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In all these works, the phenomena of societies in an archaic stage, whether still capable of observation or surviving in a fragmentary manner among more modern surroundings or preserved in contemporary records, are brought into line, often with singular felicity, to establish and illustrate the normal process of development in legal and political ideas see freedom of contract. In , the mastership of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where Maine had formerly been tutor, became vacant.

There were two strong candidates whose claims were so nearly equal that it was difficult to elect either; the difficulty was solved by a unanimous invitation to Maine to accept the post. His acceptance entailed the resignation of the Oxford chair, though not continuous residence at Cambridge. Ten years later, considerations of a similar kind led to his election to succeed Sir William Harcourt as Whewell Professor of International Law at Cambridge.

His brief performance in this office is represented by a posthumous volume that had not received his own final revision, International Law Meanwhile, Maine had published in his one work of speculative politics, a volume of essays on Popular Government , designed to show that democracy is not in itself more stable than any other form of government, and that there is no necessary connexion between democracy and progress. The book was deliberately unpopular in tone; it excited much controversial comment and some serious discussion.

In , there appeared in the Quarterly Review clxii. The article, though necessarily unsigned in accordance with the rule of the Quarterly as it then stood , was Maine's reply to the McLennan brothers' attack on the historical reconstruction of the Indo-European family system put forward in Ancient Law and supplemented in Early Law and Custom.

Sir Henry Maine : A Study in Victorian Jurisprudence

Maine was generally averse from controversy, but showed on this occasion that it was not for want of controversial power. He carried the war back into the invader's country, and charged JF McLennan's theory of primitive society with owing its plausible appearance of universal validity to general neglect of the Indo-European evidence and misapprehension of such portions of it as McLennan did attempt to handle.

Maine's health, which had never been strong, gave way towards the end of He went to the Riviera under medical advice, and died at Cannes, France, on 3 February He left a wife, Jane, and two sons, of whom the elder died soon afterwards. A comprehensive summary of Maine's principal writings may be seen in Sir Mountstuart Grant Duff's memoir, drawing particular attention to Maine's advice to his countrymen, in the heyday of British imperial self-confidence, that they should avoid the insularity that results from ignorance of all but their own law and institutions; his example showed the benefit of the contrary habit.

Foreign readers of Maine have perhaps understood even better than British ones that he is not the propounder of a system, but the pioneer of a method, and that detailed criticism, profitable as it may be and necessary as in time it must be, will not leave the method itself less valid or diminish the worth of the Maine's lessons in its use.

The rather small bulk of Maine's published and avowed work may be explained partly by a fine literary sense that would let nothing go out under his name unfinished, partly by the drawbacks incident to precarious health. Maine's temperament was averse from the labour of minute criticism, and his avoidance of it was no less a matter of prudence.

But it has to be remembered that Maine also wrote much that was never publicly acknowledged. Before he went to India, he was one of the original contributors to the Saturday Review , founded in , and the inventor of its name. Like his intimate friend James Fitzjames Stephen, he was an accomplished journalist, enjoyed occasional article-writing as a diversion from official duties, and never quite abandoned it.

The practice of such writing probably counted for something in the freedom and clearness of Maine's style and the effectiveness of his dialectic.

Sir Henry Maine: A Study in Victorian Jurisprudence - Raymond Cocks - Google книги

His books are a model of scientific exposition that never ceases to be literature. Web Cosimobooks. Maine, Henry Sumner.


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Sir Henry Maine: A Study in Victorian Jurisprudence (Cambridge Studies in English Legal History)

Retrieved Contents 1 Biography 2 Works 3 Literature 4 References. Wikisource has original works written by or about: Henry James Sumner Maine. Book of the Month. Classic of the Month. Share this page:. Static societies include most of the non-Western world. He believed that countries such as India and China were locked in an unchanging world, bound by a fixed legal condition dominated by family dependency.

In those societies, laws had very limited application and were binding not on individuals but on families. The rule of conduct for the individual was the law of the home, as distinguished from civil law.

Is There Truth in Interpretation? Law, Literature and History

In contrast, Maine proposed, European societies were progressive, characterized by a desire to improve and to develop. In progressive societies, civil law grew as a greater number of personal and property rights were removed from the domestic forum to the public tribunal. Maine saw the distinguishing feature in this movement as the gradual dissolution of family dependency and its replacement by individual obligation—as a movement from personal conditions to agreement, from status to contract. Maine believed that the modern legal order would make talent and ability more important than race, sex, or family in shaping personal status.


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  7. His beliefs in the evolution of Western law, and progress in general, struck a chord in the Anglo-American legal community. His theories were attractive to those in the United States who saw a powerful national economy reshaping society and creating opportunity for those who were willing to take risks and to work hard. Maine took a hiatus from his professorship in , to serve as a legal member of the Viceroy's Council in India for six years.

    Upon his return to England in , he resumed his legal scholarship, publishing Village Communities in , The Early History of Institutions in , and Early Law and Custom in