"Emotions in the Early Common Law (c. 1166-1215)"

Michigan Law Authors
Areas of Interest
Publish Date
2017
Publication
Journal of Legal History
Publication Type
Journal Article
Abstract

Beyond dealing with wrongdoing and litigation, law has many other functions. It can be designed to make life more predictable, it can facilitate and promote certain actions, it can seek to prevent disputes by laying down rules, and provide routes to solutions other than litigation should disputes arise. All of these can have connections to matters of emotion. Using both lawbooks and records of cases from the Angevin period, the present article begins by looking at issues of land law rather than crime, and at law outside rather than inside court. It then returns to crime and litigation before exploring the significance of the nature of legal records for the relationship between emotion and law. In doing so, it pays attention to emotion in action, to uses of emotionally charged language, to appearances of the vocabulary of emotions, and to the routinized use of words that might at other times or in other contexts have an emotional element. Underlying the analysis is an exploration of the ways in which some aspects of law became more discrete from ordinary social practice and discourse, in this instance through elements of distancing from emotion.

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