Your email address will be used for Wildy’s marketing materials only. We will never give your email address to any third party. You may opt out at any time by following the unsubscribe link included in every email.
Special Discounts for Newly Called & Students
Browse Secondhand Online
Wildy's will be closed on Monday 28th May, re-opening on Tuesday 29th.
Online book orders received during the time we are closed will be processed as soon as possible once we re-open on Tuesday.
As usual credit cards will not be charged until the order is processed and ready to despatch.
Any Sweet & Maxwell or Lexis eBook orders placed after 4pm on the Friday 25th May will not be processed until Tuesday May 29th. UK orders for other publishers will be processed as normal. All non-UK eBook orders will be processed on Tuesday May 29th.
Out of Print
The aim of this book is to give a single picture of the development of the common law, to draw the main outlines of the subject. But which are the main outlines depends upon the viewpoint of the observer.
Legal history means different things to different people. To historians it is usually a branch either of administrative or of social history; and legal thinking is not considered for its own sake. Lawyers are interested in legal thinking. But to them the subject usually appears as law read backwards, the inevitable unfolding of things as they came to be; and the thinking is seen as a fumbling for the result eventually reached.
In this gulf between the disciplines there is lost the interest of a story and perhaps the measure of an achievement. Societies largely invent their constitutions, their political and administrative systems, even in these days their economies; but their private law is nearly always taken from others. Twice only have the customs of European peoples been worked up into intellectual systems.
The Roman system has served two separate civilisations. The common law, governing daily relationships in very various modem societies, has developed without a break from its beginnings in a society utterly different from any of them. What was it that made its practitioners think on so unusual a scale? What made the product of their thinking so versatile and so durable? It is from the stand-point of such questions that this book will seek to trace its history.