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The collected works of Walter Bagehot /
edited by Norman St. John-Stevas.
London : The Economist, 1965 [i.e. 1966]- . -
v. : front. (port.) ; 23 cm. -
0850580390 (v.5)
More Details
London : The Economist, 1965 [i.e. 1966]- . -
0850580390 (v.5)
contents note
v.1-2. The literary essays.- v.3-4. The historical essays.- v.5-8. The political essays. -v.9-11. The economic essays.-
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A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1987-05:
Woodrow Wilson called him a ``literary politician.'' Harold Wilson called him ``a philosopher, a moralist, a litterateur'' who ``towered over the English world of journalism, public comment and public affairs.'' He was a banker and was director and editor of The Economist. But above all else, Walter Bagehot was a brilliant writer. Even though he may not have been a ``political theorist of the first rank,'' his commentary on both contemporary and historical politics and politicians was incisive. Even though he was not ``a professional or academic economist,'' and contributed virtually no theoretical insights to the discipline, he was a learned interpreter of the work of others and, as an advisor to governments, had a practical impact on the financial system of Victorian Britain. Reading Bagehot today remains a great pleasure, and the completion of his collected works is welcome. St. John-Stevas, himself an accomplished biographer, journalist, and politician, has been working on The Collected Works for more than 25 years. Volumes 1-11 have been published previously, and the last four volumes now appear for the first time. Volumes 12 and 13 contain all known surviving Bagehot letters, and cover both professional and personal matters. Volume 14 contains speeches, newly attributed and other miscellaneous articles, and testimony. Volume 15 contains obituaries of and tributes to Bagehot, an essay by the editor on his religious views, and an extensive bibliography of works by and on Bagehot. The entire set of volumes is organized by general topic (although the historical essays contain material that encompasses the others). Within each volume narrower topics have been selected (with the exception of the two volumes of letters) and the material is then presented chronologically, an excellent decision on the part of the editor. Short editorial notes placing particular topics or pieces in perspective are particularly helpful. There are also introductory essays that evaluate, critically but gently, Bagehot's contributions: a short biography and an essay on Bagehot's political views by the editor; William Haley on Bagehot's literary criticism; Jacques Barzun on Bagehot the historian; and R.S. Sayers on Bagehot the economist. In addition to his books (all but Lombard Street, first published in serial form) and all known essays in various literary and political journals, it is especially valuable to have collected here the hundreds of articles from The Economist deemed by the editor to be ``of lasting interest and importance,'' The volumes are attractively produced, although two pages of volume 14 were blank. Various indexes (including one for ``epigrams'') are provided. An excellent resource for both scholars and students.-W.J. Hausman, College of William and Mary
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, May 1987
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