Released on 09 May 2013
James Anthony Froude
An enlightening new biography of a neglected Victorian public intellectual
James Anthony Froude remains one of the most commonly referenced and frequently cited of Victorian public intellectuals. Known to intellectual historians as the author of the monumental History of England in the sixteenth century and more generally as a key exponent of Victorian religious doubt, he is also frequently referenced by literary critics and historians as the author of a series of scandalously provocative novels and of a hugely controversial biography of Thomas Carlyle. Historians of the British Empire and historians of Ireland have frequently been compelled to address his sometimes outrageous (but often representative) historical writings. Scholars of mid-Victorian politics have no less often turned to Froude as a typical representative of Victorian fears of democracy, while more recently students of political thought have identified him as an early representative of a new form of Commonwealth civic republicanism.
Yet for all that Froude remains a strangely marginalized, fragmented, and neglected figure. Ciaran Brady now addresses this remarkable gap in his new biography. Based on a thorough critical examination of all of Froude’s published works (many of which have been discovered and identified here for the first time), and supplemented by intensive research into Froude’s private and widely scattered manuscript materials, Brady offers the first sustained study of Froude’s life and thought.
In addition to providing a study of a major but neglected nineteenth century intellectual, Brady offers a critical analysis of the impulses, the aspirations, and the unquestioned assumptions underlying the Romantic project of personal renovation, and an alternative view of that unique phenomenon known as ‘the Victorian sage’.
Ciaran Brady is a Professor of History in the School of Histories and Humanities at Trinity College, Dublin. He has published widely on topics concerning early modern history and on the general topic of historiography.
978-0-19-966803-8 | £45.00 in hardback | Press date: 9 May 2013
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