Poor Law Amendment Act 1834
The Poor Law Amendment Act 1834, known as the New Poor Law, was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed by the Whig government of Earl Grey. It replaced earlier legislation based on the Poor Law of 1601 and attempted to fundamentally change the poverty relief system in England and Wales, it resulted from the 1832 Royal Commission into the Operation of the Poor Laws, which included Edwin Chadwick, John Bird Sumner and Nassau William Senior. Chadwick was dissatisfied with the law; the Act was passed. Some historians have argued; the Act has been described as "the classic example of the fundamental Whig-Benthamite reforming legislation of the period". Its theoretical basis was Thomas Malthus's principle that population increased faster than resources unless checked, the "iron law of wages" and Jeremy Bentham's doctrine that people did what was pleasant and would tend to claim relief rather than working; the Act was intended to curb the cost of poor relief and address abuses of the old system, prevalent in southern agricultural counties, by enabling a new system to be brought in under which relief would only be given in workhouses, conditions in workhouses would be such as to deter any but the destitute from applying for relief.
The Act was passed by large majorities with only a few Radicals voting against. The act was implemented, but the full rigours of the intended system were never applied in Northern industrial areas; the importance of the Poor Law declined with the rise of the welfare state in the 20th century. In 1948, the PLAA was repealed by the National Assistance Act 1948, which created the National Assistance Board to act as a residual relief agency. Alarmed at the cost of poor relief in the southern agricultural districts of England, Parliament had set up a Royal Commission into the operation of the Poor Laws; the Commission's findings, predetermined, were that the old system was badly and expensively run. The Commission's recommendations were based on two principles; the first was less eligibility: conditions within workhouses should be made worse than the worst conditions outside of them so that workhouses served as a deterrent, only the most needy would consider entering them. The other was the "workhouse test": relief should only be available in the workhouse.
Migration of rural poor to the city to find work was a problem for urban ratepayers under this system, since it raised their poor rates. The Commission's report recommended sweeping changes: Out-relief should cease. "Into such a house none will enter voluntarily. There was little practical experience to support it. Different classes of paupers should be segregated. "he separation of man and wife was necessary, in order to ensure the proper regulation of workhouses". In practice, most existing workhouses were ill-suited to the new system, many poor law unions soon found that they needed a new purpose-built union workhouse, their purpose being to securely confine large numbers of the lower classes at low cost, they not unnaturally looked much like prisons. The new system would be undermined; this arrangement was justified as required to give absolute uniformity country-wide and as allowing regulations to be tailored to local circumstances without taking up Parliament's time. Mothers of illegitimate children should receive much less support.
It was argued that penalising fathers of illegitimate children reinforced pressures for the parents of children conceived out of wedlock to marry, generous payments for illegitimate children indemnified the mother against failure to marry. "The effect has been to promote bastardy. Malthus' An Essay on the Principle of Population set out the influential doctrine that population growth was geometric, that, unless checked, population increased faster than the ability of a country to f
Coningsby, or The New Generation is an English political novel by Benjamin Disraeli, published in 1844. It is rumored to be based on Nathan Mayer Rothschild. According to Disraeli's biographer, Robert Blake, the character of Sidonia is a cross between Lionel de Rothschild and Disraeli himself. Coningsby was the first of a trilogy of novels which marked a departure from Disraeli's silver-fork novels of the 1830s and which are his most famous; the book is set against a background of the real political events of the 1830s in England that followed the enactment of the Reform Bill of 1832. In describing these events Disraeli sets out his own beliefs including his opposition to Robert Peel, his dislikes of both the British Whig Party and the ideals of Utilitarianism, the need for social justice in a newly industrialized society, he portrays the self-serving politician in the character of Rigby and the malicious party insiders in the characters of Taper and Tadpole. In Coningsby Disraeli articulates a "Tory interpretation" of history to combat the "accepted orthodoxy of the day".
