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The pre-eminence of the author and the distinction of the editor make this, theeighth edition of Salmond on Torts, a book to challenge the attention of the legal professionboth in England and America. Since the first edition in 1907, this book rapidly attained, and has maintained, its position as a classic exposition of the law of tort.Indeed, Sir John Salmond contributed much to the development of tort law as a distinct body of rules, the coherence of which depended upon certain demonstrable legal principles. The present edition, the second by Dr. Stallybrass, is of particular interest in that it represents a great deal more than what is commonly understood as a new edition of an older text. When in 1928, the editor undertook the seventh edition of this work, he quite properly imposed that restraint upon his efforts which is to be expected when one scholar first edits the text of another. In prefacing that edition,the editor stated: "I have in general only departed from Sir John Salmond's treatment of a topic where either new cases or fresh research have made his views no longer tenable"(p. viii). In the present edition, however, the editor has felt free to depart not only from the text of his author but to abandon fundamental principles from which analytical development proceeds. In a very true sense the present work can properly be described as Stallybrass rather than Salmond on torts. For example, in the seventh edition the editor made use of the device of excursus in which to set forth views on particular problems which varied greatly from those held by Salmond and which presumably the editor regarded as equally or more tenable than those of his author. In the present edition, this method is abandoned, although there is no failure to indicate in fairly controversial situations wherein the views set forth differ from those held by the author. In the judgment of the reviewer, Dr. Stallybrass has performed a task of great merit. He has extended the life of a text which has enjoyed a justifiable popularity. He has qualified the text and, when necessary, altered the method of analysis of tort problems to conform to the development of legal thought in this field during the last dozen years. To do so required not only great courage but great familiarity with case-law and the writings of legal scholars over a very wide field.
Date of Authorship for this Version
Book Review: Salmond on the Law of Torts, 1 University of Toronto Law Journal 395 (1936)