Individualist thrift

Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Smiles and Victorian moralism

in A brief history of thrift
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Looks at the secularisation of thrift through the influence of Benjamin Franklin, and his belief that one can work one’s way into heaven; in other words that salvation can be earned. Explores Victorian writers such as Wharton and Dickens, as well as Samuel Smiles and his emphasis on individual responsibility and self-improvement. Finally, compares today’s austerity policies and emphasis on household economia to Victorian thinking and the influence of Disraeli’s One Nationism.

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