The Autobiography of Arthur Young
Arthur Young (1741-1820) was one of the most important agriculturalists and social commentators of the eighteenth century. The account of his journeys around France (1787-9), also published in this series, remains a vital source for understanding the conditions of rural France on the cusp of revolution. The reports produced on agriculture in the English counties when he was Secretary to the Board of Agriculture from 1793 remain valuable historical sources of farming practices at the end of the eighteenth century. In later life, under the influence of his friend William Wilberforce, he became increasingly concerned at the effects of population growth and rising prices upon the rural poor in Britain. These memoirs, published in 1898, are of 'an untiring experimentalist and dreamer of economic dreams. a brilliant man of society and the world', and they give detail to 'a life singularly interesting and singularly sad'.