The Moral Imagination
“The Moral Imagination reminds us why Gertrude Himmelfarb is our foremost historian of morality” – Andrew Roberts, author of A History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900
One of the world’s most distinguished intellectual historians explores the minds and lives of some of the most provocative thinkers of modern times. Among the lives and personalities she explores are:
John Stuart Mill
They exemplify what Edmund Burke two centuries ago, and more recently Lionel Trilling, have called “the moral imagination”. Gertrude Himmelfarb describes how each of these thinkers, coming from different traditions, responding to different concerns and writing in different genres share a moral passion that permeates their work.
It is the liveliness of their imaginations that make these reflections – on politics and literature, religion and society, marriage and sex – unpredictable, often controversial, and as illuminating and pertinent today as they were then.
Gertrude Himmelfarb is a fellow of the British Academy and the Royal Historical Society. She has written extensively on Victorian England and has become an important influence on the Conservative Party.
“Essays on Jane Austen, George Eliot, John Buchan, Winston Churchill and Michael Oakeshott, written with a sure and soothing elegance.”
“She is mother superior to the neoconservatives, queen bee to the moral majority and a reputed influence on Conservative and Republican social policy since the days of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. Gordon Brown is said to digest large slabs of Himmelfarb on his holidays… Himmelfarb is so lively, well-read and compelling a writer that her new collection of essays, mostly on eminent British Victorians, is the answer to a controversialist’s dream.”
Simon Jenkins, ‘Sunday Times’
“Writes with an uncommon perception – especially about Victorian politics… A novel approach to some stunningly impressive politico-ethical philosophy… Our politicians need academics like Himmelfarb to tell them hard truths… I loved her erudition and prose.”
‘Camden New Journal’