In this interpretation the Whigs have emasculated three great institutions so as to rule in their own interest. Disraeli is critical of the Tory party after the death of Pitt believing that it had abandoned "true Toryism" to become "Political Infidelity"; this manifests itself in Coningsby's eponymous hero refusing the opportunity to stand as a Conservative parliamentary candidate though he is opposed to the Whigs. As an alternative or a remedy Coningsby and his young contemporaries articulate the "Young England" creed which Disraeli was associated with at the time; the novel follows the life and career of Henry Coningsby, the orphan grandson of a wealthy marquess, Lord Monmouth. Lord Monmouth disapproved of Coningsby's parents' marriage, but on their death he relents and sends the boy to be educated at Eton College. At Eton Coningsby meets and befriends Oswald Millbank, the son of a rich cotton manufacturer, a bitter enemy of Lord Monmouth; the two older men represent new wealth in society. As Coningsby grows up he begins to develop his own liberal political views, falls in love with Oswald's sister Edith.
When Lord Monmouth discovers these developments he secretly disinherits his grandson. On his death, Coningsby is left penniless, is forced to work for his living, he decides to become a barrister. This proof of his character impresses Edith's father and he consents to their marriage at last. By the end of the novel Coningsby is elected to Parliament for his new father-in-law's constituency and his fortune is restored; the character of Coningsby is based on George Smythe. The themes, some of the characters, reappear in Disraeli's novels Sybil and Tancred. Harry Coningsby was the charge of his grandfather. Coningsby first met his grandfather, out of the country on government business, when he was aged about 9 and was so overwhelmed, he could only cry. Coningsby was brought up in his grandfather's political entourage including the critical and self-righteous Mr Rigby and the two political hacks and Taper. Coningsby went to Eton where, in a rafting incident, he saved the life of a son of a wealthy manufacturer.
Out walking one day shortly after leaving Eton, Coningsby takes refuge from a storm in an inn where he is captivated by a flamboyant traveller talking about young people needing to drive things forward and of the end of the “Age of Ruins”. Coningsby is now well integrated into upper class sets where he befriends a number of like-minded young gentlemen who look up to him as their leader. On a trip to Manchester, Coningsby decides to visit Millbank, abroad and so he is entertained by Millbank's father and his shy but beautiful 16-year-old sister, Edith. With Lord Monmouth's return to England, Coningsby is invited to the family seat for the first time for a massive reception including a play which features the stage debut of Flora “La Petite” the daughter of a great deceased actress and whom Lord Monmouth has taken under his wing. Flora does well but breaks down in tears and Coningsby alone goes backstage to sympathise. Guests are dazzled by the arrival of the man Coningsby met in the inn, who impresses Princess Lucretia, being lined up by her step mother, Madame Colonna, as a potential wife for Coningsby.
Shortly afterwards, the owner of Lord Monmouth's adjoining estate dies with no heirs dies but Lord Monmouth's bid to buy his land is thwarted by Millbank senior. Their rivalry is accentuated when Monmouth's Tory candidate for the local parliamentary seat is defeated by the Liberal candidate, Millbank snr. In disgust Monmouth announces his surprise marriage to Lucretia. Meanwhile, Flora is unable to sing so frequently. After his first year at university, Coningsby goes to Paris to meet his grandfather, he is shown some of his father's old possessions in a banker's safe including a portrait of a woman Coningsby's mother, which he had seen at Milbank's home. Whilst visiting an art gallery he observes a beautiful young woman who turns out to be Edith Millbank and they are reacquainted at a grand ball Lord Monmouth holds the following evening. Shortly afterwards Coningsby abruptly leaves Paris. A year Coningsby encounters Edith's aunt and learns that the rumour about Edi
In the history of the United Kingdom, the Victorian era was the period of Queen Victoria's reign, from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. The era followed the Georgian period and preceded the Edwardian period, its half overlaps with the first part of the Belle Époque era of Continental Europe. In terms of moral sensibilities and political reforms, this period began with the passage of the Reform Act 1832. There was a strong religious drive for higher moral standards led by the nonconformist churches, such as the Methodist, the Evangelical wing of the established Church of England. Britain's relations with the other Great Powers were driven by the colonial antagonism of the Great Game with Russia, climaxing during the Crimean War. Britain embarked on global imperial expansion in Asia and Africa, which made the British Empire the largest empire in history. National self-confidence peaked. Ideologically, the Victorian era witnessed resistance to the rationalism that defined the Georgian period and an increasing turn towards romanticism and mysticism with regard to religion, social values, arts.
