17 ago. 2015

Sobre cultura del Derecho impreso. La imprenta jurídica en Inglaterra, s. XV-XVII: un factor de cambio

David J. Harvey
The Law Emprynted and Englysshed
The Printing Press as an Agent of Change in Law and Legal Culture 1475-1642
Hart Publishing, Oxford, 2015, 362 pp.
ISBN: 9781849466684

What impact did the printing press –a new means of communicating the written word– have on early modern English lawyers? This book examines the way in which law printing developed in the period from 1475 up until 1642 and the start of the English Civil War. It offers a new perspective on the purposes and structures of the regulation of the printing press and considers how and why lawyers used the new technology. It examines the way in which lawyers adapted to the use of printed works and the way in which the new technology increased the availability of texts and books for lawyers and the administrative community. It also considers the wider humanist context within which law printing developed. The story is set against the backdrop of revolutionary changes in English society and the move not only to print the law, but also increase its accessibility by making information available in English. The book will be of interest to lawyers and legal historians, print and book historians and the general reader.

1 Introduction

I. The Argument
II. Eisenstein’s Theory
III. Eisenstein’s Critics
IV. The Outline
V. A Note on Quotation Conventions

2 Regulating the Printing Press – How the Law Struggled to Cope
With a New Communications Technology

I. Introduction
II. The Content Control Model: The Constitutions of Oxford 1407
and The Stationers Guild

A. The Early Stationers
B. Further Statutory Activity

III. Early Printing Industry Control

A. Industry Control Measures
B. Content Control Measures
i. The 1520s – The Revival of the Constitutions of Oxford

IV. Printing and Proclamations

A. Henry VIII’s Use of Proclamations
B. Industry Regulation and Proclamations
C. Content and Proclamations
D. Proclamations in the Reigns of Edward VI and Mary
E. The Elizabethan Use of Proclamations
F. Proclamations as a Regulatory Tool – Some Observations

V. The Royal Printer, Patents and the Stationers Company

A. The Royal Printer
B. Patents
C. The Stationers Company and Print Regulation

VI. The Star Chamber Decrees

A. The 1586 Star Chamber Decrees
B. Attempts at Statutory Regulation
C. After 1586
D. The Effectiveness of the 1586 Decrees
E. Prelude to the 1637 Star Chamber Decrees
F. The Star Chamber Decrees 1637

VII. Conclusion

3 Lawyers in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries – A Readership
for Law Printing

I. Introduction
II. The Legal Profession

A. The Lower Branch
B. The Market for Law Books

III. Legal Education in the Inns

A. Entry to the Inns
B. The Structure of the Inns and Legal Education
i. Moots
ii. Readings
iii. Changes in Learning

IV. Law Books and Study Methods
V. Conclusion

4 Putting the Law into Print

I. Introduction

II. The Business of Law Printing

A. The Contest for Quality
B. The Role of Richard Tottel
C. Lawyers and Printers
D. Tottel’s Contribution
E. Tottel’s Heirs

III. Humanism and the Law

A. The ‘Common Weal’
B. Print, Dissemination and ‘Englysshing’ the Law
C. Ignorance of the Law

IV. Print, Legislation and Dissemination of the Law

V. The Coexistence of Print and Manuscript

A. Introduction
B. General Attitudes
C. The Contest Between Print and Manuscript
D. The Economics and Advantages of Manuscript Publication
E. The Development of Law Texts
F. Libraries and Law Books
G. Print – Advantages and Drawbacks
H. Legal Information and Nos Erudition
I. Coterie Publication – Sharing Information Within Groups or

VI. Conclusion

5 Printing the Law – The Sixteenth-Century Phase

I. Introduction
II. Year Book Printing
A. Trends in Year Book Printing

III. Year Book Abridgements
IV. Statutes and Abridgements
V. Some Observations
VI. Plowden’s Commentaries
VII. Print and Manuscript
VIII. Other Law Publications
IX. Conclusion

6 Law Printing in the Seventeenth Century – Treatises and Other Texts

I. Introduction
II. Law Texts – A General Discussion
III. The Increase in Law Texts
IV. Types of Law Texts

V. Themes in the Law Texts

A. Self-Validation of Texts by Texts
B. The Language of the Law
C. From Mnemonic to ‘Preserved’ Memory
i. Mnemonic Devices
D. Textualisation, Print and Hermeneutics
i. Did Print Enhance Hermeneutics?
E. Ordering the Law
F. Opportunistic Printing
G. Guidebooks and Manuals
H. The Markets for Law Texts

VI. Concluding the Themes
VII. Sir Edward Coke
VIII. Printing the Law in the Early Seventeenth Century –

Concluding Observations

7 Conclusion

I. Introduction
II. Eisenstein’s Theory – A Validation?
III. Regulatory Structures
IV. The Business of Law Printing
V. Other Influences on Law Printing
VI. Cultural Frictions and Coteries
VII. Law Texts and Law Printing – the Sixteenth Century
VIII. The Transition to Seventeenth-Century Law Printing
IX. The Role of the Lawyers
X. Seventeenth-Century Developments
XI. To Conclude

Appendix 1 Star Chamber Decrees 1586 Transcription
Appendix 2 Star Chamber Decrees 1637 Transcription


David J Harvey is a District Court Judge sitting in Auckland, New Zealand and a part-time lecturer in Law and Information Technology at the Faculty of Law, University of Auckland.

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