Making Legal History

Making Legal History : Approaches and Methodologies

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Drawing together leading legal historians from a range of jurisdictions and cultures, this collection of essays addresses the fundamental methodological underpinning of legal history research. Via a broad chronological span and a wide range of topics, the contributors explore the approaches, methods and sources that together form the basis of their research and shed light on the complexities of researching into the history of the law. By exploring the challenges posed by visual, unwritten and quasi-legal sources, the difficulties posed by traditional archival material and the novelty of exploring the development of legal culture and comparative perspectives, the book reveals the richness and dynamism of legal history research.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text | 325 pages
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 8 b/w illus.
  • 1139211609
  • 9781139211604

Table of contents

Introduction Anthony Musson and Chantal Stebbings; Foreword: reflections on 'doing' legal history Sir John Baker; 1. Editing law reports and doing legal history: compatible or incompatible projects Paul Brand; 2. The indispensability of manuscript case notes to eighteenth-century barristers and judges James Oldham; 3. Judging the judges: the reputations of nineteenth century judges and their sources Patrick Polden; 4. Benefits and barriers: the making of Victorian legal history Chantal Stebbings; 5. The historical turn in late nineteenth-century American legal thought David M. Rabban; 6. The methodological debates in German speaking Europe (1960-90) Marcel Senn; 7. Exploring the minds of lawyers: the duty of the legal historian to write the books of non-written law Dirk Heirbaut; 8. Comparative legal history: a methodology David Ibbetson; 9. 'They put to the torture all the ancient monuments': reflections on making eighteenth-century Irish legal history Sean Donlan; 10. The politics of historiography and the taxonomies of the colonial past: law, history and the tribes Paul McHugh; 11. Lay legal history Wilf Prest; 12. Antiquarianism and legal history Michael Stuckey; 13. Re-examining King John and Magna Carta: reflections on reasons, methodology and methods Jane Frecknall-Hughes; 14. Visual sources: mirror of justice or 'through a glass darkly'? Anthony Musson; 15. Sanctity, superstition and the death of Sarah Jacob Richard Ireland.
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Review quote

'This volume is highly recommended to all those involved in legal historical research. It contains a great deal of very practical advice, and it lucidly articulates the methods of many leading scholars in the field. Professor Musson and Professor Stebbings are to be congratulated on the compilation of a very useful and well-presented book. No university law library should be without a copy.' Andrew R. C. Simpson, The Edinburgh Law Review 'This book is highly important.' Adelyn L. M. Wilson, Comparative Legal History
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About Anthony Musson

Anthony Musson is Professor of Legal History at the School of Law and a Director of the Bracton Centre for Legal History Research at the University of Exeter. He is also a Barrister of the Middle Temple and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Chantal Stebbings is Professor of Law and Legal History at the School of Law and a Director of the Bracton Centre for Legal History Research at the University of Exeter. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, a Fellow of the Institute of Taxation by thesis and Professeur Invite at the University of Rennes I, France.
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