in Parchment Paper Pixels

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780226803067
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226803074 | DOI:

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This chapter, which discusses wills, in particular the law of wills that originated in England, begins with a brief history of English wills. It then outlines the process of executing wills, considering the clash between the highly literate culture of the law and the substantially more oral culture of everyday life. The chapter addresses the question of whether the law can continue to insist that a valid will must be a written text of some sort, preferably made by placing ink on paper, and concludes with a discussion of the future of testamentary text.

Keywords: law of wills; England; legal system; literate culture; oral culture

Chapter.  14788 words. 

Subjects: History of Law

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