Melton prior Institut


Linton- Life in the Collections

London 1833

The two essays of  of this combined volume are mainly concerned with the substantial insufficiencies of the Reform Act of the preceding year. William Bridges Adams pleads for further extensions of the suffrage, for a reform of the Poor Laws, the abolition of all monopolies, especially the Corn Laws and the establishment of a national system of education. The first tract deals with an extremely wide range of issues and can be taken as a prime example of the author’s characteristic meandering writing style, to which his friend, the distinguished Utilitarian philosopher John Stuart Mill referred in his preface of a revised edition of the The Producing Man’s Companion: „A connected or systematic treatise we cannot call it: the wonder is, how with so little apparent order or concatenation in his ideas, the author has contrived always to think consistently with himself. (...) But all his opinions are so nicely adjusted to one another; they seem mutually to receive and give so exactly the proper, and none but the proper modifications. Our author is a most minute observer, both of things and men; the extent of his miscellaneous information is truly surprising: and most of it has evidently been acquired by himself, not derived from books. He appears to be well versed in experimental physics, and familiar with the processes of very many branches of practical industry. His sagacity and ingenuity display themselves here also in numerous contrivances, and a still greater number of prophecies of contrivances, which will probably some time or other be fulfilled.“