Based on a 2013 doctoral thesis, Ophélie Siméon’s volume in a series edited by Gregory Claeys represents an attempt to write a different kind of study of Robert Owen—“an intellectual biography through a sense of place” (9)—that connects New Lanark more umbilically to his later endeavors. Her avowed intent is to approach this history (where possible) “from below,” utilizing newly (post-2013) available material from the New Lanark Trust archives as well as New Lanark records held at Glasgow University. That said, much of the material captured in Siméon’s book is not new but has already been brought out in scholarship going back fifty or more years. What is valuable here is that it is brought together in a concise format and Siméon’s critical appraisal of many aspects of New Lanark’s (and Owen’s) history.

The result generates insights of significance into the social relations of the New Lanark community in Owen’s...

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