Daunton, M(artin) J(ames) 1949-
DAUNTON, M(artin) J(ames) 1949-
PERSONAL: Born February 7, 1949, in Cardiff, Wales; son of Ronald J. (a bank official) and Dorothy (a homemaker; maiden name, Bellett) Daunton; married Claire Gobbi (a university administrator), January 7, 1984. Education: University of Nottingham, B.A., 1970; University of Kent at Canterbury, Ph.D., 1973. Hobbies and other interests: Architectural tourism, collecting modern ceramics, walking.
CAREER: University of Durham, Durham, England, lecturer in economic history, 1973-79; University College London, London, England, lecturer, 1979-85, reader in history, 1985-89, professor, 1989-97; Churchill College-Cambridge, Cambridge, England, fellow and professor of economic history, 1997—. Visiting fellow, Australian National University, 1985 and 1994; visiting professor, Nikon University, 2000. Chair, Institute of Historical Research, 1994-98.
MEMBER: Royal Historical Society (treasurer, 1986-91, vice president, 1996-2000), British Academy (fellow), Economic History Society (member of council, 1985-88), Institute of Historical Research (chair, 1994—).
Coal Metropolis: Cardiff, 1870-1914, Leicester University Press (Leicester, England), 1977.
House and Home in the Victorian City: Working-Class Housing, 1850-1914, Edward Arnold (London, England), 1983.
(Editor) Councillors and Tenants: Local Authority Housing in English Cities, 1919-1939, Leicester University Press (Leicester, England), 1985.
Royal Mail: The Post Office since 1840, Athlone Press (Dover, NH), 1986.
A Property Owning Democracy?, Faber (London, England), 1987.
(Editor) Housing the Workers, 1850-1914: A Comparative Perspective, Leicester University Press (Leicester, England), 1990.
The Ransom of Riches: The Politics of Taxation in Britain since 1842, Longmans (London, England), 1996.
(Editor) Charity, Self-Interest, and Welfare in the English Past, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1996.
(Editor, with Rick Halpern) Empire and Others: British Encounters with Indigenous Peoples, 1600-1850, University of Pennsylvania Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1999.
(Editor) The Cambridge Urban History of Britain, Volume 3: 1840-1950, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2000.
Trusting Leviathan: The Politics of Taxation in Britain, 1799-1914, Cambridge University Press (Cambridge, England), 2001.
Just Taxes: The Politics of Taxation in Britain, 1914-1979, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2002.
Contributor to economic and history journals. Studies in History, chair of editors, 1995—.
SIDELIGHTS: M. J. Daunton is a professor of history whose publications deal with the social and economic changes wrought by the industrialization of countries in Europe and North America. His first book, Coal Metropolis: Cardiff, 1870-1914, was largely welcomed by critics as a much-needed and long overdue history of the Welsh city of Cardiff. The author considered the economic development of the city since 1870 and its social evolution as a city, extending his research into the areas of social culture and politics. Kenneth O. Morgan wrote in the Times Literary Supplement: "The result is impressive—a precise, fully documented, lucidly written and beautifully illustrated book which will be of great value and interest to historians . . . of the British urban experience." Although Daunton's work defies easy summarization, it does offer "a highly stimulating point of departure for the next generation of welfare historians," wrote David Vincent in the English Historical Review.
House and Home in the Victorian City: Working-Class Housing, 1850-1914 earned praises from some of its reviewers. In the Times Literary Supplement, P. J. Waller commented that Daunton's second book "combines very different perspectives to illuminate a complex topic: those of physical form, class culture, distinctive local habit, and particular personal preference." The author analyzes various approaches to planning and housing, and studies the nineteenth-century trends which resulted in sweeping changes in the relationships between public and private space. Daunton surveys the types of housing that characterized various localities, examines housing from the perspective of rents and investment values, and considers the political issues involved in the relationships of landlords to tenants and public officials. According to Waller, "Daunton integrates the subject better than any historian before him," providing "a more complete picture than we have yet had."
In Progress and Poverty: An Economic and Social History of Britain, 1700-1850, Daunton challenges any simplistic assessment of the social changes wrought by the Industrial Revolution. Business History reviewer John Armstrong wrote, "For the student or general reader who wants a good introduction to the issues, debates and current state of our knowledge on economic and social topics it acts as an excellent guide, combining general trends with relevant vivid examples which provide detailed flesh on the bone." History Today contributor Max Beloff summarized: "Professor Daunton's book is a remarkable achievement in combining an assessment of the present state of our knowledge of the period and the rise of the British economy to its apogee."
Daunton has also written an authorized history of the British postal service, described by Richard R. John, Jr. in Business History Review as being "of consistently high caliber" and "sure to be cited often in the years to come." Of greater scope is Daunton's two-volume study of taxation in the United Kingdom from 1799 through 1979, published as Trusting Leviathan: The Politics of Taxation in Britain, 1799-1914 and Just Taxes: The Politics of Taxation in Britain, 1914-1979. In Business History, Anthony Howe described Trusting Leviathan as a "superb and masterly analysis. . . . Daunton's is a pioneering combination of a broad comparative understanding of the British state and a detailed grasp of its administrative mechanisms."
Daunton once told CA: "My work has now moved away from its earlier interest in the history of cities and architectural form to a concern for the nature of the modern British state, and the development of economic and social policy. The connection between the two sets of concerns is housing policy, which I analysed through international comparisons; my more recent publications have dealt with taxation and social policy. These themes have informed my general books on British economic and social history since 1700, as well as more specific studies. I hope in the future to move from Britain to a wider analysis of the British empire, considering issues such as taxation and land policy."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Historical Review, April, 1987, Ian Inkster, review of Royal Mail: The Post Office since 1840, p. 417.
Business History, January, 1997, John Armstrong, review of Progress and Poverty: An Economic and Social History of Britain, 1700-1850, p. 91; October, 2002, Anthony Howe, review of Trusting Leviathan: The Politics of Taxation in Britain 1799-1914, p. 146.
Business History Review, summer, 1988, Richard R. John Jr., review of Royal Mail, p. 352.
Contemporary Review, July, 2001, review of The Cambridge Urban History of Britain, Volume 3, 1840-1950, p. 60.
English Historical Review, April, 1987, David Englander, review of Councillors and Tenants: Local Authority Housing in English Cities, 1919-1939, p. 403; July, 1988, Duncan Bythell, review of Royal Mail, p. 759; April, 1994, E. P. Hennock, review of Housing the Workers, 1850-1914: A Comparative Perspective, p. 507; June, 1997, Duncan Bythell, review of Progress and Poverty, p. 780; September, 1998, David Vincent, review of Charity, Self-Interest and Welfare in the English Past, p. 1047; June, 2000, Ged Martin, review of Empire and Others: British Encounters with Indigenous Peoples, 1600-1850, p. 724.
History Today, August, 1984, Anthony Sutcliffe, review of House and Home in the Victorian City: Working-Class Housing, 1850-1914, p. 52; March, 1996, Max Beloff, review of Progress and Poverty, p. 53.
Journal of American History, December, 2000, Eric Hinderaker, review of Empire and Others, p. 1005.
Journal of Modern History, September, 1999, Donald Woodward, review of Charity, Self-Interest, and Welfare in the English Past, p. 681.
Times Literary Supplement, March 4, 1977; January 20, 1984; November 29, 1985.*