About this book
Sir Arthur Helps (1813-1875), English writer and dean of the Privy Council, youngest son of Thomas Helps, a London merchant, was born in Streatham in South London. He was educated at Eton and at Trinity College, Cambridge. As a member of the "Conversazione Society," better known as the Apostles, a society established in 1820 for the purposes of discussion on social and literary questions by a few young men attracted to each other by a common taste for literature and speculation, he was associated with Charles Buller, Frederick Maurice, Richard Chenevix Trench, Monckton Milnes, Arthur Hallam and Alfred Tennyson. Helps possessed, however, enough dramatic power to give life and individuality to the dialogues with which he enlivened many of his other books. In his Friends in Council, a Series of Readings and Discourse thereon (1847-1859), Helps varied his presentment of social and moral problems by dialogues between imaginary personages, who, under the names of Milverton, Ellesmere and Dunsford, grew to be almost as real to Helps's readers as they certainly became to himself.