26th June 2017

Dr Emily Jones publishes new book on Edmund Burke


Exeter alumna Dr Emily Jones (2010, Modern British and European History) has published her first book with Oxford University Press.

Dr Jones is currently a research fellow at Pembroke College Cambridge, affiliated with the History Faculty. Her text, Edmund Burke and the Invention of Modern Conservatism, 1830-1914, explores the transformation of Burke (1730-97) from Whig politician to ‘founder of modern conservatism’ in Britain.

Dr Jones’s research hopes to bridge a gap between the history of political thought as conventionally understood and the making of political traditions. Alongside analysing Burke’s development into a canonical political thinker, the text considers the process by which a distinctive intellectual and political tradition – ‘Burkean conservatism’ – was constructed, established, and widely circulated by 1914. It situates this history within a wider discussion of British political, intellectual and cultural developments of the 19th and early 20th century, arguing that the late Victorian to early Edwardian period was a particularly fertile time for the construction of new political identities – Conservative as well as New Liberal, and Socialist.

Dr Jones’s book has recently been featured as one of the Financial Times’s recommended summer reads, and Richard Bourke of the Literary Review has deemed it a ‘vital contribution’ to its field. Professor Bourke writes: ‘The power of Jones’s analysis lies in the skill with which she shows how “perceived similarities” dominate so much intellectual history and how, consequently, they misinform our understanding of the history of ideologies.’

Edmund Burke and the Invention of Modern Conservatism was published in April  and is available to buy online from the Oxford University Press website.

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