Leslie Stephen

Leslie Stephen

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Leslie Stephen was born at Hyde Park Gate, Kensington, on 28 November 1832. His father James Stephen (1789–1859), was under-secretary of the Colonial Office. His family were very religious and were members of the Clapham Sect. Leslie was a delicate child, and in 1840 his parents moved to Brighton in an attempt to improve his health.

Stephen was sent to Eton College in 1842. He also attended lectures by Frederick Denison Maurice at King's College before entering Trinity College in 1850. Among the friends he made as an undergraduate were Henry Fawcett, James Payn and Edward Dicey.

After graduating he was made deacon by the Archbishop of York on 21st December 1855. As his biographer pointed out: "He preached occasionally in the college chapel and at the town church of St Edward's, but soon found that his vocation lay more in teaching and in encouraging the young. He taught some mathematics, but his pastoral work lay mostly in the social life of the college, in friendship with and guidance of the undergraduate body, and not least in coaching and indeed vigorously participating in rowing and athletics."

Stephen was a keen mountaineer and according to his friend, Douglas Freshfield, later commented that "the Alps were for Stephen a playground but they were also a cathedral". He climbed the Eiger Joch (1859), the Schreckhorn (1861), Mont Blanc (1861), the Viescher Joch (1862) and Zinal Rothhorn (1864). He was also president of the Alpine Club (1865-68) and editor of the Alpine Journal.

Stephen began to lose his faith and he felt he was unable to take church services and was asked to resign his tutorship. However, he was offered other work at Trinity Hall. He later recalled: "I did not feel that the solid ground was giving way beneath my feet, but rather that I was being relieved of a cumbrous burden. I was not discovering that my creed was false, but that I had never really believed it". Leslie Stephen joined the Liberal Party and worked for Henry Fawcett in his attempts to enter the House of Commons. Stephen visited America in 1863, where he met Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes and Henry Longfellow.

In 1865 he left the University of Cambridge and attempted to become a full-time writer. A great supporter of the anti-slavery cause during the American Civil War he published The American War: a Historical Study (1865) and contributed articles to The Saturday Review, The Pall Mall Gazette, The Nation, The Cornhill Magazine, Fraser's Magazine and The Fortnightly Review.

Leslie Stephen married Harriet Thackeray, the daughter of William Makepeace Thackeray, on 19th June 1867. After a difficult pregnancy (there had earlier been a still birth) a daughter, Laura Makepeace Stephen, was born on 7th December 1870. The following year Stephen was appointed editor of The Cornhill Magazine on a salary of £500 a year. As editor he persuaded Thomas Hardy, Edmund Gosse, Henry James, John Addington Symonds and Charles Lever to write for the journal. In 1873 a collection of articles, taken from Fraser's Magazine and The Fortnightly Review, was published as Essays on Freethinking and Plainspeaking.

His first daughter, Laura had been slow to develop physically after her premature birth, and in childhood she increasingly revealed signs of mental problems. Harriet Stephen had another difficult pregnancy and on 28th November, 1875, she died of eclampsia. According to his biographer, Alan Bell: "Stephen threw himself compulsively and reclusively into work." His History of English Thought in the Eighteenth Century (1876). It was well received and he now turned to his next project The Science of Ethics.

Leslie Stephen married the widow, Julia Princep Duckworth on 26th March 1878. She had three children from her first marriage, George Duckworth (1868–1934), Stella Duckworth (1869–1897), and Gerald Duckworth (1870–1937). Over the next few years she gave birth to four more children: Vanessa Stephen (1879), Thoby Stephen (1880), Virginia Stephen (1882) and Adrian Stephen (1883). Later, his first child, Laura, was placed in a home for "the imbecile and weak-minded" at Earlswood, and spent the rest of her life in a series of similar establishments.

Stephen published The Science of Ethics in 1882. He was very upset by the book's reviews, especially one by Henry Sidgwick, who argued that it did not come up to the expectations of professional philosophers. Stephen now began a series of short biographies, entitled, English Men of Letters. These were very popular and George Smith was inspired to pay Stephen a yearly salary of £800 to edit a standard work of reference on notable figures from British history, The Dictionary of National Biography. The first volume was published in January 1885. Stephen's own contributions included Charlotte Brontë, Thomas Carlyle, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Cowper, and Thomas de Quincey.

