From Angelyn’s Blog
Richard Sharp (1759 – 1835), born in Newfoundland, was a hatter and later prominent merchant in London. He was also a Dissenter, becoming the champion of adult education. His powers of persuasion were responsible for establishing the forerunner of the University of London, the London Institution, open to scientific scholars who were denied entrance to Cambridge and Oxford because of their unorthodox religious beliefs.
Lansdowne House, along with its rival Holland House, drew Sharp into its orbit not only for these accomplishments, but because of his conversation.
Yes–conversation. A highly sought-after quality in Regency England
You must remember from Anne Elliott’s declaration from Jane Austen’s Persuasion. And William Elliott’s equally fine rejoinder:
“My idea of good company…is the company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company.’
‘You are mistaken,’ said he gently, ‘that is not good company, that is the best.”
London was filled with good conversationalists. Town wits, they…
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