In the Victorian period English universities were transformed beyond recognition, and the modern academic profession began to take shape. Mark Pattison was one of the foremost Oxford dons in this crucial period, and articulated a distinctive vision of the academic's vocation frequently at odds with those of his contemporaries. In the first serious study of Pattison as a thinker, Stuart Jones shows his importance in the cultural and intellectual life of the time: as a proponent of the German idea of the university, as a follower of Newman who became an agnostic and a thoroughly secular intellectual, and as a pioneer in the study of the history of ideas. Pattison is now remembered (misleadingly) as the supposed prototype for Mr Casaubon in George Eliot's Middlemarch, but this book retrieves his status as one of the most original and self-conscious of Victorian intellectuals.
Stuart Jones is Professor of Intellectual History at the University of Manchester. He has written widely on British and French intellectual history and political thought, chiefly of the nineteenth century. His books include The French State in Question (Cambridge University Press, 1993), Victorian Political Thought (Palgrave, 2000), and Intellect and Character in Victorian England: Mark Pattison and the Invention of the Don (Cambridge University Press, 2007). He also edited Comte's Early Political Writings for the Cambridge Texts in Political Thought series (Cambridge University Press, 1998). He is currently Visiting Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford (2008-9).
Introduction: The invention of the don; Part I. Lives: 1. 'No History but a Mental History'; 2. 'Into the abysses, or no one knows where'; 3. Memoirs and memories; Part II. Ideas: 4. Manliness and good learning; 5. The endowment of learning; 6. The history of ideas as self-culture; Epilogue: The don as intellectual?