Considerations of Some Recent Social Theories

By: Charles Eliot Norton (1827-1908)

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Boston Brahmin Critiques the Revolutions of 1848

With and Autograph Note, Signed, by the Author

Boston, MA: Little, Brown, and Co., 1853.

8vo. 7 1/4 x 4 3/4 inches. [viii], 158 pp. Text clean, unmarked. Brown cloth, printed paper spine label, added mylar dust-jacket; binding square and tight, shelf wear, corners showing, spine ends chipped. Ownership rubber stamp of Eugene Bechtold, Los Angeles, CA on the tail of the rear pastedown. Autograph note, signed from Norton to "My Dear Mr. Dwight." DB722-006. Good.

FIRST EDITION. This is Charles Eliot Norton's first book, published anonymously. With an AUTOGRAPH NOTE, SIGNED by Charles Eliot Norton. Norton graduated from Harvard in 1846, and started in business with an East Indian trading firm in Boston, traveling to India in 1849, when he was twenty-two years old. The return trip took the young Mr. Norton through Italy, Paris, and London before returning to Boston. While in London, Norton closely followed "English discussions of the social question, collecting official reports on schooling and attending a Commons debate on the subject." Turner, The Liberal Education of Charles Eliot Norton, p. 49.

Norton chose as his antagonists for this work Giuseppe Mazzini (1805-1872), Louis Jean Joseph Charles Blanc (1811-1882), and Louis Kossuth (1802-1894) as representative of the dangerous theories of social amelioration being debated after the Revolutions of 1848. Norton found little distinction between the social theories of these activists and either tyranny or "red republicanism." Rather, Norton's hope lie in "The trust committed to the hands of the intelligent and the prosperous classes here is the future of their country." p. 158. With this exceptional diversion into political philosophy, Norton's life after his return to Boston in 1851 was dedicated to literature and art. From 1855 to 1874, Norton travelled widely in Europe and England. Rudyard Kipling visited Norton in Boston and noted that Charles Eliot Norton's daughters were "Brahmins of the Boston Brahmins, living delightfully, but Norton himself, full of forebodings as to the future of his land's future, felt the established earth sliding under him, as horses feel coming earth-tremors." See Wikipedia.

The autograph note attached to the front free end-paper of this copy reads: "My Dear Mr. Dwight. Thanks for your note. Such a notice as you propose to write is just what I want and it will be in season if it reaches me by Tuesday or Wednesday next. Sincerely Yours, Charles E. Norton."

PROVENANCE: Eugene Bechtold may have been affiliated with the Communist Party of the United States involved with worker's education. However, James Farr in his article "Educating Communists: Eugene Bechtold and the Chicago Workers School notes "No mention of Bechtold is to be found in any of the major scholarly works on American Communist politics (nor was he familiar to the many historians of communism or of Chicago politics with whom I have been in contact.)" In: American Communist History (found on researcher-app dot com. Makes sense that a Marxist would want to get a handle on the patriarchal attitudes of Boston's Brahmin class. Worldcat: records many, many copies in a large variety of formats.

Title: Considerations of Some Recent Social Theories

Author Name: Charles Eliot Norton (1827-1908)


Created: 1853

Country of Origin: United States

Location Published: Boston, MA, Little, Brown, and Co.: 1853

Binding: Brown cloth, printed paper spine label

Book Condition: Good

Jacket Condition: added mylar dust-jacket

Inscription: From Charles Eliot Norton to "My Dear Mr. Dwight."

Size: 8vo. 7 1/4 x 4 3/4 inches

Type: Book

Categories: Books

Seller ID: DB722-006

Keywords: autograph note signed, brown, charles eliot norton, eugene bechtold, little, social theory