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ICONIC TEXTS: Dr Hannah Dawson on ‘Leviathan’ by Thomas Hobbes


In the first instalment of our brand new series of podcasts, Dr Hannah Dawson discusses one of the most controversial texts in the English language. Written during a period of civil war and published following the regicide of Charles I, Leviathan or the Matter, Forme and Power of a Common Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil earned its author the nickname the ‘Monster of Malmesbury’. So staggering were the views presented in text that 63 year old Thomas Hobbes was almost universally censured. But how did Hobbes come to write such a text? What was he trying to say? And, how has it impacted on the wider history of political thought?  Here, we unravel our first ICONIC TEXT.


Dawson_pictureDr Hannah Dawson

Educated at the University of Cambridge, where she obtained a double first in BA history, a MPhil and a PhD, Dr Hannah Dawson was elected to a Junior Research Fellowship at Queens’ College, Cambridge, and then appointed to a Lectureship at the University of Edinburgh. She is now Senior Lecturer in the history of ideas at The New College of the Humanities.

She is the author of Locke, language and Early-Modern Philosophy (Cambridge University Press, 2007), and most recently Life Lessons from Hobbes (Pan Macmillan, 2013), available from Amazon.

Praise for Life Lessons from Hobbes:

‘Trenchantly confronting contemporary political problems’ (Observer).

‘invigorating’ John Banville  (Prospect).


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