The The Dictionary of National Biography was not a financial success. In 1887 the dictionary was showing losses of £1000 each quarter, and the price had to be raised from 12s. 6d. to 15s. a volume. Stephen worked long hours on the project and told his sister: "When I'm not going at full speed, I drop". In the summer of 1889 he collapsed and he was told by his doctor that he had to slow down for the sake of his health. He eventually resigned as editor in April 1891. He wrote to his niece: "I felt melancholy at saying good-bye to the Dictionary. It cost me a slice of my life, but has been a good bit of work, though my share in it has diminished. I don't know whether to be glad or sorry that I took it up; but I part from it with a sense that I am being laid on the shelf."

Julia Stephen died suddenly on 5th May 1895, following an attack of influenza which had turned into rheumatic fever. His biographer, Alan Bell, has pointed out: "He almost immediately sought relief in literary work, easing the pain of his loss by preparing an intimate family memoir to preserve for her children a record of their courtship and marriage. Even in the depths of his sorrow he was methodical, working up documentary evidence from letters into a dated sequence around which he could build his own memories. The grief shows itself, as was intended, in many unbridled passages, but these gain from being grafted onto a well-crafted essay prepared by an experienced biographer."

In April 1897, his step-daughter, Stella Duckworth, married a solicitor, John Hills. Just over a fortnight later the bride suffered an attack of peritonitis, and following surgery she died, aged twenty-eight. This period was also blighted by arguments with his daughter, Vanessa Stephen, who resented the "dominion of a rapidly ageing and increasingly deaf father all too inclined to be brutally assertive over the details of household accounts." Stephen also held conventional views on education and unlike their two brothers, Vanessa and Virginia Stephen did not go to university.

According to Virginia's biographer, Lyndall Gordon: "Virginia's strongest memories from childhood were the idyll of St Ives, a basis for art, and at the other extreme, humiliation at the age of six when Gerald Duckworth, her grown-up half-brother (the younger son of her mother's first marriage), lifted her onto a ledge and explored her private parts - leaving her prey to sexual fear and initiating a lifelong resistance to certain forms of masculine authority." Virginia also complained about being bullied and sexually abused by another of her step-brother's George Duckworth.

In 1900 Leslie Stephen published the three-volume, The English Utilitarians, a three-volume work eventually published in 1900. He was aware of its defects and confessed to his friend, the historian, Frederic William Maitland, that "I could write a good slashing review of it".

In April 1902 Stephen discovered he was suffering from cancer. He was nursed by his two daughters, Vanessa Stephen and Virginia Stephen and died at his home at Hyde Park Gate on 22nd February 1904. His ashes were buried next to his second wife's grave, in Highgate Cemetery.

Sir Leslie Stephen, KCB was an English author, critic and mountaineer, and the father of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell.

Stephen was born at Kensington Gore in London, the brother of James Fitzjames Stephen and son of Sir James Stephen. His family had belonged to the Clapham Sect, the early 19th century group of mainly evangelical Christian social reformers. At his father&aposs house he saw a good dea Sir Leslie Stephen, KCB was an English author, critic and mountaineer, and the father of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell.

Stephen was born at Kensington Gore in London, the brother of James Fitzjames Stephen and son of Sir James Stephen. His family had belonged to the Clapham Sect, the early 19th century group of mainly evangelical Christian social reformers. At his father's house he saw a good deal of the Macaulays, James Spedding, Sir Henry Taylor and Nassau Senior. After studying at Eton College, King's College London and Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. (20th wrangler) in 1854 and M.A. in 1857, Stephen remained for several years a fellow and tutor of his college. He recounted some of his experiences in a chapter in his Life of Fawcett as well as in some less formal Sketches from Cambridge: By a Don (1865). These sketches were reprinted from the Pall Mall Gazette, to the proprietor of which, George Smith, he had been introduced by his brother. It was at Smith's house at Hampstead that Stephen met his first wife, Harriet Marian (1840 – 1875), daughter of William Makepeace Thackeray, with whom he had a daughter, Laura Makepeace Stephen (1870 – 1945) after her death he married Julia Prinsep Jackson (1846 – 1895), widow of Herbert Duckworth. With her he had four children: Vanessa, Thoby, Virginia & Adrian.

