Friday, 8 November 2013

Seminar on RH Tawney and the history of English capitalism

Wednesday November 13, 5.30pm

Lawrence Goldman (St Peter's College, Oxford)
R. H. Tawney and the history of English Capitalism: the historian and the public

R. H. Tawney was one of the pioneers of economic and social history and spent his whole career writing about the origins of capitalism in England in the early-modern period. He taught elements of this great subject to workers students in the very first Workers' Educational Association tutorial classes in the Edwardian period, and later to students at the LSE. Never strictly academic in his approach, his interest in this subject had religious and spiritual roots and powerfully influenced the views of the inter-war generation. The wrong-headed accusation that he was a historical materialist led to one of the most famous controversies in British historiography between Tawney and Hugh Trevor-Roper over the 'decline of the gentry'. This paper will look at Tawney's work as a historian and its social and political impact.

Venue: Bloomsbury Room, G35, Senate House, ground floor

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