Legal biography and autobiography is skewed to the elite a group overwhelmingly represented by white, male judges and barristers. It also tends to utilize a limited range of sources and has failed to engage with the life–writing movement, which goes beyond biography and embraces the lives of objects and institutions as well as the lives of individuals, families and groups. As a paradigm corrective, Legal Life–Writing provides the firstsustained treatment of the implications of life–writing on legal biography, autobiography and the visual history of law in society through a focus on neglected sources, and on those usually marginalized or ignored in legal biography and legal history, such as women and minorities. The collection also aims to ignite debate about the nature of the relationship between socio–legal studies, legal history and life–writing. Through consideration of several unheralded women of legal history, the Jewish–born Judah P. Benjamin, the Occidental–Oriental divide in Sir Ivor Jennings constitutional legacy, and judicial pictures as legal life–writing data and a research method, chapters vividly illustrate how moving beyond conventional accounts of legal lives can greatly enhance scholarship. The collection considers the problematic position of, and the problems of doing, legal biography, suggesting how the repertoire of legal biography and, therefore, socio–legal scholarship, might be expanded and enriched by recent exemplars, including the life–writing movement. Drawing on a wide range of disciplinary approaches, Legal Life–Writing offers important new ideas for the fields of legal biography, legal history, law and society, law and the humanities, history and life–writing, and crucially, to all of them simultaneously.
1. Introduction: Legal Life Writing and Marginalized Subjects and Sources (Linda Mulcahy and David Sugarman)
2. From Legal Biography to Legal Life Writing: Broadening Conceptions of Legal History and Socio–legal Scholarship (David Sugarman)
3. Recovering Lost Lives: Researching Women in Legal History (Rosemary Auchmuty)
4. Watching Women: What Illustrations of Courtroom Scenes Tell Us about Women and the Public Sphere in the Nineteenth Century (Linda Mulcahy)
5. Judicial Pictures as Legal Life–writing Data and a Research Method (Leslie J. Moran)
6. Ivor Jennings′s Constitutional Legacy beyond the Occidental–Oriental Divide (Mara Malagodi)
7. The United Kingdom′s First Woman Law Professor: An Archerian Analysis (Fiona Cownie)
8. Judah Benjamin: Marginalized Outsider or Admitted Insider? (Catharine MacMillan)
Linda Mulcahy is a Professor of Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science, London. She is the author or editor of several books including Legal Architecture: Justice, Due Process and the Place of Law (2011).
David Sugarman is a Professor of Law at Lancaster University Law School, UK. He is the author and editor of 18 books, has published articles in The Guardian and The Times, and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.