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Arthur Joseph Penty

(1875—1937) architect and social thinker


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Penty was born in London 1875 and died there in 1937. He became an architect at the age of thirteen after working in his father's office, and joined the Fabian Society in 1898. However, his artistic interests, which led him to form the Leeds Arts Club with A.P. Orage, later editor of the influential New Age, turned him away from the utilitarian economics and politics of the Fabians to develop an arcadian dream of medieval guilds. Later, he became active in the Guild Socialist movement, and supported the Distributist League, founded by Hilaire Belloc and G.K. Chesterton in September 1926. He developed a certain sympathy with Fascism before his death. Margaret cole described Penty as ‘a shaggy looking architect with a fearful stammer’ (Cole 1971), whose aesthetic sense led him to a notion of an economy influenced by the ideas of Thomas carlyle, John ruskin and William morris.

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From The Biographical Dictionary of British Economists in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Economics.


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