Domestically, the political agenda was liberal, with a number of shifts in the direction of gradual political reform, industrial reform, the widening of the franchise. There were unprecedented demographic changes: the population of England and Wales doubled from 16.8 million in 1851 to 30.5 million in 1901, Scotland's population rose from 2.8 million in 1851 to 4.4 million in 1901. However, Ireland's population decreased from 8.2 million in 1841 to less than 4.5 million in 1901 due to emigration and the Great Famine. Between 1837 and 1901 about 15 million emigrated from Great Britain to the United States, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia; the two main political parties during the era remained the Conservatives. These parties were led by such prominent statesmen as Lord Melbourne, Sir Robert Peel, Lord Derby, Lord Palmerston, Benjamin Disraeli, William Gladstone, Lord Salisbury; the unsolved problems relating to Irish Home Rule played a great part in politics in the Victorian era in view of Gladstone's determination to achieve a political settlement in Ireland.
In the strictest sense, the Victorian era covers the duration of Victoria's reign as Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, from her accession on 20 June 1837—after the death of her uncle, William IV—until her death on 22 January 1901, after which she was succeeded by her eldest son, Edward VII. Her reign lasted for seven months, a longer period than any of her predecessors; the term'Victorian' was in contemporaneous usage to describe the era. The era has been understood in a more extensive sense as a period that possessed sensibilities and characteristics distinct from the periods adjacent to it, in which case it is sometimes dated to begin before Victoria's accession—typically from the passage of or agitation for the Reform Act 1832, which introduced a wide-ranging change to the electoral system of England and Wales. Definitions that purport a distinct sensibility or politics to the era have created scepticism about the worth of the label "Victorian", though there have been defences of it.
Michael Sadleir was insistent that "in truth the Victorian period is three periods, not one". He distinguished early Victorianism – the and politically unsettled period from 1837 to 1850 – and late Victorianism, with its new waves of aestheticism and imperialism, from the Victorian heyday: mid-Victorianism, 1851 to 1879, he saw the latter period as characterised by a distinctive mixture of prosperity, domestic prudery, complacency – what G. M. Trevelyan called the "mid-Victorian decades of quiet politics and roaring prosperity". In 1832, after much political agitation, the Reform Act was passed on the third attempt; the Act abolished many borough seats and created others in their place, as well as expanding the franchise in England and Wales. Minor reforms followed in 1835 and 1836. On 20 June 1837, Victoria became Queen of the United Kingdom on the death of her uncle, William IV, her government was led by the Whig prime minister Lord Melbourne, but within two years he had resigned, the Tory politician Sir Robert Peel attempted to form a new ministry.
In the same year, a seizure of British opium exports to China prompted the First Opium War against the Qing dynasty, British imperial India initiated the First Anglo-Afghan War—one of the first major conflicts of the Great Game between Britain and Russia. In 1840, Queen Victoria married her German cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfield, it proved a happy marriage, whose children were much sought after by royal families across Europe. In 1840 the Treaty of Waitangi established British sovereignty over New Zealand; the signing of the Treaty of Nanking in 1842 ended the First Opium War and gave Britain control over Hong Kong Island. However, a disastrous retreat from Kabul in the same year led to the annihilation of a British army column in Afghanistan. In 1845, the Great Famine began to cause mass starvation and death in Ireland, sparking large-scale emigration. Peel was replaced by the Whig ministry of Lord John Russell. In 1853, Britain fought alongside France in the Crimean War against Russia.
The goal was to ensure that Russia could not benefit from the declining status
A Tory is a person who holds a political philosophy known as Toryism, based on a British version of traditionalism and conservatism, which upholds the supremacy of social order as it has evolved throughout history. The Tory ethos has been summed up with the phrase "God and Country". Tories advocate monarchism, were of a high church Anglican religious heritage, opposed to the liberalism of the Whig faction; the philosophy originates from a royalist group during the English Civil War. The Tories political faction that emerged in 1681 was a reaction to the Whig-controlled Parliaments that succeeded the Cavalier Parliament, it has exponents in other parts of the former British Empire, such as the Loyalists of British America, who opposed American secession during the American War of Independence. The loyalists that fled to the Canadas at the end of the American Revolution, the United Empire Loyalists, formed the support base for political cliques in Upper and Lower Canada. Toryism remains prominent in the United Kingdom.