In the 1850s, Stephen and his brother James Fitzjames Stephen were invited by Frederick Denison Maurice to lecture at The Working Men's College. Leslie Stephen became a member of the College's governing College Corporation. He died in Kensington. . more

Leslie Stephen: the Father of Bloomsbury

THE CHEAP SUBTITLE of this fine book, "The Godless Victorian," is unworthy of its author and its subject. In its earlier incarnation (1952) its title was discouragingly stodgy, but at least "Leslie Stephen: His Thought and Character in Relation to His Time" not only had an authentic Victorian ring but accurately described Noel Annan's intention, which was to blend straight biography with intellectual history.

A complex and inscrutable figure and a member of one of those first families of English intellectual aristocracy whose closely knit relationships through descent and intermarriage Annan once traced in a classic essay, Leslie Stephen was also a representative man -- representative, that is, of the troubled thinkers whose religious and moral opinions were formed by the powerful forces that eroded and undermined Victorian orthodoxy.

He was one of late Victorian England's busiest men of letters: the first editor of the monumental and still indispensable Dictionary of National Biography, to which he contributed no fewer than 378 long articles on English writers, and the author of separate biographies of Pope, Swift, Hobbes, and Dr. Johnson, and of a two-volume History of English Thought in the Eighteenth Century, which remains a standard work after the passage of more than one hundred years. His lectures on English Literature and Society in the Eighteenth Century were among the earliest exercises in the sociological study of literature. After Matthew Arnold, he was the most considerable critic of his time and the first to regard fiction as a serious form of literary art.

Stephen was nothing if not versatile. With one pen he could turn out a weighty history of English Utilitarianism, not the most sparkling of topics, and with the other, engaging essays such as his witty discourse on "The Decay of Murder" (1869), which anticipated George Orwell on the same mock- lugubrious theme by 77 years.

In some ways, like most of his fellow doubters, Stephen was the epitome of conventionality. As editor of the Cornhill Magazine, where he published early work by Henry James and Robert Louis Stevenson, he bowdlerized Hardy's fiction, his apologies to the offended author not wholly concealing the fact that the squeamishness he attributed to the magazine's readers was also his own. His anti-feminism followed the line adopted by all but a tiny handful of his contemporaries. On the other hand, on some social issues he was unfashionably liberal.

His greatest dissidence was in religious mattters. Raised in a family belonging to London's well-to-do Clapham Sect, of which the Macaulays and the Wilberforces were also members, he encountered doubt atambridge, where his studies led him to cast loose from the Evangelicalism they so fervently espoused, then from the doctrines of the Anglican Church, and finally from Christianity altogether. As a consequence he resigned his tutorship at the university and renounced Holy Orders. Deprived of both an academic and a clerical livelihood, he had to make himself a career in literary journalism and editing. Fortunately, the late Victorian literary marketplace not only tolerated but rewarded gifted writers with something to say, even if it was provocative, and Stephen prospered and eventually received a knighthood, chiefly for his work on the DNB.

HIS HETERODOX opinions apart, Stephen was a man of contradictions and crotchets. There was a definite strain of mental instability in his family, which he may subconsciously have striven to exorcise by strenuous physical activity. He rowed at Cambridge and became a first-class coach, and in his middle years he was a tireless walker he was the guiding spirit of a Sunday walking club composed of scholars and journalists who routinely covered 20 miles a day, and on his own he often did 40. Most surprisingly, he was a pioneer Alpinist and an eloquent writer on the esthetic, mystic joys of mountain climbing.

Stephen was at once a self-tormentor and a humorist, an apostle of reason -- his intellectual sympathies were deeply rooted in the Age of the Enlightenment -- and a victim of black moods and unmastered emotions. He enjoyed lasting friendships, and among his intimate correspondents were those bastions of the Boston literary establishment, Charles Eliot Norton, James Russell Lowell, and Oliver Wendell Holmes. Yet in social relationships he was unpredictable and often distressingly difficult. In his last years, after his second wife's death (his first was Thackeray's younger daughter), he became more and more a recluse. As a family man he alternated between warm affection and chilling distance.

