Francis Ysidro Edgeworth

Francis Ysidro Edgeworth

A Portrait with Family and Friends

Lluís Barbé

Lluís Barbé has recreated the background and life of Francis Ysidro Edgeworth through a fascinating exercise of reconstruction that succeeds in shaping the first detailed biography ever published of this major economist and statistician. Originating from previously unexplored letters and documents kept in archives and registers of Ireland, England and Catalonia, Edgeworth’s relationships with his academic fellows – including Sully, Jevons, Marshall, Galton, Pearson, Walras, Pantaleoni, I. Fisher, Pareto, Keynes – are thoroughly depicted. Stemming from undiscovered primary sources, this book also reveals a close insight into the academic world of the period 1875–1925 in the fields of economics and statistics.

Chapter 4: The Esquire of Edgeworthstown

Lluís Barbé

Subjects: economics and finance, history of economic thought


The noise Of worldly fame is but a blast of wind, That blows from diverse points, and shifts its name, Shifting the point it blows from. Shalt thou more Live in the mouths of mankind, if thy flesh Part shrivel’d from thee, than if thou hadst died Before the coral and the pap were left; Or e’er some thousand years have past? and that Is, to eternity compared, a space Briefer than is the twinkling of an eye To the heaven’s slowest orb. (Purgatory, Canto XI, vv. 100–108). Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy. 4.1 MARSHALL’S RETIREMENT AND OTHER ACADEMIC STORIES The British Academy In 1902 the British Academy for the Promotion of Historical, Philosophical and Philological Studies was established by Royal Charter. Its mission was to serve as the natural academy for the humanities and the social sciences, as the counterpart to the Royal Society, which serves the natural sciences. After a gathering of the most prominent academies of the world in Wiesbaden in October 1899, the representatives of the Royal Society realised that there was no society in Great Britain dealing with subjects encompassed in the ‘Literary’ section. So under the pressure of distinguished individuals such as the former prime minister A.J. Balfour, Viscount James Bryce, Professor Sidgwick and Sir Leslie Stephen, who met on 15 December 1899, a special committee was set up by the Council of the Royal Society. The efforts of this Committee resulted in the proposal for a Royal Charter to found the British...

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