The British Conservative Party and Conservative Party of Canada, their members, continue to be referred to as Tories. The term Tory is used regardless of. Adherents to traditional Toryism in contemporary times are referred to as High Tories; the terms Blue Tory and Red Tory have been used to describe the two different factions of the federal and provincial Conservative/Progressive Conservative parties in Canada. In addition, Pink Tory is used in Canadian politics as a pejorative term to describe a member of the Conservative/Progressive Conservative party, perceived as liberal; the word Tory derives from the Middle Irish word tóraidhe. The term was applied in Ireland to the isolated bands of guerrillas resisting Oliver Cromwell's nine-month 1649–1650 campaign in Ireland, who were allied with Royalists through treaty with the Parliament of Confederate Ireland, signed at Kilkenny in January 1649, it was used to refer to a Rapparee and applied to Confederates or Cavaliers in arms. The term was thus a term of abuse, "an Irish rebel", before being adopted as a political label in the same way as "Whig".
Towards the end of Charles II's reign there was some debate about whether or not his brother, Duke of York, should be allowed to succeed to the throne. "Whigs" a reference to Scottish cattle-drovers, was the abusive term directed at those who wanted to exclude James on the grounds that he was a Roman Catholic. Those who were not prepared to exclude James were labelled "Abhorrers" and "Tories". Titus Oates applied the term Tory, which signified an Irish robber, to those who would not believe in his Popish Plot and the name became extended to all who were supposed to have sympathy with the Catholic Duke of York; the suffix -ism was added to both Whig and Tory to make Whiggism and Toryism, meaning the principles and methods of each faction. The term Tory was first used to designate the pre-Confederation British ruling classes of Upper Canada and Lower Canada, known as the Family Compact and the Château Clique, an elite within the governing classes and members within a section of society known as the United Empire Loyalists.
The United Empire Loyalists were American loyalists who resettled in British North America during or after the American Revolutionary War. In post-Confederation Canada, the terms "Red Tory" and "Blue Tory" have long been used to describe the two wings of the Conservative and the Progressive Conservative parties; the dyadic tensions arose out of the 1854 political union of British-Canadian Tories, French-Canadian traditionalists and the monarchist and loyalist leaning sections of the emerging commercial classes at the time—many of whom were uncomfortable with the pro-American and annexationist tendencies within the liberal Clear Grits. Tory strength and prominence in the political culture was a feature of life in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Manitoba. By the 1930s, the factions within Canadian Toryism were associated with either the urban business elites, or with rural traditionalists from the country's hinterland. A "Red Tory" is a member of the more moderate wing of the party.
They are unified by their adherence to British traditions in Canada. Throughout the course of Canadian history, the Conservative Party was controlled by MacDonaldian Tory elements, which in Canada meant an adherence to the English-Canadian traditions of Monarchy, Empire-Commonwealth, parliamentary government, protectionism, social reform and acceptance of the necessity of the welfare state. By the 1970s, the Progressive Conservative Party was a Keynesian-consensus party. With the onset of stagflation in the 1970s, some Canadian Tories came under the influence of neo-liberal developments in Great Britain and the United States, which highlighted the policies for privatization and supply-side interventions. In Canada, these tories have been labeled neoconservatives—which has a somewhat different connotation in the United States. By the early 1980s, there was no clear neoconservative in the Tory leadership cadre, but Brian Mulroney came to adopt many policies from the Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan governments.
As Mulroney took the Progressive Conservative Party further in this direction, with policy initiati
Church of England
The Church of England is the established church of England. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the most senior cleric, although the monarch is the supreme governor; the Church of England is the mother church of the international Anglican Communion. It traces its history to the Christian church recorded as existing in the Roman province of Britain by the third century, to the 6th-century Gregorian mission to Kent led by Augustine of Canterbury; the English church renounced papal authority when Henry VIII failed to secure an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon in 1534. The English Reformation accelerated under Edward VI's regents, before a brief restoration of papal authority under Queen Mary I and King Philip; the Act of Supremacy 1558 renewed the breach, the Elizabethan Settlement charted a course enabling the English church to describe itself as both catholic and reformed: catholic in that it views itself as a part of the universal church of Jesus Christ in unbroken continuity with the early apostolic church.
