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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 nineteenth-century Judicature Acts. It was interrupted by his death in 1945, when he had reached Volume 12.
Subsequent volumes have been edited by Professors A. L. Goodhart and H. G. Hanbury, at first from Holdsworth's typescript and later, with more difficulty, from his manuscript notes.
Volume 1 differs from its successors in that it stands by itself and provides a self-contained account of a single subject, the history of our judicial system as such it has been invaluable to students.
Much correction and supplementation has been required since the author's death, and this has been provided-partly in the form of corrections made by the editors, and largely in the additions made by Professor S. B. Chrimes, who provides a long introductory essay covering the recent additions to our knowledge of this vital part of legal history. Lists of Cases and Statutes have also been revised.
Note to Seventh Revised Edition The first volume of this work differs from its successors in that it has always been in common use as a students' text-book. The history of our judicial system is a subject which forms part of the syllabus of the first examination in several Universities, and though shorter works on it have been published, Holdsworth's detailed account has remained unsurpassed as a consultant of final resort.
But the work requires correction and supplementation. (a) Changes in the law since Holdsworth's death have rendered some of his statements inaccurate. (b) Discoveries made during this intervening period must be incorporated in order to bring the volume up to date.
The corrections have been supplied by the general editors, but the far more important labour of supplementation has been performed by S. B. Chrimes, Professor of History in University College, Cardiff, as special editor. It takes the form of an introductory essay, in which are set out all recent additions to our knowledge of this vital part of legal history. A. L. G. H. G. H. May, 1955