October 30, 2015

The Role of Emotion In English Law and Legal Theory

For those of us who think the English are dour or lack affect,, and that English lawyers are more of the same, a new book offers to change our views. Newly published by Bucknell University Press is Impassioned Jurisprudence: Law, Literature, and Emotion, 1760-1848, edited by Nancy E. Johnson. Here is a description of the contents from the publisher's website.
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.

Includes an introduction by Nancy E. Johnson, Simon Stern, Blackstone's Legal Actors: The Passions of a Rational Jurist, Nancy E. Johnson, Narrative Sentiment in Adam Smith's Lectures on Jurisprudence, J. T. Scanlan, Love and the Law in Boswell's Development as a Writer in the Late 1760s, Melissa J. Ganz, Freedom and Fetters: Nuptial Law in Burney's The Wanderer, Erin Sheley, Doubled Jeopardy: The Condemned Woman as Historical Relic, Peter de Bolla, The Madness of Sovereignty: George III and the Known Unknown of Torture, Ian Ward, The Great Dramatist: Macaulay and the English Constitution. Also includes a Timeline of Selected Legal Publications, Legislation, and Events, and a Bibliography.


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