book review

Review of Gilbert, Andrew, British Conservatism and the Legal Regulation of Intimate Relationships, Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2018, 231 pp, hb £60.00.

Chris Barton


Gilbert’s subject is how government ‘holds together the apparent . . . tensions of liberty and authority in a way which maximises social order and human happiness’ among family membership. His uncontentious contention is that much work on family law ‘does seem to escape detailed politico-legal analysis’ and his book ‘aims, in part, to make a contribution to addressing this deficiency’, ‘drawing principally on a critical reading of around two million words of Hansard’. It is at its excellent best when using plain language to assess the fruits of the author’s definitive surveys of what its prime subjects actually wrote and said.

Published July 2019
Frequency Bi-Monthly
Volume 82
Issue 4
Print ISSN 0026-7961
Online ISSN 1468-2230