Since law is indelibly marked by its history, it is hardly surprising that law and legal thinking in England and the mainly Anglophone countries which follow it are very different from those in countries in the European-continental tradition, which includes all of Latin America and much of the Near and Far East. This presents a real challenge to the comparatist who seeks to see the global picture. The author concentrates on the law of contract, for not only is it at the heart of private law, but it affects other areas as well, and it has been the object of analysis, debate and theorising on both sides of the Channel. If one studies this core of the law of obligations one can come to see the basic structure of a legal system and the way its component parts are interconnected. No topic better illustrated the difference between the continent and England than their respective approaches to the law of contract.