The Making of English Law: King Alfred to the Twelfth Century, Legislation and its Limits

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Wiley, May 18, 2001 - History - 596 pages
‘This volume, originally intended asthe first of two comprising The Making of English Law, provides the first full-length account of the Old English law-codes for over eighty years, and the first that has ever been published in the English language. It is designed to be both an authoritative work of reference for scholars seeking enlightenment on particular legal manuscripts or texts and a coherent account of how the corpus of Old English law from the seventh to the twelfth century came to subsist and survive.

Part I opens with an account of the historians of early English law, including the immortal F. W. Maitland (1850-1906) and Felix Liebermann, author of the definitive edition of the law codes (1898-1916). It then provides the most detailed examination English of law and legislation on the European continent in the post-Roman era and of the earliest Anglo-Saxon legislators in the seventh century. This sets the scene for the law making of King Alfred and his successors.

As well as providing an authoritative account of Anglo-Saxon legislation this much-anticipated book opens new perspectives on the emergence of the English State. It will be welcomed as a landmark in the study of English law and government, and as an exploration of the problem of authority in a pre-modern society.’

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User Review  - jsburbidge - LibraryThing

A thorough and impressive treatment of the role of royal legislation during the Anglo-Saxon period making a convincing argument that its function was more symbolic and social than directly effective ... Read full review

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About the author (2001)

Patrick Wormald was a college tutor and university lecturer at Christ Church, Oxford. He was previously a lecturer in Medieval History at the University of Glasgow and a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. His publications include The Anglo-Saxons (co-editor, 1982) and Ideal and Reality in Frankish and Anglo-Saxon Society (editor, 1983), as well as numerous articles on the legal, religious and cultural history of early medieval Britain and Europe.

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