Saturday, June 8, 2013

"...their poisonous weeds and wild incantations..." — Edmund Burke

AM | @HDI1780

There are two new books on Edmund Burke (*). Both are reviewed by John McDermott in "Burke & Sons" (Financial Times, June 1-2 , 2013). Mr. Mc Dermott underlines an interesting paradox: "[Burke's] were thouroughly liberal causes" (Irish Catholics, America, abuses of the East India Company, etc.). Last year I made an interesting trouvaille: I found proof that Edmund Burke had read the third edition of Histoire des deux Indes [see].

I then received this well-thought-out e-mail from Prof. Dermot Ryan: "While Burke increasingly defined himself as an 'enemy of the Enlightenment' as the revolution radicalized, your discovery only underscores how deep Burke's knowledge of the writers of the French Enlightenment went and suggests Burke in some ways remained always a student of the Enlightenment".

(*) Jesse Norman. Edmund Burke. Philosopher, Politician, Prophet. London: HarperCollins, 2013 [see]. Drew Maciag. Edmund Burke in America. The Contested Career of the Father of Modern Conservatism. Cornell University Press, 2013 [see].

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