Search our site
The Heart of Mars by Paul Magrs Read the opening extract of the brand new Paul Magrs book before its publication on 15/03/2018

The Formation of the English Common Law Law and Society in England from King Alfred to Magna Carta by John (St Andrews University, UK) Hudson

The Formation of the English Common Law Law and Society in England from King Alfred to Magna Carta


Part of the The Medieval World Series


The Formation of the English Common Law Law and Society in England from King Alfred to Magna Carta by John (St Andrews University, UK) Hudson

The Formation of English Common Law provides a comprehensive overview of the development of early English law, one of the classic subjects of medieval history. This much expanded second edition spans the centuries from King Alfred to Magna Carta, abandoning the traditional but restrictive break at the Norman Conquest. Within a strong interpretative framework, it also integrates legal developments with wider changes in the thought, society, and politics of the time. Rather than simply tracing elements of the common law back to their Anglo-Saxon, Norman or other origins, John Hudson examines and analyses the emergence of the common law from the interaction of various elements that developed over time, such as the powerful royal government inherited from Anglo-Saxon England and land holding customs arising from the Norman Conquest. Containing a new chapter charting the Anglo-Saxon period, as well as a fully revised Further Reading section, this new edition is an authoritative yet highly accessible introduction to the formation of the English common law and is ideal for students of history and law.


'John Hudson's The Formation of the English Common Law has been the essential and introductory guide to its topic for over twenty years, and has been of real service to students for its breadth of coverage and intelligent commentary. The new and updated edition extends its scope through the integration of research published since the first edition, which will only increase its usefulness to students.'
Nicholas Karn, University of Southampton, UK

'Hudson's superb update of his thoughtful and engaging book The Formation of the English Common Law makes it an even more useful teaching text, but also contributes significantly to our understanding of the continuity of English law. Without overgeneralization or simplification, Hudson brings to life the intricate context of various local and royal jurisdictions, shifting the focus of study to include the impact of the law on the lives of individual people.'
Arlene Sindelar, The University of British Columbia, Canada

About the Author

John Hudson is Professor of Legal History at St Andrews University, UK, and William W. Cook Global Law Professor at the University of Michigan. His previous publications include F. W. Maitland and the Englishness of English Law (2008), The Oxford History of the Laws of England, Volume II 871-1216 (2012) and Papers Preparatory to the Making of English Law: King Alfred to the Twelfth Century, Volume II: From God's Law to Common Law, ed., with Stephen Baxter (2014).

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

8th August 2017


John (St Andrews University, UK) Hudson

More books by John (St Andrews University, UK) Hudson
Author 'Like for Like'


Routledge an imprint of Taylor & Francis Ltd


234 pages


Legal history
Common law
Law & society



Love books. Love reading. Love reading books. And, here's the trick. Here's a website which caters for people like me.

Ian Harvey-brown

Their sending me my first book to review 18 months ago re-awakened my fondness for reading, since then I have purchased some real gems.

Barry Griffiths

For me, to read is to learn, to reflect, to escape, to think, to contemplate and my time for space and calm.

Sally Ellsmore

They are bright, breezy and eager to offer a great book, then genuinely listen/respect the review one writes.

Maggie Crane

Lovereading is like booking a holiday, you don't know what it will be like and it is a whole new experience.

Sue Burton

You can trust Lovereading to show unbiased reviews by actual, ordinary readers that help likeminded booklovers choose their next great read.

Linda Hill

It has enriched my leisure time by introducing me to a world of books which I would not have previously considered.

Val Rowe

I love Lovereading because I get to read great books and then get to tell everybody how good they are.

Sally Doel