johann P. Sommerville, Alan Stewart, and Luke Wilson.