Maine, Henry Sumner. Ancient Law: Its Connection with the Early History of Society, and its Relation to Modern Ideas. London: John Murray, 1861. First Edition.
Brown cloth, sometime rebound by the Library of Congress with their gilt oval stamp and "London 1861" at base of spine, author and title near top. 5 3/4 x 8 1/2 inches, LOC copy with their bookplate and stamps, bookplate stamped "Surplus Duplicate." Black ink call numbers on spine, several ink strokes obscuring the numbers. 415 clean and unmarked text pages, tight. Good. Hardcover. 
The relatively scarce first edition of Maine's pioneering study of comparative law.
Sir Henry James Sumner Maine (1822-1888), b. Kelso, Scotland. He has been called one of the most important legal academicians of the 19th century, and Ancient Law is his seminal work. "It is the product of lectures he delivered during the 1850s on Roman law and jurisprudence at London's Inns of the Court. Soon after its publication, he left the academic world to accept an appointment as the law member of the Council of Governor-General of India, charged with the responsibility of reforming and codifying Indian law. His experiences in this capacity reinforced his belief, evident in Ancient Law, that the evolution of societies - both institutionally and philosophically - can be most thoroughly understood through the historical and comparative study of law...In all, Maine's contributions to the history of law and the evolution of free societies placed him in the highest rank of legal theoreticians." - George Carey, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism online.