This is expressed in its emphasis on the teachings of the early Church Fathers, as formalised in the Apostles', Athanasian creeds. Reformed in that it has been shaped by some of the doctrinal principles of the 16th-century Protestant Reformation, in particular in the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion and the Book of Common Prayer. In the earlier phase of the English Reformation there were both Catholic martyrs and radical Protestant martyrs; the phases saw the Penal Laws punish Roman Catholic and nonconforming Protestants. In the 17th century, the Puritan and Presbyterian factions continued to challenge the leadership of the Church which under the Stuarts veered towards a more catholic interpretation of the Elizabethan Settlement under Archbishop Laud and the rise of the concept of Anglicanism as the via media. After the victory of the Parliamentarians the Prayer Book was abolished and the Presbyterian and Independent factions dominated; the Episcopacy was abolished. The Restoration restored the Church of England and the Prayer Book.
Papal recognition of George III in 1766 led to greater religious tolerance. Since the English Reformation, the Church of England has used a liturgy in English; the church contains several doctrinal strands, the main three known as Anglo-Catholic and Broad Church. Tensions between theological conservatives and progressives find expression in debates over the ordination of women and homosexuality; the church includes both liberal and conservative members. The governing structure of the church is based on dioceses, each presided over by a bishop. Within each diocese are local parishes; the General Synod of the Church of England is the legislative body for the church and comprises bishops, other clergy and laity. Its measures must be approved by both Houses of Parliament. According to tradition, Christianity arrived in Britain in the 1st or 2nd century, during which time southern Britain became part of the Roman Empire; the earliest historical evidence of Christianity among the native Britons is found in the writings of such early Christian Fathers as Tertullian and Origen in the first years of the 3rd century.
Three Romano-British bishops, including Restitutus, are known to have been present at the Council of Arles in 314. Others attended the Council of Serdica in 347 and that of Ariminum in 360, a number of references to the church in Roman Britain are found in the writings of 4th century Christian fathers. Britain was the home of Pelagius. While Christianity was long established as the religion of the Britons at the time of the Anglo-Saxon invasion, Christian Britons made little progress in converting the newcomers from their native paganism. In 597, Pope Gregory I sent the prior of the Abbey of St Andrew's from Rome to evangelise the Angles; this event is known as the Gregorian mission and is the date the Church of England marks as the beginning of its formal history. With the help of Christians residing in Kent, Augustine established his church at Canterbury, the capital of the Kingdom of Kent, became the first in the series of Archbishops of Canterbury in 598. A archbishop, the Greek Theodore of Tarsus contributed to the organisation of Christianity in England.
The Church of England has been in continuous existence since the days of St Augustine, with the Archbishop of Canterbury as its episcopal head. Despite the various disruptions of the Reformation and the English Civil War, the Church of England considers itself to be the same church, more formally organised by Augustine. While some Celtic Christian practices were changed at the Synod of Whitby, the Christian in the British Isles was under papal authority from earliest times. Queen Bertha of Kent was among the Christians in England who recognised papal authority before Augustine arrived, Celtic Christians were carrying out missionary work with papal approval long before the Synod of Whitby; the Synod of Whitby established the Roman date for Easter and the Roman style of monastic tonsure in England. This meeting of the ecclesiastics with Roman customs with local bishops was summoned in 664 at Saint Hilda's double monastery of Streonshalh called Whitby Abbey, it was presided over by King Oswiu, who made the final ruling.
The final ruling was decided in favor of Roman tradition because St. Peter holds the keys to the gate of Heaven. In 1534, King Henry VIII separated the English Church from Rome. A theological separation had been foreshadowed by various movements within the English Church, such as Lollardy, but the English Reformation gained political support when Henry VIII wanted an a
Tancred. Together with Coningsby and Sybil it forms, it shares a number of characters with the earlier novels, but unlike them is concerned less with the political and social condition of England than with a religious and mystical theme: the question of how Judaism and Christianity are to be reconciled, the Church reborn as a progressive force. Tancred, Lord Montacute, the novel's idealistic young hero, seems destined to live the life of a conventional member of the British ruling class. Dissatisfied with his life in fashionable London circles, he instead leaves his parents and retraces the steps of his Crusader ancestors to the Holy Land, hoping there to "penetrate the great Asian mystery" and understand the roots of Christianity, he meets the beautiful Eva, daughter of a Jewish financier, becomes involved in the political machinations of her foster-brother, the brilliant Fakredeen, a Lebanese emir. At Fakredeen's instigation Tancred is kidnapped and held captive, but is allowed to visit Mount Sinai.
