Commentaries on the Laws of England. - William Blackstone, Esq. Solicitor General to Her Majesty

1770 - The Clarendon Press, Oxford - Fourth Edition
It Is Better That Ten Persons Escape, Than That One Innocent Suffer.

‘Blackstone's great work on the laws of England is the extreme example of justification of an existing state of affairs by virtue of its history. Until the ‘Commentaries’, the ordinary Englishman had viewed the law as a vast, unintelligible and unfriendly machine; nothing but trouble, even danger, was to be expected from contact with it. Blackstone's great achievement was to popularise the law and the traditions which had influenced its formation.’
Printing and the Mind of Man.

An attractive four volume quarto set [28 x 23 cm] in contemporary full calf binding. With two engraved tables, being the
Table of Consanguinity [Vol. II p.203] and the folding Table of Descents [Vol. II p.240]. 
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Price HK$ 40,000



The Cuckold's Chronicle; being Select Trials for Adultery, Incest, Imbecillity, Ravishment, &c. - H. Lemoin (editor)

1793 - printed for H. Lemoin, London - First Edition
Extremely scarce two volumes (lacking plates and the title page to volume I). Over 800 pages representing ‘one of the finest examples of sensationalistic writing of the time period’ (Bearden-White).

The pinnacle of publications to satisfy the late 1700’s fascination with divorce cases - contemporary pornography. Containing a large number of trials, fascinating, and in many cases bizarre, some '
never before published', such as 'The celebrated Case and Trial of the Marquis de Gesvres, upon the complaint of his Lady, Mademoiselle de Mascranny, who, after three years Marriage, commenced a Suit against him, at Paris, for Imbecility and Impotency'; and 'The Case of John Bury, Esq. of the County of Devon, who was divorced for want of his Testicles’.

‘The 18th-century fashion for arranged marriages to secure finances and improve social and political influence, with little thought given to the personal feelings of those concerned, led to a great number of extra-marital affairs by both men and women. The reports of consequent divorce cases aroused great interest across all classes, with the trial reports becoming more sexually explicit towards the end of the century. The apogee of the development of [the criminal conversation] genre toward pornography was reached with the publication in 1793 of
The Cuckold’s Chronicle’ (Wagner). 
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Price HK$ 16,000