Item 19 - Letter from John Herschel

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Add. MS a/207/19


Letter from John Herschel


  • 15 Feb. 1831 (Creation)

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4 pp

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Slough - Richard Jones's book has safely reached him [An Essay on the Distribution of Wealth and on the Sources of Taxation, 1831]: 'It is long since I have met with a work on P.E. [Political Economy] that is intelligible to my obtuse faculties, but this speaks plainly and not in parables. I am afraid it is almost so plain that people won't see how deep it goes'. Thanks for 'the No. of the British containing your views of science and of Lyell' ['Charles Lyell's 'Principles of Geology' volume 1'. British Critic 9, 1831]. JH does not think in many fields of science 'Britain is really the preeminent nation she was - In geology no doubt we take a decided lead, but as to the more other great departments I am not convinced'. JH thinks WW has been too critical of Lyell. Dionysius Lardner has informed JH that WW is to review him ['A Preliminary Discourse on the Study of Natural Philosophy', 1830]. JH recommends WW to read a 'book by Dr. Abercrombie of Edinburgh on the intellectual faculties (or some such title)'. JH gives a short critique of Jones' simplistic expose of Ricardo and Malthus's doctrine of rent.

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