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Liberty Against the Law: Some Seventeenth-Century Controversies cover
  • ISBN: 9780140240337
  • ISBN10: 0140240330

Liberty Against the Law: Some Seventeenth-Century Controversies

by Hill, Christopher

  • List Price: $14.95
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Penguin Books
  • Publish date: 02/01/1998
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Description
In the plays and popular folklore of the 17th and 18th centuries are many expressions of liberty against the law: there are the colorful beggars of "The Jovial Crew" who are no worse than the eminent politicians; the ballads of Robin Hood personify the opposition between the freedom of the outlaw in the woods and the status constraints on the society man.

Christopher Hill considers how the peasantry was effected by enclosures, the loss of many traditional rights, and draconian punishments for minor transgressions. These expressions of contempt for the law challenge the equation of law with property and begin to pose the question, "Freedom for Whom?" Wrote Keith Thomas in The Guardian, "Hill must have read more of the literature written in and about 17-century England than anyone who has ever lived. He misses nothing".

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