Sidney and Beatrice Webb are the most important British contributors to the socialist tradition. They had a hand in founding many of the institutions that form the fabric of British society notably the Fabian society, the Labour Party, the London School of Economics, "The New Statesman", the "Political Quarterly" and "Tribune". This biography of the Webbs was commissioned by the Passfield Trustees. This life of the "oddest couple since Adam and Eve" differs from previous studies in considering their literary and institution building accomplishments and not just their personal idiosyncrasies.
ROYDEN J. HARRISON is Emeritus Professor of Social History at the University of Warwick. He is among the leading scholars in labour history. His previous books include Before the Socialists, Studies in Labour and Politics, 1861-1881, Industrial Decline in Historical Perspective, The English Defence of the Commune and he is co-editor with J. Zeitlin of Divisions of Labour. He has been a regular contributor to The Political Quarterly, International Review of Social History and many other leading journals. He was previously senior lecturer at the University of Sheffield and has been Visiting Professor at University of Wisconsin, Madison, McMaster University, Ontario and Keio University, Tokyo.