Book cover The Bluest EyeWhat do these novels have in common: The Bluest Eye, The Handmaid’s Tale, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The House Gun, in addition to offering gripping action and memorable social vision created by brilliant women?  These books are part of the canon of great literature in which law plays a prominent part.  For more examples of law in literature see the display case at the stacks entrance to the Reading Room.

Lizzie BordenWhat do Lizzie Borden, a middle-aged white woman living in Fall River, Massachusetts at the turn of the nineteenth century, who inherited a small fortune after her parents were savagely murdered in their own home, and O.J. Simpson, all-American athlete turned Hollywood celebrity, who was charged with the brutal murder of his ex-wife and her boyfriend at the turn of the twentieth century, have in common?  If you knew that they were both acquitted, and that many people think they literally got away with murder, then you would be right. If you knew that both were defendants in two of the most publicized trials in U.S. history, you would also be right.  For these and more famous American trials see the display case in the center of the Reading Room.

What do John Marshall, Roger B. Taney, John Jay, and Salmon Portland Chase have in common?  If you know that they all served as Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, then good for you.  But that’s not the answer.  What about Patrick Henry, Abe Lincoln, and Daniel Webster?  Yes, they were all prominent statesmen.  But that’s not it, either.  For the answer to both questions, which happens to be the same in each instance, see the display case in the center of the Reading Room.

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