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Poser (law, emeritus, Brooklyn Law Sch.) has written the first modern biography of William Murray, Lord Mansfield (1705–93), who served as solicitor general of England before the American Revolution and later rose to become chief justice. His rulings from the bench shaped British and American law for generations. Mansfield's life is described in detail, with Poser digging into his subject's Scottish ancestry and his family's connection to the Jacobite movement, which aimed to put the Stuart family back on England's throne. Jacobites were considered traitors, and most English people held deep prejudices against Scots. However, Mansfield's family also had connections in English society—connections that, along with his hard work and intelligence, opened the doors to Oxford and to the study of law in London. The book also describes 18th-century English society, using Mansfield as its centerpiece. In the story of his subject's rise from courtroom lawyer to royal adviser, Poser offers a close-up look at English politics of the period, and the details of Mansfield's personal life illuminate the standards of upper-class English society at the time. VERDICT This challenging and worthwhile read will appeal to those interested in legal or English history and is recommended for academic and law libraries.—Becky Kennedy, Atlanta-Fulton P.L.