Friday, December 18, 2015

Stern on Blackstone on Property

Anyone who, likes me, assigns excerpts from Blackstone to first-year Property students will want to read the draft introduction to Book II of the forthcoming Commentaries on the Laws of England, which Wilfrid Prest is editing for Oxford, by Simon Stern of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law:
This draft excepts three of the six sections in the introduction to Book II, on the law of property ("Of the Rights of Things") in William Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England. The volume forms part of the Oxford Edition of Blackstone, and is due out in 2016. The three sections excepted here cover the aims of Book II, its treatment of property (including intellectual property), and its influence. Blackstone is often praised in vague terms for his style, and the section on his influence also attempts to explain concretely some of the stylistic features that distinguish his writing. Besides an introduction, each volume in this edition includes the editorial changes that Blackstone made to successive editions of the Commentaries, explanatory footnotes, and tables of the cases, statutes, and legal texts that he cites. The introduction to each volume discusses the book’s aims, subject matter, publication, reception, sources, and influence.