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The Life of Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, Bart., K.C.S.I. A Judge of the High Court of Justice   By: (1832-1904)

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In "The Life of Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, Bart., K.C.S.I. A Judge of the High Court of Justice," Leslie Stephen deftly traces the life and career of an intriguing and influential legal figure of the 19th century. Through meticulous research and eloquent prose, Stephen illuminates the multifaceted dimensions of Sir James Fitzjames Stephen's character, revealing a man whose contributions extended far beyond the courtroom.

Stephen's thorough examination of Fitzjames Stephen's family background and upbringing sets the stage for the reader's understanding of his subject's later achievements. Born into a family of renowned legal minds, Sir James Fitzjames Stephen was destined for a career in law. Stephen adeptly navigates through the intersections of family dynamics, politics, and intellectual pursuits, revealing the shaping forces that would influence Fitzjames Stephen's future.

Notably, the biographer highlights the multifaceted nature of Fitzjames Stephen's character. While his legal career skyrocketed, he simultaneously exhibited a passion for literature, philosophy, and theology. By deftly juxtaposing these aspects of Stephen's life, Stephen paints a nuanced portrait of a man who effortlessly straddled the worlds of the law and academia, thereby challenging the notion of singular professional identities.

The book's greatest strength undoubtedly lies in Stephen's splendid exploration of Fitzjames Stephen's intellectual contributions. Stephen meticulously dissects Stephen's jurisprudential theories, exposing both their philosophical underpinnings and their significance in the broader legal landscape. Through this analysis, Stephen demonstrates how Fitzjames Stephen deeply influenced legal thinking of his time and its subsequent development, leaving a lasting impact on the legal field that resonates to this day.

However, it should be noted that portions of the book may feel overly detailed to some readers. Stephen's meticulousness sometimes results in an overwhelming amount of information, which may challenge those seeking a lighter, more approachable biography. Nevertheless, for readers with a keen interest in legal history and the intricacies of intellectual discourse, this level of detail ensures a comprehensive understanding of Fitzjames Stephen's life and work.

Ultimately, "The Life of Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, Bart., K.C.S.I. A Judge of the High Court of Justice" offers an enlightening exploration of the intersections of law, literature, and philosophy within the life of an eminent legal figure. Leslie Stephen's thorough research and eloquent prose result in a biography that is both intellectually satisfying and historically significant.

First Page:


[Illustration: Walker & Boutalls Ph. Sc.

J F Stephen

From a drawing by G. F. Watts. R. A. 1863. ]

London. Published by Smith Elder & C^o. 15 Waterloo Place.


A Judge of the High Court of Justice

by his brother


With Two Portraits

London Smith, Elder, & Co., 15 Waterloo Place 1895

[All rights reserved]


In writing the following pages I have felt very strongly one disqualification for my task. The life of my brother, Sir J. F. STEPHEN, was chiefly devoted to work which requires some legal knowledge for its full appreciation. I am no lawyer; and I should have considered this fact to be a sufficient reason for silence, had it been essential to give any adequate estimate of the labours in question. My purpose, however, is a different one. I have wished to describe the man rather than to give any history of what he did. What I have said of the value of his performances must be taken as mainly a judgment at second hand. But in writing of the man himself I have advantages which, from the nature of the case, are not shared by others. For more than sixty years he was my elder brother; and a brother in whose character and fortunes I took the strongest interest from the earliest period at which I was capable of reflection or observation... Continue reading book >>

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