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The dust jacket image shown is of the 1966 reprint. The current edition has no dustjacket.
Sir William Searle Holdsworth was professor of constitutional law at University College, London (1903–8). After 1922 he was Vinerian professor of English law at Oxford. Holdsworth's greatest achievement is his History of English Law in 17 Volumes.
Sir William Holdsworth's monumental legal history extends from Anglo-Saxon times to the 19th-century Judicature Acts. It was interrupted by his death in 1945, when he had reached Volume 12.
Subsequent volumes have been edited by Professor A. L. Goodhart and H. G. Hanbury, at first from Holdsworth's typescript and later, with more difficulty, from his manuscript notes.
Volumes 15 and 16 together complete Chapter V of Book V, which covers the period from the Reform Act of 1832 to the Judicature Acts, 1873-1875.
Volume XV deals exhaustively with the enacted law of the period. Holdsworth's treatment of laissez faire economic theory and its abandonment in favour of the interests of workers, trade, and the public is particularly valuable, and it says much for the author that, although he covers all aspects of the subject from national defence to the regulation of rights in industrial property and the status and function of the trade unions, bis account remains readable throughout and never degenerates into a mere catalogue of events.
Holdsworth goes on to consider the legal profession, law reports and legal literature, and describes the legal education of the time in some detail. He concludes the volume with analytical biographies of the Chief Justices and the Chief Barons, four notable common law Judges and three distinguished Counsel who did not achieve the Bench.