A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Blackstone, Sir William

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Blackstone, Sir William (1723-1780). -- Legal Writer, posthumous s. of a silk mercer in London, was ed. at Charterhouse School and Oxf., and entered the Middle Temple in 1741. His great work is his Commentaries on the Laws of England, in 4 vols. (1765-1769), which still remains the best general history of the subject. It had an extraordinary success, and is said to have brought the author £14,000. B. was not a man of original mind, nor was he a profound lawyer; but he wrote an excellent style, clear and dignified, which brings his great work within the category of general literature. He had also a turn for neat and polished verse, of which he gave proof in The Lawyer's Farewell to his Muse.