Description - An Enlightenment Tory in Victorian Scotland by Michael Michie
In 1840, a two-volume critique of Malthus was published in Edinburgh. It attacked political economists, landlords and industrialists, advocated state-provided poor relief and land ownership by the poor, supported public executions and transportation, colonial possessions and protectionism, and was received with some enthusiasm by the "Church of English Quarterly" and by Frederick Engels. Its author is the subject of this intellectual and political biography: Sir Archibald Alison, a High Tory Sheriff of Lanarkshire, an Episcopalian whose intellectual and cultural background was the Scottish Enlightenment, and whose main intellectual influence was Adam Smith. Sheriff Alison was also an historian (author of a popular account of the French Revolution), and a prolific essayist for the Tory "Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine". In addition, Alison wrote a two-volume textbook on the principles and practice of Scottish criminal law, a work that has remained relevant to modern practice. This study examines the full range of Alison's work and career.
It shows how he represents an interesting link between the Scottish Enlightenment and Victorian conservatism, as his work reveals a consistent appropriation of 18th-century themes. It, therefore, adds a new dimension to the study of ultra-Toryism in the first half of the 19th century.
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Tuckwell Press Ltd
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