Impassioned Jurisprudence

Impassioned Jurisprudence
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Law, Literature, and Emotion, 1760–1848
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Nancy E. Johnson
Aperçus: Histories Texts Cultures
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This collection of essays by scholars of the law and literature movement explores the place of the passions in English law of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. While some of the essays elucidate the forces of emotion in legal texts, others consider the representation of impassioned jurisprudence in literary texts. Together these essays provide insight into the foundations of modern juridical thought.

In this volume of essays, scholars of the interdisciplinary field of law and literature write about the role of emotion in English law and legal theory in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The law’s claims to reason provided a growing citizenry that was beginning to establish its rights with an assurance of fairness and equity. Yet, an investigation of the rational discourse of the law reveals at its core the processes of emotion, and a study of literature that engages with the law exposes the potency of emotion in the practice and understanding of the law. Examining both legal and literary texts, the authors in this collection consider the emotion that infuses the law and find that feeling, sentiment and passion are integral to juridical thought as well as to specific legislation.
Introduction by Nancy E. Johnson

Chapter 1: Blackstone’s Legal Actors: The Passions of a Rational Jurist by Simon Stern

Chapter 2: Narrative Sentiment in Adam Smith’s Lectures on Jurisprudence by Nancy E. Johnson

Chapter 3: ‘How Like You the Eloquence of a Young Barrister?: Love and the Law in Boswell’s Development as a Writer in the Late 1760s by J.T. Scanlan

Chapter 4: Freedom and Fetters: Nuptial Law in Burney’s The Wanderer by Melissa J. Ganz

Chapter 5: Doubled Jeopardy: The Condemned Woman as Historical Relic by Erin Sheley

Chapter 6: The Madness of Sovereignty: George III and the Known Unknown of Torture by Peter de Bolla

Chapter 7: The Great Dramatist: Macaulay and the English Constitution by Ian Ward

Appendix: Timeline of Selected Legal Publications, Legislation and Events


Notes on Contributors


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