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SHERRATT & HUGHES
Publishers to the Victoria University of Manchester
London: 60 Chandos Street, W.C.
Honorary Professor in the University of Lille
W. E. RHODES M.A.
Formerly Jones Fellow in History
AT THE UNIVERSITY PRESS
PREFACE TO THE ENGLISH TRANSLATION.
THE twelve studies and notes here printed have been translated from the French of Professor Ch PetitDutaillis in order to provide the English student with a supplement to the first volume of Bishop Stubbs' "Constitutional History of England."
The recent appearance of the first volume of a French translation of that classical work, almost exactly a quarter of a century after the publication of the corresponding volume of the original, is good evidence that it still remains the standard treatise on its subject. At the same time, the fact that M. Petit-Dutaillis, the editor of the French edition, has found it necessary to append over 130 closely printed pages by way of addition and correction shows that the early part of the book, at all events, has not escaped the ravages of time. The twenty-five years which have elapsed since it appeared have seen much fruitful research. both in England and abroad upon the period which it covers. Continental scholars such as Fustel de Coulanges and Meitzen and in this country Maitland, Seebohm, Round, Vinogradoff, and others have added greatly to our knowledge of the origin and early history of English institutions. The results of this research so far as it had proceeded in Stubbs' lifetime were very imperfectly incorporated by him in the successive editions of his book. Moreover, as M. Petit-Dutaillis points out in his preface, the study of these institutions is now approached from a standpoint different from that which was taken by Stubbs and his contemporaries. Some portions of the first volume of the "Constitutional
History" have, therefore, become obsolete and others require correction and readjustment.
Teachers and students of English constitutional history have long been embarrassed by a text-book which, while indispensable as a whole, is in many points out of date. Hitherto they have had to go for newer light to a great variety of books and periodicals. English historians were apparently too much engrossed with detailed research to stop and sum up the advances that had been made. It has been left to a French scholar to supply the much-needed survey. M. PetitDutaillis, who was, at the time when he brought out the first volume of his edition, Professor of History in the University of Lille, but has quite recently been appointed Rector of the University of Grenoble, had already shown an intimate and scholarly acquaintance with certain periods of English history in his "Etude sur la vie et le règne de Louis VIII." and in his elaborate introduction to the work of his friend André Réville on the Peasants' Revolt of 1381. The twelve "additional studies and notes" in which he brings the first volume of the "Constitutional History" abreast of more recent research meet so obvious a need and, in their French dress, have been so warmly welcomed by English scholars, that it has been thought desirable to make them easily accessible to the many students of history who may not wish to purchase the rather expensive volume of the French edition in which they are included.
M. Petit-Dutaillis willingly acceded to the suggestion and has read the proofs of the translation. The extracts from his preface, given elsewhere, explain more fully than has been done above the reasons for and the nature of the revision of Stubbs' work which he has carried out.
As M. Petit-Dutaillis observes, in speaking of the French version of the "Constitutional History," the translation of books of this kind can only be competently executed by historians. It has in this case been entrusted