An 1860 edition of England’s Bedfordshire Mercury reports a “curious scene” from Paris. An attorney was walking his Italian Greyhound on the Boulevard Beaumarchais when he realized that the delicate little dog had strayed. Retracing his steps, he found his pet in the arms of a dog thief. The villain had already removed the dog’s collar and identification tags and was attempting to stifle its cries. The attorney was, according to the article, “a man of great muscular power” and quickly “mastered the delinquent.” Once he had the thief within his grasp, he gave him two choices – he could either be consigned to the police or he could kneel down on the street and kiss the little dog.[…]Continue Reading
In my last article on Law and Literature, I discussed the workings of the early nineteenth century British Court of Chancery, both in reality and as portrayed by Charles Dickens in his magnificent novel, Bleak House. Such a serious subject in a work of fiction, especially one written in serial form for the Victorian masses, must necessarily be offset by a strong cast of characters with whom the reader can relate.
As always, when it comes to depicting the frailties of human nature, Charles Dickens does not disappoint. From the noble to the ridiculous, we are given a glimpse of the people whose lives have been touched by the infamous lawsuit of Jarndyce and Jarndyce. And none of them are more fascinating than the range of lawyers and law clerks that navigate (with varying degrees of skill) the murky waters of Chancery dysfunction.