Studies in the Literary Backgrounds of English Radicalism: With Special Reference to the French Revolution

By M. Ray Adams | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IX
SAMUEL PARR, "THE WHIG JOHNSON"

DR. SAMUEL PARR has now come to be regarded as a literary behemoth, so great is the contrast between his present obscurity and the celebrity he enjoyed at the end of the eighteenth century. Few men at that time bulked larger than he in the multiplicity and variety of his contacts and in the breadth of his interests in the fields of literature, scholarship, and politics. The extensiveness of his correspondence and the catholicity of his friendships were nothing less than remarkable. Nearly one half of the British aristocracy and a multitude of men of radical democratic politics were listed among his correspondents. The 1336 pages of correspondence in his collected works include letters from three persons of royal blood, eight dukes, five marquises, twenty-seven earls, fourteen viscounts, thirty-two barons, fifty-four lords, three duchesses, four countesses, two viscountesses, seventeen baronesses, seventy-five members of Parliament, ten judges, four archbishops, forty-one bishops, nine deans, eleven archdeacons, three hundred forty-eight other clergymen, sixty-three physicians, and 1335 of the file of society! Among the men of liberal ideas with whom he was in more or less frequent communication were Fox, Sheridan, Erskine, Burdett, Romilly, Boothby, Adair, Bentham, Cartwright, Payne Knight, Jefferson, Mackintosh, Samuel Rogers, Rees, Jebb, Hall, Wakefield

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