Rowland, Peter Books1996 0-7734-8844-8
Day is chiefly remembered as the author of a famous children's book, Sandford and Merton, which was a fantastic best-seller for almost a century, and of which Dickens said, "that story had great influence on many boys' (and subsequently men's) minds". But Day was active in many other fields as well. A disciple of Rousseau, involved in a variety of political agitations, virtually responsible for creating a miniature welfare state in the wilds of Surrey, he was also a well-known poet, philosopher and environmentalist, ahead of his time in an astonishing number of ways, and frequently at the center (sometimes hilariously so) of some rather extraordinary events. (Not the least among them was his eccentric education of Sabrina, a foundling girl whom he tried to mold into the ideal woman.) He campaigned vigorously against slavery, attacked George III, and became enmeshed in the American Revolution. He shared a platform with Wilkes and a pamphlet with Fox. This volume re-establishes this remarkable man as a prominent figure in the late eighteenth century and as a moralist significantly responsible for determining the ethos of the Victorian age.