The Life of Francis Place, 1771-1854

The Life of Francis Place, 1771-1854

The Life of Francis Place, 1771-1854

The Life of Francis Place, 1771-1854

Excerpt

This edition is a reprint, with a few corrections, of the original edition of 1898.

When the book first appeared, Francis Place was almost entirely unknown. But during the last twenty years many historians have worked at the social and political development of the British people (as distinguished from the party debates in the British Parliament) during Place's period of activity; and his personality and work have become familiar to most students of the nineteenth century.

To the historian Place first appeals as a man who to an unusual degree influenced, and was influenced by, the main currents of political thought and action in his time. In that respect, if, instead of revising this book, I were writing it afresh, I do not think that I should desire to make any very important alterations. I should perhaps expand the chapter on "The Dismal Science" into a general discussion of Place's intellectual position, his relation to Bentham, and the form which the utilitarian ethics took in his mind. In that discussion I should use a long and interesting correspondence on utilitarianism between Place and Joseph Hume (B. Mus. Add. MSS. 35,145, pp. 95-118).

Since 1898 I have been in the habit of taking notes of passages about Place in the writings of his contemporaries. On going through those notes I do not find much that would add to or modify the picture of him which I have given in the biography. The best of my extracts is one . . .

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