Principles of Economics - Vol. 2

Principles of Economics - Vol. 2

Principles of Economics - Vol. 2

Principles of Economics - Vol. 2

Excerpt

Alfred Marshall was born at Clapham on 26 July 1842, his father being William Marshall, a cashier at the Bank of England.

On the date of Marshall's birth Ricardo had been dead only nineteen years, Malthus only eight years; while the first edition of John Stuart Mill Principles of Political Economy was published in 1848 when Marshall was six years old. Stanley Jevons was not quite seven years his senior. Marshall was therefore the contemporary, or almost the contemporary, of the most famous English economists of the nineteenth century. The main formative period of his life coincided with the heyday of Victorian England, and in many characteristic respects he was an"eminent Victorian".

At the age of nine Marshall went to Merchant Taylors' School where he remained till he entered St John's College, Cambridge, in 1861, when he was nineteen. At school he had been primarily a classic and was entitled under an old foundation to an entrance scholarship and later a Fellowship in classics at St John's College, Oxford. But he also had great mathematical ability, and despite the opposition of his father, it was as a mathematician that he entered St John's College, Cambridge, thanks to a loan he received from an uncle who had made a fortune sheep-farming in Australia. He was Second Wrangler in the Mathematical Tripos in 1865, the year that Lord Rayleigh was Senior Wrangler. Marshall was at once elected to a Fellowship at St John's College and for a year or two he taught mathematics until he had repaid the debt he owed to his uncle. At the same time he was reading philosophy, especially Kant and Hegel, . . .

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