Rousseau in Staffordshire?

by Chris Bertram on April 9, 2004

As part of a series about philosophers and places, BBC Radio 3 will be broadcasting a programme this Sunday (21.30 GMT, so internet listeners should adjust for location) in which Jonathan Ree discusses “Rousseau in Staffordshire”: . I’m rather hoping that this will clear up a little dispute I had with “Chris Brooke”: . Chris emailed me soon after “my Rousseau book”: came out to tell me that I was mistaken in writing that Rousseau had lived in _Derbyshire_ . Chris wrote, correctly, that the village of Wootton near where Rousseau stayed, is in Staffordshire and that, since the county line there is set by the River Dove, Wootton was almost certainly in Staffordshire in the 18th century too. We both set to consulting out various works of reference, only to reach a stalemate. So for, for example, this “1776 account of Hume’s life”: has Derbyshire, as does Rousseau himself in correspondence, but other reputable sources insist on Staffordshire. I’m sure you’re all intruigued by this antiquarian mystery! I shall be listening with attention.

(And see “The Virtual Stoa”: for a map of the area).



Matt Weiner 04.09.04 at 3:32 pm

village of Wootton near where Rousseau stayed, is in Derbyshire
Shoud this be “Staffordshire”?
–your friendly neighborhood ex-copy editor.

[Right! Now fixed, thanks! CB]


matt weiner 04.09.04 at 3:33 pm

(who can’t spell “should”)


Anthony Jukes 04.09.04 at 4:21 pm

I’m interested. Locate the bugger!


Ophelia Benson 04.09.04 at 5:17 pm

What an interesting subject. And how tiresome that Radio 3 doesn’t archive (it still doesn’t, right? That’s one reason I don’t pay much attention to it so wasn’t aware of this series, which sounds fascinating.).


NW 04.09.04 at 5:22 pm

You want to make sure they didn’t make little fiddly adjustments to the borders around 1880, 1890. Here’s an example of something in the same general area that was transferred from Derbyshire to Staffs back then.

So here’s an 1851 description of Ellastone in Staffordshire, of which Wootton was a part, detailed enough that if there were any odd boundaries or dispositions they’d probably be mentioned.

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