This book explores the connection between Bentham and Byron forged by the Greek struggle for independence. It focuses on the activities of the London Greek Committee, supposedly founded by disciples of Jeremy Bentham, which mounted the expedition on which Lord Byron ultimately met his death in Greece. Professor Rosen's penetrating study provides a new assessment of British philhellenism, and examines for the first time the relationship between Bentham's theory of
constitutional government and the emerging liberalism of the 1820s. It breaks new ground in the history of political ideas and culture in the early nineteenth century. Professor Rosen advances striking new interpretations, based on recently published texts and manuscript
sources, of the development of constitutional theory from Locke and Montesquieu, the conflicting strands of liberalism in the 1820s, and the response in Britain to strong claims for national self-determination in the Mediterranean basin. He sets out to distinguish between Bentham's theory and the ideological context against which it is usually interpreted. The result is a contribution as much to current debates over method in the study of political ideas as to the study of the history of
political thought itself.
'as an account of the utilitarians' involvement in the Greek loan, it contains some important material'
Times Literary Supplement
'Rosen is one of the most important contemporary Bentham scholars, and this book is an excellent complement to his Constitutional Code ... Rosen provides an excellent exposition of Bentham's legal philosophy.'
D. Schultz, Trinity University, Choice, Feb '93
'even those well read in this sphere will find a number of received truths challenged ... Rosen's evidence has been assembled painstakingly, yet is presented in a clear and even entertaining manner ... what Rosen has done here constitutes a valuable contribution to the studies of political and constitutional thought and the history of political ideas, not to mention to our understanding of the period itself.'
Allison Dube, Unievrsity of Calgary
`Readers of F. Rosen's Bentham, Byron and Greece. Constitutionalism, Nationalism and Early Liberal Political Thought need not fear being short-changed. Here are two books for the price of one: an essay on Bentham's constitutional theory and a study of the politics of British philhellenism. New and interesting light is thrown on the activities of the London Greek Committee and its provincial offshoots by Rosen's use of the Committee's papers in Athens.
The scandals rising from the Greek Loans, so damaging to the reputations of men close to Bentham, are wll handled.'