Sir Frederick Pollock and Frederic William Maitland's legal classic The History of English Law before the Time of Edward I expanded the work of Sir Edward Coke and William Blackstone by exploring the origins of key aspects of English common law and society and with them the development of individual rights as these were gradually carved out from the authority of the Crown and the Church. Book one examines Anglo-Saxon law, goes on to consider the changes in law introduced by the Normans, then moves to the twelfth-century Age of Glanvill followed by the thirteenth century Age of Bracton. Book two takes up different areas of English law by topic, including land tenure, marriage and wardship, fealty, the ranks of men both free and unfree, aliens, Jews, excommunicates, women, and the churches and the King, before turning to the various jurisdictions of that decentralised era.
Sir Frederick Pollock (1845-1937) was admitted to the bar in 1871 and to the Privy Council in 1911. He taught at the University of Oxford from 1883 to 1903. Frederic William Maitland (1850-1906) was an English jurist and historian.