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The six chapters of this book were originally delivered as lectures at the University of Cambridge. They were commissioned in commemoration of the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Frederic William Maitland (1850–1906). With the exception of the first chapter, the lectures in this volume were printed for the first time in 1958 with the help of the Selden Society.
It is this edition which is reproduced here. In his preface, T. F. T. Plucknett observes that the theme of his lectures was ‘to learn from Maitland’s writings, not merely the results he acquired but the method and inspiration of his work’. This revival hopes to allow a new generation of scholars and enthusiasts to discover Maitland’s influential legacy.