An Enlightenment Tory in Victorian Scotland: The Career of by Michael Michie

An Enlightenment Tory in Victorian Scotland: The Career of by Michael Michie

By Michael Michie

An Enlightenment Tory in Victorian Scotland is a political and highbrow biography of Sir Archibald Alison (1792-1867), historian, social critic, legal attorney, and sheriff of Lanarkshire. the 1st writer to check the total variety of Alison's writings and actions, Michael Michie unearths an important hyperlink among the Scottish Enlightenment and Victorian conservatism. Michie argues that Alison's conservative rules have been deeply stimulated by way of the social and political considered the Scottish Enlightenment. He contends that Alison used to be the embodiment of the excessive Tory appropriation of the legacy of Adam Smith fairly obvious within the trust that advertisement agrarian capitalist society was once the main applicable shape for either the upkeep of order and the perform of advantage. constructing the advice conservative interpretation of the enlightened legacy was once attainable for the succeeding century, Michie's examine bargains an invaluable corrective to the obtained knowledge that Victorian Liberalism used to be the real inheritor of the Scottish Enlightenment.

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Additional info for An Enlightenment Tory in Victorian Scotland: The Career of Sir Archibald Alison

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63. Alison, Some Account, i: 72-99, 111-13. 64. , i: 58. 65 Sir Archibald Alison's later evaluation of his father revealed not only his own desire to distance himself from what he saw as the excessively naive optimism of the eighteenth century, but also the change in sensibility from the last generation of the Enlightenment proper to a generation brought up in the shadow of European war, industrialization, and rapid social change. While young Archibald adopted much of his father's civic humanist and Stoic approach, the political distance between father and son needs emphasizing.

This "faculty of ready composition" later helped him keep up his advocate's business as well as a prodigious output of articles for Blackwood 's Magazine and the volumes of his massive History of Europe. In his autobiography, Alison discussed the comparative merits and purposes of the English and Scottish systems of education (although he had experience only of the latter). At the age of eighteen, about to begin his legal training, Alison considered that he had many deficiencies which could have kept him out of the English universities.

43. Alison, Some Account, i: 25. 44. , i: 27. These observations echoed his father's comments on Tytler's early education: such early studies, especially in the classics, "awaken the minds of die young to 26 An Enlightenment Tory in Victorian Scotland Landscape painting, collecting prints at auctions, and buying books were valued extracurricular activities for Archibald. "45 As these tides indicate, Alison's historical approach was to be a philosophical one. His critique of the French Revolution emerged from a comparison with the evolution of liberty in Britain.

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