Title page from A Concise History of the Common Law

A Concise History of the Common Law

Plucknett’s work provides a common-law understanding of individual rights, not in theory only, but protected through the confusing and messy evolution of courts, and their administration as they struggled to resolve real problems. The first half of the book is a historical introduction to the study of law. The second half of the book consists of chapters introducing the reader to the history of some of the main divisions of law, such as criminal tort, property, contract, and succession.

Buy this Book

Key Quotes


The middle ages seem to show us bodies of custom of every description, developing and adapting themselves to constantly changing conditions. We can see the first beginnings of a custom and trace its rise and modification; we can even see it deliberately imported from one place to another; it is a…


When we come to Machiavelli we reach the spirit of the Renaissance, and begin to find law itself questioned, for his distinction between public and private morality is essentially the same heresy as to divide the substance of the Godhead; a double standard introduces a sort of polytheism utterly…