This study of English political thought in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries is organized around the concept of a Whig tradition. Professor Burrow argues that the study of nineteenth-century liberal thought has taken insufficient account of its eighteenth-century antecedents. The work of modern scholars on eighteenth-century themes, especially the civic humanist tradition and the Scottish Enlightenment, is drawn on as a preamble to considering the central ideas of Liberalism. The book traces how the concept changed between the early eighteenth and the late nineteenth century, and examines the main points of continuity, analogy, and difference in the progress of society, public opinion, individuality, and the idea of balance. A concluding chapter looks at the early twentieth century.
'a work of great intellectual distinction'
Times Literary Supplement
'densely-packed and swiftly-moving argument ... the book is a striking vindication of the kind of intellectual history of which its author is a master ... a book that sends one back with heightened awareness to the sources on which its arguments are based'
J. H. Burns, London Review of Books
'an elegant synthesis of the state of the art in a fast changing discipline and an invigorating display of new insights into old problems Whigs and Liberals is also beautifully written. The prose is limpid, the manner of its presentation is assured and witty, and the book is a delight to read.'
S.J.D. Green, All Souls College, Oxford, Journal of Ecclesiastical History
`the book is a most interesting and suggestive one ... One emerges from the book feeling that although its texture might conceivably have been made a little less intricate and imperspicuous, one has gained a lot from it'.
J.R. Dinwiddy, English Historical Review, Oct 1991.
'the book is a most interesting and suggestive one ...A rich variety of other analogies and mutations is investigated; and one emerges from the book feeling that ... one has gained a lost from it.'
J.R. Dinwiddy, Royal Holloway & Bedford New College, London, EHR Oct 91
Preface. Whigs and Liberals; polity and society; the sovereignty of opinion; autonomy and self-realization - from independence to individuality; balance and diversity - from Roman corruption to Chinese stationariness; subordinate partialities - sinister interests and corporate rights. Index.