William Empson

(1791—1852) lawyer and literary reviewer

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Macvey Napier (1776—1847) journal editor

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W. E. Gladstone (1809—1898) prime minister and author

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William Empson (1906—1984) poet and literary critic


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William Empson was born in 1791 (no record has been found of the place or exact date of his birth) and died at Haileybury, Hertfordshire on 10 December 1852. He was educated at Winchester and Trinity College, Cambridge. His major contribution to nineteenth-century political philosophy lay in his role as an editor and teacher. Having contributed many articles on law, literature and politics to the Edinburgh Review, he succeeded Macvey Napier in 1847 as the third editor of that periodical. He was, so to speak, related to this journal by marriage, being the son-in-law of its first editor Francis Jeffrey. During his editorship Empson published articles on philosophical topics by a range of figures of contemporary significance including W.E. Gladstone, John Herschel, F.W. Newman and Henry Maine.


From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Philosophy.

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