Critics’ Reviews

Achieving a balance of lively narrative and insightful analysis, this book is a true tour de force. John McLaren applies care and wisdom as he shows colonial judges as aspiring individuals with assorted quirks and personal problems, excellently illustrating the muddle of principles, special interests, and grumpy personalities that characterized a messy and unstable empire. Original, creative, thoroughly researched, astutely argued, and smoothly written, this study is sure to attract favourable attention and acclaim from legal scholars and historians of the British Empire. – John Weaver, Department of History, McMaster University

Dewigged, Bothered, and Bewildered is a comprehensive, very important achievement. More than just an entertaining collection of stories about cranky judges, it provides and excellent history of the British legal empire from the late eighteenth century onward. As all the best histories to, this book brings out a pattern of threads in its analysis rather than a single uniform line. John McLaren is the only perosn I know with sufficiently broad legal historical knowledge to attempt such a huge task, and he succeeds at it remarkably well. – Bruce Kercher, School of Law, Macquarie University

The impressively researched and ambitious Dewigged, Bothered, and Bewildered makes an important contribution to the growing field of comparative legal history. Through well-selected judicial examples, John McLaren provides rich illustrations of many important constitutional and rule of law themes. This lively, engaging book promises to stimulate reflection and new debate on colonial development and the relationship between law and politics. – Barry Wright, Departments of Law and History, Institute of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Carleton University

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