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Macaulay and Son

Macaulay and Son

Copyright Date: 2012
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 384
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  • Book Info
    Macaulay and Son
    Book Description:

    Thomas Babington Macaulay'sHistory of Englandwas a phenomenal Victorian best-seller which shaped much more than the literary culture of the times: it defined a nation's sense of self, charting the rise of the British Isles to its triumph as a homogenous nation, a safeguard of the freedom of belief and expression, and a central world power. In this book Catherine Hall explores the emotional, intellectual, and political roots of Thomas Macaulay's vision of England, tracing the influence of his father's career as a colonial governor and drawing illuminating comparisons between the two men.

    eISBN: 978-0-300-18918-6
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-vii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. viii-viii)
  4. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  5. Acknowledgements
    (pp. ix-xi)
    Catherine Hall
  6. Introduction
    (pp. xii-xxix)

    Zachary Macaulay was a leading abolitionist, celebrated, as inscribed on his bust in Westminster Abbey, for his lifelong devotion to the cause of ‘the poor negro’, those men and women victimised by the cruelty of rapacious colonisers whose activities were halted in the name of a civilising mission to create a virtuous and benevolent empire. His son Thomas Babington Macaulay, also buried in Westminster Abbey, was the great historian of England whose vision of a progressive imperial nation, peacefully reformed across the centuries, fuelled a triumphalist national story, the legacies of which are still with us today.

    Zachary Macaulay has...

  7. Key sites for the Macaulays
    (pp. xxx-xxx)
  8. CHAPTER ONE Zachary Macaulay: The Making of an Abolitionist
    (pp. 1-49)

    The stories of Macaulay senior and junior cross nations and continents: their family was indeed an imperial family. Macaulay senior was born in Scotland, spent six years in Jamaica and eight years in Sierra Leone before settling in England. Three of his brothers spent time in India, including Colin who served at Seringapatam, was imprisoned by Haider Ali for four years and later became Wellington’s aide-de-camp in Indian campaigns. Another brother was a naval captain, while yet another was employed by the Sierra Leone Company. They came from a long line of Presbyterian ministers of very modest means, and like...

  9. CHAPTER TWO An Evangelical Culture
    (pp. 50-92)

    Zachary returned to England in 1799 intent on leading a religious life and contributing to Evangelical projects at home and abroad. He was also anxious to marry as soon as possible. His time in Sierra Leone meant that he could provide eyewitness accounts of the day-to-day realities of the slave trade and this, together with his capacity to collate materials, edit and write, meant that he soon became an invaluable member of the Clapham group. For the rest of his life he was devoted to the cause of antislavery and to extending the kingdom of God in Britain, the empire...

  10. CHAPTER THREE A Family Story: The Pains of Love and Loss
    (pp. 93-138)

    Tom Macaulay was marked from his earliest years as special: a remarkable child. Both his father, Zachary, and Hannah More, who was something of a second mother to him from his earliest years, believed he had the potential to achieve great things, and he was adored by his mother and sisters. Family was vital to Zachary and Selina’s understanding of a proper religious life, and the creation of a home a central part of their parental duty and pleasure. They aimed to bring up their children to lead good Christian lives. But as in all families the emotional dynamics were...

  11. CHAPTER FOUR Tom Macaulay: Reforming Man
    (pp. 139-200)

    Macaulay’s love for his family and his ambition were indissolubly connected, as he knew himself. His identity as a public man, essayist, politician, colonial statesman and later great historian, were the identities which sustained him in the face of private vulnerabilities and pains. He was groomed for a public life, his extraordinary abilities seeming to mark him out. Zachary fondly believed that if he could only add ‘his own morale, his unwearied industry, his power of concentration, his energies on the work in hand, his patient painstaking calmness to the genius & fervour which [his son] possessed, then a being...

  12. CHAPTER FIVE Imperial Man and the Space of Difference
    (pp. 201-258)

    Tom Macaulay lived with particular ideas of the empire and its peoples, enslaved and free, from childhood. The idea of ethnic and racial difference was ever present, from his father’s Scottish descent, to his preoccupation with slavery and his stories of black Nova Scotians and degraded ‘Hindoos’. Evangelical notions of a universal human family hierarchised in relation to stadial theory, together with assumptions about imperial responsibility to those unable to govern themselves, were firmly imprinted on Tom’s mind. As a young man he developed his own thinking about empire, marked by his father’s generation but shaped by his distinctive commitment...

  13. CHAPTER SIX The History Man: Making Up a Nation
    (pp. 259-329)

    Macaulay began writing his history in 1839 but his engagement with politics throughout the 1840s meant that the first two volumes were not published until December 1848, the end of that momentous year. They were an extraordinary success, rivalling the works of Scott, Byron and Dickens, the bestsellers of Macaulay’s lifetime. The next two volumes were published in December 1855 and were again a phenomenon. The final volume only appeared posthumously. His experience in India had clarified his thinking on the differences between metropole and colony. In his years in government and opposition he was exercised by the challenges of...

  14. Conclusion: Father and Son
    (pp. 330-337)

    Zachary Macaulay was a Tory for much of his life, yet he was committed to a reforming empire built on Christianity, free trade and free labour. He devoted himself to the cause of antislavery, tirelessly collecting evidence, producing materials and campaigning, believing the slave trade and slavery to be sins against God, for no man should hold property in another. Abolition meant the possibility of a new kind of empire – one built on religion, freedom and commerce. Military subjugation should now be replaced by the conquest of Christianity. Conversion, that experience of being born again, renewed in God’s image, would...

  15. Notes
    (pp. 338-373)
  16. Select Bibliography
    (pp. 374-380)
  17. Index
    (pp. 381-390)