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Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, . First Edition First Issue with the two-line printer's imprint on title page verso repeated with ampersand on page 422. Original pebbled russet cloth, as with Holmes's personal copy. A classic of literature on law, this collection of lectures given at the Lowell Institute in Boston is one of the most influential books on legal scholarship of nineteenth century America. Grolier, 100 American, 84: "This brilliant exposition, as effective on English scholarship and legal thinking as on American, of the true nature of law both as a development from the past and an organism of the present, blew fresh air into lawyers' minds encrusted with Blackstone and Kent." From its opening paragraph: "The life of the law has not been logic: it has been experience.... In order to know what it is, we must know what it has been, and what it tends to become." Fraternity law library bookplate on the front pastedown with an ink annotation above it and a small ink stamp on the front endpaper. Minor fraying to the spine tips. A Near Fine copy of this high spot of legal scholarship (Item ID: 018647)

Holmes served as chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court from 1899 until 1902. In 1902 he was appointed to the United States Supreme Court by President Theodore Roosevelt, a position he held until his retirement in 1932. Holmes became famous for his liberal interpretations of the United States Constitution and was known as the "Great Dissenter" because of his disagreement with the views of his colleagues on the Court.


We judge condition conservatively. All books are octavo First American or British editions in original bindings offered subject to prior sale unless otherwise noted. Dustwrappers present when described. All autographs are unconditionally guaranteed for life to be genuine. We attempt to note signatures and bookplates when present as well as any defect we see. In any case, any item may be returned, with prior notice, within 7 days of receipt for any reason. All returns should be shipped fully insured and prior notification should be given.



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