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Reprint of the first edition. Published anonymously, this highly respected work was the first history of the common law. A series of chronological essays drawn from Hale's manuscripts, it "give[s] us a clear statement of the history of some of the important external features of the common law...Sketch as it is his history is living history because its author had a clear view of its whole course" (Holdsworth). Hale [1609-1676] was a Judge of the Common Pleas, well-known for his History of the Pleas of the Crown. Holdsworth, Sources and Literature of English Law 151-152.