The Enlightened Joseph Priestley: A Study of His Life and by Robert E. Schofield

By Robert E. Schofield

In The Enlightened Joseph Priestley Robert Schofield completes his two-volume biography of 1 of the nice figures of the English Enlightenment. the 1st quantity, released in 1997, coated the 1st 40 years of Joseph Priestley’s existence in England. during this moment quantity, Schofield surveys the mature years of Priestley, together with the achievements that have been to make him famous—the discovery of oxygen, the defenses of Unitarianism, and the political liberalism that characterised his later lifestyles. He additionally recounts Priestley’s flight to Pennsylvania in 1794 and the ultimate years of his lifestyles spent alongside the Susquehanna in Northumberland. jointly, the 2 volumes will stand because the ordinary biography of Priestley for years to come.

Joseph Priestley (1733–1804), a modern and good friend of Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, passed even those polymaths within the breadth of his interest and studying. but Priestley is usually portrayed in destructive phrases, as a stressed mind, incapable of confining himself to any unmarried activity, with out strength or originality, and marked by means of hasty and superficial concept. In The Enlightened Joseph Priestley, he emerges as a guy who used to be greater than a fortunate empiricist in technology, greater than a naive political liberal, greater than an exhaustive compiler of superficial facts in militant aid of Unitarianism. actually, he used to be discovered in a unprecedented number of matters, from grammar, schooling, aesthetics, metaphysics, politics, and theology to typical philosophy. Priestley was once, in truth, a guy of the Enlightenment.

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Extra info for The Enlightened Joseph Priestley: A Study of His Life and Work from 1773 to 1804

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Provided his measures were more distinct and decisive, going to the bottom of the present disorders of the State. . I know Lord Shelburne wishes to explain himself to you upon these subjects, and would have no objections to do it in the presence of Lord Rockingham, or any of his friends. 40 enough in many things, but most of all in elections; and I am quite sure that the good or ill humor of these men will be sensibly felt at the general election” (141). 39. King George III to Frederick, Lord North, 22 Feb.

Johnson, 1783), ix; statement dated Birmingham, July 21, 1783. See also note 32 above for a compounding of this misinformation by referring the writing of the Address to Leeds. 48. Priestley to Shelburne, 11 Sept. 1776, 30 Dec. 1778; Bowood Papers III-D, III-H. qxd 30/06/2004 8:39 AM Page 25 II Religion and Theology Priestley’s agreement with Shelburne had provided that he would be able to continue his own pursuits. Of these the most important were the religious and theological. He completed, at Calne, the publication of religious writing projects he had begun at Leeds: An Address to Protestant Dissenters on .

Qxd 22 30/06/2004 8:38 AM Page 22 Calne, 1773–1780 No formal arrangement followed from that letter. Though Rockinghamites and Chathamites joined in attacking North’s policies, it was still too early effectively to oppose them. In September 1776 Priestley sent some news to Shelburne, then in Paris. The country at large was still indifferent and the ministry, at least before the check at Charleston, was sanguine. General Howe was Wnding his enterprise more difWcult than he had anticipated. There was an irreconcilable difference between Lord Gower and Mr.

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