He has a vision of an angel who tells him he must be the prophet of "the sublime and solacing doctrine of theocratic equality", a concept which Disraeli leaves somewhat hazy. Tancred falls ill, is released at the instigation of Eva, who nurses him back to health, she teaches him about the glories of Mediterranean civilization and the debt that Christianity owes to Judaism. Tancred, in love with Eva and utterly convinced that she is right, proposes marriage, but the romance is broken off when his parents appear to reclaim their son and take him back to England. Online edition at Project Gutenberg. Online edition at Google Books
An intellectual is a person who engages in critical thinking and reflection about society, proposes solutions for its normative problems and gains authority as a public figure. Coming from the world of culture, either as a creator or as a mediator, the intellectual participates in politics either to defend a concrete proposition or to denounce an injustice by rejecting, producing or extending an ideology, or by defending a system of values; the intellectual is a type of intelligent person who uses critical thinking. Many everyday roles require the application of intelligence to skills that may have a psychomotor component—for example, in the fields of medicine or the arts--but these do not involve the practitioner in the "world of ideas"; the intellectual scrutinizes cultural ideas and writings using abstract and esoteric aspects of human inquiry to evaluate the thinking of others. The intellectual and the scholarly classes are related: the intellectual may be a teacher involved in the production of scholarship and has an academic background, or may work in a profession or practice an art or a science.
The intellectual person is one who applies critical thinking and reason in either a professional or a personal capacity, so has authority in the public sphere of their society. In Latin language, at least starting from the Carolingian Empire intellectuals could be called litterati, a term, sometimes applied today. Intellectuals constitute the intelligentsia, a status class organised either by ideology, or by nationality; the contemporary intellectual class originated from the intelligentsiya of Tsarist Russia, the social stratum of those possessing intellectual formation, who were Russian society's counterpart to the German Bildungsbürgertum and to the French bourgeoisie éclairée, the enlightened middle classes of those realms. In the late 19th century, amidst the Dreyfus affair, an identity crisis of anti-semitic nationalism for the French Third Republic, the reactionary anti–Dreyfusards used the terms intellectual and the intellectuals to deride the liberal Dreyfusards as political dilettantes from the realms of French culture and science, who had become involved in politics, by publicly advocating for the exoneration and liberation of Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish French artillery captain falsely accused of betraying France to Germany.
In the 20th century, the term intellectual acquired positive connotations of social prestige, derived from possessing intellect and intelligence when the intellectual's activities exerted positive consequences in the public sphere and so increased the intellectual understanding of the public, by means of moral responsibility and solidarity, without resorting to the manipulations of demagoguery and incivility. Hence, for the educated person of a society, participating in the public sphere—the political affairs of the city-state—is a civic responsibility dating from the Græco–Latin Classical era: I am a human; the determining factor for a Thinker to be considered a public intellectual is the degree to which he or she is implicated and engaged with the vital reality of the contemporary world. Being designated as a public intellectual is determined by the degree of influence of the designator's motivations and options of action, by affinity with the given thinker. Analogously, the application and the conceptual value of the terms intellectual and the intellectuals are negative when the practice of intellectuality is in service to the Establishment who wield power in a society, as such: The Intellectuals are specialists in defamation, they are political commissars, they are the ideological administrators, the most threatened by dissidence.
Chomsky's negative view of the Establishment Intellectual suggests the existence of another kind of intellectual one might call "the public intellectual", the following: omeone able to speak the truth, a courageous and angry individual for whom no worldly power is too big and imposing to be criticised and pointedly taken to task. The real or true intellectual is therefore always an outsider, living in self-imposed exile, on the margins of society, he or she speaks to, as well as for, a public in public, is properly on the side of the dispossessed, the un-represented and the forgotten. The term "man of letters" derives from the French term belletrist or homme de lettres but is not synonymous with "an academic". A "man of letters" was a literate man as opposed to an illiterate man, in a time when literacy was a rare form of cultural capital. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Belletrists were the