Built by Association: Sir Frederick Pollock

Sir Frederick Pollock, inscription to Arthur Raynard Talbot

Sir Frederick Pollock’s inscribed copy (to Arthur Maynard Talbot) of A Glossary of Judicial and Revenue Terms (1855) by H.H. Wilson.

Frederick Pollock (1845–1937) graduated from Eton College, where he was a King’s Scholar, and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was elected a fellow in 1868. Called to the bar in 1871, Pollock became tremendously successful with a series of works that synthesized the law in different areas. His works served as blueprints for modern textbooks by emphasizing underlying legal principles and presenting them in readable form. His most influential works include Principles of Contract (1876), Essays in Jurisprudence and Ethics (1882), and The Law of Torts (1887).

Pollock taught at Oxford (1883–1903) and was the first editor of the Law Quarterly Review, which was founded in 1885. His book The History of English Law Before the Time of Edward I (1895), written with F.W. Maitland, is still a primary reference source for scholars of medieval law.

At Meyer Boswell Books in San Francisco some years ago, I found the highly unusual Glossary of Judicial and Revenue Terms (1855). Its terminology relates to British India. This particular copy belonged to Pollock. The proof of Pollock’s ownership is a laid-in autographed letter from Pollock to Arthur Maynard Talbot, who was about to become a judge in British India.

          – Bryan A. Garner

“Built by Association: Books Once Owned by Notable Judges and Lawyers, from Bryan A. Garner’s Collection”, an exhibit curated by Bryan A. Garner with Mike Widener, is on display until December 16, 2013 in the Rare Book Exhibition Gallery, Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School.

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