Sunday, 21 November 2010


It's always good to check that titles to your books / chapbooks/ pamphlets / CDs / etc., either haven't been used yet, or alternatively, have been used for something else that they won't get mixed up with. 'The Book of Contentions' hasn't really any exact namesakes that I could find - but interestingly, there IS a monograph called (and in other editions just 'Strife between the') 'Al Maqrizi's Book of Contention and Strife concerning the relations between the Banu Umayya and the Banu Hashim' - now, whilst I know nothing about the latter two clans, it appears (from cursory Google research) that they are Islamic tribal peoples, AND that Al Maqrizi was an Egyptian scholar 1364-1442, and so seeing as 'The Book of Contentions' starting point was the Occupation of Iraq, that seems itself something of a serendipity.
   'The Book of Indictments' also has some interesting connections - again, there isn't (so far as I've found) an exact match, but what there is is fascinating - 'Officium clerici pacis: a book of indcitments, informations, inquisitions and appeals...with large additions of modern indictments' !!! about which it says; 'The 18th century was a wealth of knowledge, exploration and rapidly growing technology and expanding record-keeping made possible by advances in the printing press. Now for the first time these high-quality digital copies of original 18th century manuscripts are available in print, making them highly accessible to libraries, undergraduate students, and independent scholars. This collection reveals the history of English common law and Empire law in a vastly changing world of British expansion. Dominating the legal field is the Commentaries of the Law of England by Sir William Blackstone, which first appeared in 1765. Reference works such as almanacs and catalogues continue to educate us by revealing the day-to-day workings of society.' Fantastic! for a history fanatic, anyway. Plus, from 1618, more court records - 'PROCESS REGISTER BOOK OF INDICTMENTS. VOLUME. I. f. 122. James Scutts and George Richardson of St. Martin's-in-theFields for burglary; both at large.' Perfect!      
   For 'The Book of Offences', I made it into a feature, citing it on the back cover, the fact that the Swedish law codes were codified in the Code of 1734, divided into two parts - The Book of Offences, and The Book of Punishments! Absolutely classic. As it says in the back cover blurb; 'Not to be confused with the Swedish Book of Offences of 1734, and undoubtedly not its companion, The Book of Punishments...'

   Finally 'The Book of Convictions' also appears to have no exact namesake, the nearest being 'The Book of the Beliefs and Convictions' a phrase in a book of 'Medieval Jewish Philosophical Writings'. So, also historical, and not without a kind of resonance. 
   It was really interesting to find oneself trawling through places like the National Library of Australia online catalogue to find out about the texts with 'names like..' - I recommend it! 

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