Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > Law, Law-Consciousness and Lawyers as Constitut...
View graph of relations

Law, Law-Consciousness and Lawyers as Constitutive of Early Modern England: Christopher W. Brooks’s Singular Journey

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter (peer-reviewed)

Publication date30/06/2019
Host publicationLaw and Litigants in Early Modern English Society: Essays in Memory of Christopher W. Brooks
EditorsMichael Lobban, Joanne Begiato, Adrian Green
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages25
ISBN (Print)9781108491723
Original languageEnglish


During the last half-century, Christopher W. Brooks (1948–2014) established
himself as the foremost historian of law in early modern English
society. Through his scholarship, his teaching, and the generations of
students he advised and supervised, and as a friend and colleague, Brooks
exercised, from the early 1990s onwards, an increasingly significant influence
on writing about early modern English history. He was the leading
exponent of a history of earlymodern England that transcended the boundaries
of social, political and legal history, and which placed law and lawyers
centre stage. In doing so, he challenged major premises of the dominant
vision of law-in-history in writing about English history. This chapter brings
a critical, if friendly, eye to Brooks’s work, focusing on how Brooks beat his
own path through the methodological thickets to create a distinctive vision
of law in history, and on the strengths and weaknesses of that vision.