Forthcoming Book: Charles Areskine’s library

This blogger is delighted to report that Charles Areskine’s Library: Lawyers and Their Books at the Dawn of the Scottish Enlightenment will shortly be published by Brill in their series, “Library of the Written Word”. The author is Karen Baston, regular contributor to this Blog, and the book is based on her Edinburgh University thesis, which was funded by an AHRC Collaborative doctoral scholarship, in which the School of Law was associated with the National Library of Scotland.

In this book Dr Baston explores the intellectual culture of the lawyers of Scotland in the first half of the eighteenth century though study of the book collection of a prominent lawyer who held the first chair of law created in Scotland in the modern period, namely the regius Chair of Public Law and the Law of Nature and Nations in the University of Edinburgh. But Areskine’s career was more that of practising lawyer and politician rather than academic, which makes the contents of his library particularly interesting. The book also complements a number of the essays in Du Plessis and Cairns, Reassessing Legal Humanism and Its Claims: Petere Fontes?, particularly those by Professor Ian Maclean and Dr Baston herself.

The cover of this important study also sports a reproduction of three Scots (Nicol Graham of Gartmore (1695-1775) with two friends) sitting in a Library by Gawen Hamilton: See: CharlesAreskineLibrary_Coverproofs




Seated in a Library

by Gawen Hamilton

National Galleries of Scotland