A Power to Do Justice

Bradin Cormack

in A Power to Do Justice

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print February 2008 | ISBN: 9780226116242
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226116259 | DOI:
A Power to Do Justice

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  • Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)


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This book investigates the intersection of English law and literature from John Skelton to John Webster. It takes as its subject the cultural meaning of “jurisdiction” during a transitional period when that technical category in law came under peak pressure, in immediate response to specific jurisdictional crises and as part of the long process of centralization and rationalization through which the common law achieved interpretive hegemony. Focusing on law's unstable practices rather than on the image of its stability, the book analyzes the production of English juridical norms in relation to jurisdiction as the administrative principle that orders power as authority by defining the scope of a particular power over a given matter or territory. It develops several theses about the practical life of the law and its relation to English literature such as prose, poetry, and drama, and describes a relatively recent moment in which law and humanistic culture were in a complex but non-oppositional relation to one another.

Keywords: English law; jurisdiction; common law; English literature; John Skelton; John Webster; power; prose; poetry; drama

Chapter.  4449 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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