Edition of Blackstone. Blackstone, Sir William [1723-1780].
Commentaires sur les loix angloises, de M. Blackstone. Traduits
de l’Anglois par M.D.G Sur la quatrieme edition d’Oxford. Bruxelles:
J.L. de Boubers, 1774-6. Six volumes. Octavo. Two folding tables.
, 489, ; , 486, ; , 473, ; , 437, ;
, 512, ; , 500,  pp. Woodcut fleurons on titles,
woodcut head- and tail-pieces. Contemporary half-calf over decorated
paper boards. Gilt leather spine labels. Extremities somewhat
worn, some foxing.
A very nice set. $2,000.
Note on scarce first French edition. Translated by August Pierre
Damiens de Gomicourt [1723-1790], who is not named in the volumes,
using the fourth English edition of 1770. The editor claims
the translation benefitted from Gomicourt’s great familiarity
“with the laws, the structure of the government, the spirit
of the people, and the history of England.” Eller, The William
Blackstone Collection in the Yale Law Library 72-3. Brunet,
Manuel du libraire et de l’amateur de livres I:958. Last Authorial
Edition with Thirteen Engraved Portraits.]
Commentaries on the Laws of England, in Four Books. London:
A. Strahan and W. Woodfall, 1793-1795. Four volumes. Octavo.
Thirteen engraved portraits. Two tables (one folding). ,
485; , 520, xix, ; , 455, xxxv, ; , 443, vii,
 pp. [Pagination irregular]. Contemporary calf, rebacked
with new spine labels. Rubbed, wear to extremities. Some foxing,
slight dampstaining to a few leaves in the first volume.
A good set. $1,200.
Note on twelfth edition, with the last corrections of the author,
and with notes and additions by Edward Christian; this was the
first with his notes and they are separated by a rule from the
body of text. Later American editions often included a selection
of these notes. This edition, moreover, was originally published
in numbers, each number containing a portrait of an eminent
judge, though Christian disparages that as “not creditable to
an Author who takes upon himself any degree of responsibility
in a literary work.” The thirteen plates in the present set
feature: Blackstone; Lord Somers; Sir John Fortescue; Sir Thomas
Littleton; Sir Edward Coke; William, Earl of Mansfield; Lord
Chief Baron Gilbert; Sir John Comyns; Philip, Earl of Hardwicke;
Lord Chief Justice Holt; Sir Matthew Hale; Sir Michael Foster;
and, Lord Chief Justice Raymond. Eller.]
Blackstone, Sir William
[1723-1780]. Commentaries on the Laws of England. In Four Books.
With the Last Corrections and with Notes and Additions by Edward
Christian. London: Printed by A. Strahan for T. Cadell and W.
Davies, 1809. Four volumes. Gainsborough frontispiece portrait
engraved by J. Hall, 2 tables (1 folding). Star-paged. xvi,
485 [i.e. 676]; vii, 520 [i.e. 667], xix; vii, 455 [i.e. 520],
xxxiv; vii, 443 [i.e. 545], vii, pp., 1 leaf (publisher’s
advertisement). Bookseller’s label and owner’s stamp on first
endpapers. Modern quarter calf in period style over cloth boards.
A very attractive
Note on fifteenth edition, first (?) printing (with the half-title
in volume I [which from a collation of the signatures is the
only volume which ever had a half-title], and with one variation
on Eller: the index in the final volume has 71 pages followed
by an advertisement leaf). Edward Christian “had a good knowledge
of old law and legal history, and there is no doubt that his
edition of Blackstone is good and that some of his notes are
learned and useful.” Holdsworth, History of English Law XIII:480.
Elsewhere Holdsworth call him “the author of a very good edition
of Blackstone’s Commentaries.” This is the last edition which
was revised by Christian, with his notes printed as footnotes.
“During the period when Christian was editing his four editions
of the Commentaries, he was preparing a supplemental volume
to Blackstone’s Commentaries. He abandoned this project, and
was induced to supply the present proprietors of the work, who
were preparing a new edition, with notes, and to reserve the
consideration of such subjects as have not been an immediate
reference to any passage in the Commentaries for a separate
supplemental volume.’” Eller 27. The supplemental volume was
probably never published. Harvard Law Catalogue (1909 ed.) I:187.
Sweet & Maxwell’s Bibliography of English Law, I:27-28(8).]
Copyright © 1890-2002 William Blackstone
School of Law Trustees. All rights reserved.