Life of Henry Fawcett by Leslie Stephen
Professor of Political Economy at Cambridge, MP and Postmaster General, Henry Fawcett (1833-84) was a radical supporter of both feminism and class equality. He campaigned for the widening of access to universities and the preservation of public open spaces, and oversaw the development of the telephone network. This biography, first published in 1885, was written by Leslie Stephen (1832-1904), Fawcett's contemporary at Cambridge, who later helped found the Dictionary of National Biography. Although their ideologies diverged later in their careers, Stephen and Fawcett's friendship lasted for over thirty years. Stephen, who was uncertain at their first encounter whether Fawcett was a Cambridge undergraduate or a farmer, gives a lively account of his friend's years at Cambridge and his successful academic and parliamentary career, achieved despite his blindness (the result of an accident in 1858). The book provides fascinating insights into the life of this often overlooked but remarkable politician.