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The collection herewith submitted has no more ambitious aim than to bring within the reach of students the necessary material for an understanding of the law of real property. It is not primarily a book of “ sources,” nor, strictly speaking, a compilation of authorities, but, as its title indicates, a series of carefully selected readings on the elements of property law, the several topics being treated by those who have —for the purposes of the student and within permissible limits of space—most clearly and adequately expounded them. The service which it seeks to render has for a hundred years been performed for the American student by the second book of Blackstone's immortal commentary on the common law, but a variety of causes—the development of the law since Blackstone's day, the rise of the new school of historical students of our law, and, perhaps, a diminishing reverence for great names of the past (other signs of which are not wanting horis novissimis)—have combined to render that work antiquated (in Lord Coke's sense of the term) and unavailable for use as an introduction to the law of real property.
That no one has arisen to do for us moderns what Blackstone did so well for our predecessors, is a commonplace of the law schools. A real introduction to the English and American law of land, which shall acquaint the student with the living sources of that law without leading him through the dreary waste of technicalities and obsolete doctrines