This rare 1803 four volume edition of Blackstone's Commentaries would make an extraordinary edition to any legal library.
Blackstone, Sir William [1723-1780]. Christian, Sir Edward [d. 1823],
(Editor). Commentaries on the Laws of England, in four books. With the
Last Corrections of the Author: And with Notes and Additions.
London: Printed by A. Strahan for T. Cadell and W. Davies, 1803.
Sir William Blackstone was a professor and an English jurist whose
"Commentaries on the Laws of England," first published in four volumes
in 1765-1789, brought him great fame and fortune. The work is based on
a series of lectures he gave at Oxford. Little did he know, that his thoughts
and ideas would "dominate the common law legal system for more than a
century." So popular was this material, that an American edition was published between 1771-1772, and sold out its first printing of 1,400 immediately. A second edition was soon to follow. Even today, these volumes remain an important and highly respected source of information on the views of the common law and its principles.
Copperplate frontispiece portrait, table of consanguinity, folding
table of descents. Contemporary calf, blind fillets to boards,
rebacked, raised bands, lettering pieces and elaborate blind-stamped
tooling to spines, endpapers renewed. Moderate rubbing to extremities,
minor chipping to heads of spines, a few small scuffs to boards,
corners bumped and worn. A few cracks to text blocks of Volumes 3 and
4. Later owner signature scratched out from each front pastedown.
Negligible foxing in a few places, interior otherwise fresh.
Fourteenth edition. Paging irregular, following Blackstone's paging
in margin. "Since the publication of the thirteenth edition, 1800,
Christian had become Chief Justice of the Isle of Ely, and the Downing
professor of the laws of England in the University of Cambridge. These
titles appear on title pages of this fourteenth edition, in which his
notes are printed as footnotes." Cited by Eller, The William Blackstone
Collection in the Yale Law Library 26.