Born in the village of Llangeinor, near Bridgend in south Wales, Richard Price (1723-91) was, to his contemporaries, an apostle of liberty, an enemy to tyranny and a great benefactor of the human race. His friend Benjamin Franklin described aspects of his work as `the foremost production of human understanding that this century has afforded us'. A supporter of the American and French Revolutions, Price corresponded with the likes of Jefferson, Adams, Washington, Mirabeau and Condorcet. In November 1789 he publicly welcomed the start of the French Revolution and thus inspired not only Edmund Burke to write his rebuttal in Reflections on the Revolution in France, but also the Revolution Controversy, `the most crucial ideological debate ever carried on in English'. Price also brought to world attention the Bayes-Price Theorem on probability, which is the invisible background to so much in modern life, and wrote a fundamental text on moral philosophy. Yet, despite all this and more, he remains little-known beyond academia, a situation that this biography helps to rectify. Liberty's Apostle tells his life story through his published works and, fully for the first time, his now published correspondence with a host of eighteenth century celebrities. The life revealed is of a truly remarkable Welshman and, as Condorcet remarked, of `one of the formative minds' of the eighteenth century Enlightenment.
History students at school and university, particularly those studying the Enlightenment, the history of religious dissent, of the American and French Revolutions and eighteenth century politics. General readers of all adult ages.
Introduction: Rediscovering Richard Price 1 A Background of Dissent 2 A London Life 3 The Virtues of Virtue 4 The Equitable Life 5 Science and Society 6 Freedoms Denied 7 Price, Franklin and the Honest Whigs 8 On a Perilous Edge 9 Revolution In America 10 Reaction at Home and Abroad 11 Reform and Contribution at Home 12 Peace with America 13 Advising Ireland, Scotland and America 14 Pitt and the Sinking Fund 15 The Watershed Years 16 Revolution in France 17 On the Love of Our Country 18 Burke and his Reflections 19 The Close