Robert Owen

(2146 words)
  • Jane Moore (University of Wales, Cardiff)

Robert Owen, utopian political philosopher, philanthropist, and factory reformer, was born into the small Welsh/English bilingual community of Newtown, Montgomeryshire, North Wales, in 1771. Though born in Wales and very probably a Welsh speaker (certainly he would have heard Welsh spoken in the schoolroom and at church), Owen is rarely associated with his homeland by his contemporaries or, until recently, by modern historians and biographers. However, although he left his childhood home at the age of ten to become apprenticed to the linen trade, Owen never lost sight of his Welsh beginnings. His autobiographical Life (2 vols, 1857), written towards the end of a long career, stresses the influence of his Welsh upbringing—the …

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Moore, Jane. "Robert Owen". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 February 2008
[, accessed 01 July 2015.]