Commentaries on American Law, Volume IV [4]

By: Kent, James

Price: $75.00

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Very Good


Eighth edition. Lightly rubbed & soiled, ink law firm stamp on spine & rear board. 1854 Hard Cover. xxxvii, 681 pp. 8vo. Rebound in cloth with original red & black leather spine labels, gilt titles & rules. The fourth of four volumes from Kent's important contribution to American legal scholarship, of which fifteen editions were printed, the last completed in 2002. From J.G. Marvin's commentary on the 1847 fifth edition: Borrowed as much of our law is from various sources, and changed somewhat in the introduction either by legislation or judicial construction, to adapt it to our institutions, together with the variant local law, and the federal jurisprudence, to methodize and explain this complex system, is the labour that our author assumed when he undertook to write Commentaries on American Law. Such a task required no ordinary knowledge of the sources and growth of our diversified field of jurisprudence, no ordinary skill and judgement in selecting the materials, and presenting them in an Institutional form, and no ordinary style to make them attractive. It has, however, been satisfactorily accomplished. The Commentaries were written after a period in the author's life, when, by the laws of his native State, his mental powers were supposed to be impaired by reason of his great age, and to render him unfit for duly performing his judicial duties, and to the existence of that provision we are probably indebted for the work. England has only furnished one Blackstone, and the American rivals him in classic purity and elegance of style, and surpasses him in extent and copiousness of learning. What do Sir William Blackstone's Commentaries contain, of Equity Jurisprudence, of the Law of Nations, and the several titles of Commercial Law, which are discussed with such richness and accuracy by Chancellor Kent? Scarcely nothing, and a comparison of other titles in the two works shows the American author to have surpassed his rival in comprehensiveness of research, and fulness of illustration, and to have equalled him in clearness and cogency of reasoning. He does not scruple to use the learning of other writers when to his purpose, which reappears with the additional outpourings of his own well stored mind, and his criticisms upon their merits are judicious and highly instructive, as denoting the several sources and the value of the information to be derived from them. Several titles of the law which properly require distinct treatises to unfold, or are so peculiarly local as not to be adapted to the plan of his Commentaries, such as Practice of the Courts, Criminal Law, Evidence, Actions and Pleadings, the author omits. It is scarcely necessary to add, what is so well known, that the American Commentaries is a text book of the highest character for accuracy, that it is a work which no lawyer thinks of doing without, and that its reputation and usefulness is not wholly confined to the United States. Mr. Johnes, and English author, in alluding to the Commentaries, says: They may be recommended to the English law student of the present day, as a substitute for Blackstone. They contain not only a clear statement of the English law, with all the alterations that have taken place since the time of Blackstone, but a full account of the main principles of Equity, (a topic on which the English Commentator is confessedly deficient;) also, a review of the modifications engrafted on the English law by the different States of the Union - and on all important questions, an instructive parallel between the English, American, Modern Continental, and Civil Laws. Mr. Manning also remarks of the Commentaries, that They are fine examples of lucid and manly reasoning, and the style in which they are written is perspicuous and forcible. From the nature of the work, Chancellor Kent was only able to devote a small portion of his treatise to the Law of Nations; but their brevity is the only thing that is objectionable in these lectures, for all that the author does give us is valuable. And Professor Whiteside, in his Lecture before the Dublin Law Inst

Title: Commentaries on American Law, Volume IV [4]

Author: Kent, James

Categories: Early Imprints, Law & Legal Reform,

Edition: Later Edition

Publisher: New York: William Kent: 1854

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition: Very Good

Jacket Condition: No Jacket

Seller ID: 1914641

Keywords: LAW LEGAL HISTORY AMERICAN JAMES KENT COMMENTARIES,