This imaginative and unusual book explores the moral sensibilities and cultural assumptions that were at the heart of political debate in Victorian and early twentieth-century Britain. It focuses on the role of intellectuals as public moralists and suggests ways in which their more formal political theory rested upon habits of response and evaluation that were deeply embedded in wider social attitudes and aesthetic judgments. Collini examines the characteristic idioms and strategies of argument employed in periodical and polemical writing, and reconstructs the sense of identity and of relation to an audience exhibited by social critics from John Stuart Mill and Matthew Arnold to J.M. Keynes and F.R. Leavis.
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Stefan Collini is the author of Arnold (OUP, 1988; pbk 1988) and has written widely on nineteenth-century intellectual historyReview:
"A provocative inquiry into the political thought of Victorian intellectuals....Students of the period will want to read it."--American Historical Review
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