Ironically, it is in his role of pater familias, with distinct overtones of King Lear, that Leslie Stephen is best known today, although the effect of Annan's book when first published was to stimulate renewed interest in him as a critic and historian of ideas. He was, as everybody knows, Virginia Woolf's father, the partial model for Mr. Ramsay in To the Lighthouse -- a gloomy and selfish man who adamantly opposed his daughters' seeking education outside the home, a presence whose tyranny clouded Virginia's childhood and adolescence.

To understand her, one must first understand her father. The modern rage to know everything possibly discoverable about Bloomsbury and Virginia Woolf in particular has brought to light a wealth of personal information not available to her father's biographer 30 years ago. It was this windfall (Lord Annan, as he now is, generously credits numerous American scholars' contribution to it) that, in addition to a wish to probe more deeply into the German antecedents of Stephen's thought, encouraged him to substantially rewrite and enlarge his earlier book. The result is an altogether better informed and wiser study of a man who, in the best of circumstances, resists full explanation.

Assuredly, Leslie Stephen would not appreciate the fact that his wider fame is now contingent on, and subsidiary to, the much greater celebrity of the daughter he failed utterly to understand. But as a student and practitioner of the difficult art of biography and a historian who knew how crucial the impact of ideas on character can be, he would applaud Annan's book, one of the best biographies we possess of any eminent Victorian, devout or agnostic.

History of English Thought in the Eighteenth Century: Volume 1

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Stephens' History of English Thought in the Eighteenth Century , published in 1876, was a great success and has been reprinted until very recently (most recently in 2005). Stephen was the first editor of the Dictionary of National Biography . In addition to the 378 contributions that he wrote for this lexicon, he wrote seven different biographies. From 1871 to 1882 he also published the literary magazine Cornhill . As the successor to Tennyson , he became President of the London Library . Stephen was an avowed agnostic , which he established in his book An Agnostic's Apology . But although Stephen's belief in a righteous God was at odds with the continued suffering of mankind, he did not see himself as an atheist . In 1888 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences . In its founding year 1902 he became a member of the British Academy . On June 26, 1902, he was appointed Knight Commander of the Bath .

Athletic performance

Stephen was a great runner and rower while studying at Cambridge. In the so-called golden age of alpinism, he was the first to climb some of the most demanding high peaks in the Alps (including Bietschhorn , Schreckhorn , Monte Disgrazia and Zinalrothorn ) and for several years was president of the Alpine Club , which he co-founded.

Leslie Stephen Wiki, Biography, Net Worth, Age, Family, Facts and More

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Leslie Stephen is a well known Celebrity. Leslie was born on November 28, 1832 in British..Leslie is one of the famous and trending celeb who is popular for being a Celebrity. As of 2018 Leslie Stephen is 71 years (age at death) years old. Leslie Stephen is a member of famous Celebrity list.

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Name Leslie Stephen
Age (as of 2018) 71 years (age at death)
Profession Celebrity
Birth Date November 28, 1832
Birth Place Not Known
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  • Leslie Stephen age is 71 years (age at death). as of 2018
  • Leslie birthday is on November 28, 1832.
  • Zodiac sign: Sagittarius.

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The Stoning of Stephen

Stephen was a deacon and charismatic leader, “working great wonders and signs among the people.” Opponents of the Gospel attempted to debate with him, but “they could not withstand the wisdom and the spirit with which he spoke.” Stephen was bold and brash – He was a fearless proponent of the good news of Jesus’s resurrection.

Because they couldn’t beat him on the merits of his arguments, Stephen’s adversaries turned to a more barbaric plan. They went to the religious leaders and accused Stephen of publicly blaspheming both God and Moses, a crime punishable by death. They even brought “witnesses” to testify against him. So Stephen was arrested and brought before the Council of the Sanhedrin.

