W. H. Mallock and Socialism in England, 1880–1918

  • D. J. Ford


W. H. Mallock was born in 1849 in Devonshire, the son of William Mallock, rector of Cheriton Bishop and scion of an old Devonshire gentry family, the Mallocks of Cockington Court near Torquay. He was educated privately and brought up to believe implicitly in the gentry’s prescriptive right to social position and power and in the verbal inspiration and literal truth of the Bible. This latter orthodoxy aroused Mallock’s antipathy to Benjamin Jowett’s Broad Church doctrines while studying classics at Balliol from 1869 to 1875. Mallock disdained both Jowett’s reconciliation of science and religion and the positivists’ substitution of a religion of humanity or a scientific ethic for traditional religion. The New Republic (1877) satirised both Jowett and the positivists. It received immediate popularity and reactions ranging from George Eliot’s ‘hateful’ to Disraeli’s ‘genuinely original’.1 Mallock’s most important religious work, Is Life Worth Living?, a philosophical discussion of the ideas parodied in The New Republic, appeared in 1879. It caused some controversy, prompting a reply from Edward Aveling, and was published in France owing to its specific defence of the Roman Catholic Church.2


Private Property Wealth Distribution Managerial Ability Labour Theory Political Writing 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1974

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  • D. J. Ford

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