The English Constitution
The son of a Somerset-based banker, Walter Bagehot (1826-77) studied classics and philosophy at University College London and later qualified as a barrister, but gave up the law to join the family business. Expansive in his intellectual appetites, he wrote across an array of subjects, including politics, finance, science and literature. From 1861 until his death, he edited The Economist. In this classic 1867 publication, comprising essays that had previously appeared in the Fortnightly Review, Bagehot sought to present the 'living reality' of how Britain was governed at that time. His analysis is remembered for its distinction between the 'dignified' and 'efficient' parts of the constitution, with the institution of the monarchy perceived as embodying the former quality and inspiring deference among the masses. Bagehot's assessments have been much studied and debated ever since. His book on the contemporary money market, Lombard Street (1873), is also reissued in this series.
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