As was customary, Stephen was given the opportunity to defend himself, and went on to deliver a remarkably courageous speech, where he carefully summarized Israelite history, up to and including the building of the first temple in Jerusalem. He connected the ancient rituals of the Mosaic Law to the new order of things brought by Jesus. In short, Stephen alluded to a new way of worshiping God made possible by Jesus’s death and resurrection. This new way was a direct challenge to the authority of the religious leadership he was testifying to.

Incredibly, Stephen did not hold back on delivering the unvarnished truth – even though he knew his life was on the line. He was staunchly direct.

“You stiff-necked people… you are just like your ancestors. Which of the prophets did your ancestors not persecute? They put to death those who foretold the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become.” (Acts 7:51-52)

When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and cried out against him. But calmly, Stephen gazed up to heaven…

“‘Look,’ he said, ‘I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’ At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he fell on his knees and cried out, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ When he had said this, he fell asleep.” (Acts 7:56-60)

Stephen was the first person murdered because of his belief in Jesus Christ — what we refer to as a martyr. Being stoned was a slow and cruel death, but Stephen endured it through his bold faith. He even asked God to have mercy on these merciless men, just as Jesus did when dying slowly on the cross.

The stoning of St Stephen. Oil painting attributed to Orazio

Credit: Wellcome Library, London.

Randall acts as the lead writer for ColdWater’s Drive Thru History® TV series and Drive Thru History® “Adventures” curriculum.

Death [ edit ]

He died in Kensington and is buried in the eastern section of Highgate Cemetery in the raised section alongside the northern path. His daughter, Virginia Woolf, was badly affected by his death and she was cared for by his sister, Caroline. Γ] Woolf in 1922 created a detailed psychological portrait of him in the fictional character of Mr. Ramsay in her classic novel, To the Lighthouse, (as well as of her mother as Mrs. Ramsay). (Ref: The Diaries and Letters of Virginia Woolf) His probate is worded: STEPHEN sir Leslie of 22 Hyde Park-gate Middlesex K.C.B. probate London 23 March to George Herbert Duckworth and Gerald de L'Etang Duckworth esquires Effects £15715 6s. 6d. ⎟]

To honour his memory, his friends held a lecture in 1907 at the University of Cambridge, which has been held bi-annually as the Leslie Stephen Lecture since. His friends endowed that it be held with the specification that it be on "some literary subject, including therein criticism, biography and ethics." ⎠]

History of English Thought in the Eighteenth Century 2 Volume Set

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Iv. Extending the Oxford DNB online, 2004-

With publication of the ODNB in 2004 there began an ongoing ‘continuation project’ to extend the Dictionary’s coverage and add thematic essays setting biographies in historical context. Each year the ODNB adds several hundred new lives incorporating both recently deceased and historical figures as well as updating existing articles.

2004: appointment of Professor Lawrence Goldman as the third Editor of the Oxford DNB. Lawrence was then a Fellow and Tutor in Modern History at St Peter’s College, Oxford. On leaving the ODNB in 2014 Lawrence was appointed Director of the Institute of Historical Research, University of London.

2005: online updates to the ODNB begin. Since January 2005 three annual updates have been added to the Oxford DNB, in January, May and September of each year. January updates add biographies of c.220 recently deceased men and women who died in a single calendar year. This began in 2005 with those who died in the year 2001. May and September updates add new biographies of men and women active across all historical periods. Updates also correct and add to existing entries in the light of new research.

2005: Oxford DNB receives the Longman / History Today Trustees Award, and the American Library’s Association’s Dartmouth Medal.

2007: Oxford DNB awarded a Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education.

2008: start of the Oxford DNB’s biography podcast more than 250 episodes now available.

2014: Professor Sir David Cannadine FBA is appointed General Editor of the Oxford DNB. More about David .

2016: publication (September) of the Oxford DNB’s 60,000th biography (Eileen Lucy "Tirzah" Garwood, 1908-1951, wood engraver and artist).

2017: publication (January) of the ODNB’s biography of Margaret Thatcher (1925-2013) by David Cannadine: at 33,000 words, this is now the 4th longest entry in the Dictionary.

2017: centenary of the Dictionary becoming a research and publishing project of Oxford University and Oxford University Press.