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Richard Price
Dr Richard Price, DD, FRS - Benjamin West.jpg
Portrait of Richard Price (1784), by Benjamin West.
Born23 February 1723
Tynton, Llangeinor, Glamorgan, Wales
Died19 April 1791(1791-04-19) (aged 68)
Newington Green, London, England

Richard Price (23 February 1723 – 19 April 1791) was a British moral philosopher, nonconformist preacher and mathematician. He was also a political pamphleteer, active in radical, republican, and liberal causes such as the American Revolution. He was well-connected and fostered communication between a large number of people, including several of the Founding Fathers of the United States.

Price spent most of his adult life as minister of Newington Green Unitarian Church, on the outskirts of London. He also wrote on issues of demography and finance, and was a Fellow of the Royal Society.

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  • ✪ Writers Speak | Richard Price in conversation with Claire Messud
  • ✪ Richard Price, "The Whites"


Good evening, friends. I'm Homi Bhabha. I direct the Mahindra Humanities Center here at Harvard. And it's a great pleasure to invite you and welcome you to one of our Writers Speak sessions for this semester. Writers Speak is a platform of the Humanities Center very ably headed by my dear, beloved friend Claire Messud. Who is professor of the practice of writing and is a wonderful-- and I say this without any prejudice whatsoever-- wonderful, reflective, beautiful novelist. And it's been one of the great pleasures of my tenure as director of the Center to work with Claire on a number of occasions. It is actually a tribute to Claire, that since she started working with us to set up the Writers Speak series, she has chosen writers to come to the campus who effortlessly represent a large variety of communities, ethnicities, and cultures. There has been no forced identitarian agenda here. She has just chosen writers who she thought were significant. We've discussed them. And she's brought them. And that has really enriched the archive of our thinking about contemporary writing. So often the discussion is about bringing writers of color or bringing writers who lack all color. But Claire has a fabulous instinct of bringing great writers, fascinating writers. And as it happens, they have come from almost every continent and many countries. And they're writers of all colors. In fact, the slightly tinged lilac ones were my favorite. So Claire, thank you very much for this great Catholic vision of what writing today is about and where the voices come from. And in fact, tomorrow, Richard Price, Edison Julio, and Michelle Kwo accompanied by Claire Messud, will be in Emerson 2 1 0 at 6:00 PM speaking to a panel titled, "The Words to Say It, Teaching and Writing and Incarceration." Please welcome my friend and colleague Claire Messud. [APPLAUSE] Thank you, Homi. Thank you, everyone, for coming. It's my great pleasure to introduce Richard this evening and to be in conversation. And, yes, as Homi mentioned, there are a number of events around Richard's visit and also the visit of Lorraine Adams. And tomorrow, the six o'clock panel will be upstairs involving also Edison Julio and Michelle Kwo in a discussion about teaching writing and incarceration. I hope you can make it. Now I need my glasses. I was saying to somebody, I don't know how many of you are familiar with Fawlty Towers, but this week I am a little bit like somebody in Fawlty Towers. I put on one hat and then I move into another room I put on another hat. Next thing, I'll be wearing a kimono one offering massages, whatever. As Michiko Kakutani wrote in her New York Times review of Richard Price's most recent novel, The Whites, "Mr. Price has a knack for using detective work the way John Le Carre has used spy stories and tradecraft as a framework on which to build complex human investigations into the human soul." Richard Price is the author of nine novels, including The Wanderers, Clockers, Freedomland, Lush Life, and The Whites. He's also an acclaimed scriptwriter for both film and television, whose credits include The Color of Money, 1986, Ransom, 1996, the series The Wire, 2002, and last year's Emmy nominated HBO series, The Night Of. His new show, currently on air on HBO, is The Deuce. He's also a frequent contributor to the Moth Radio Hour, where you can hear him telling great stories in his own voice. Richard Price, likened by Walter Kern to Raymond Chandler and Saul Bellow, is revered for his extraordinary ear for dialogue. Or as James Wood put it in his review of Lush Life, "for his wonderful mind for dialogue, and for his unsurpassed ability to portray his native New York in its infinite diversity." His influence over what we now think of as stellar dialogue is so strong and so pervasive that young readers and viewers might be forgiven for failing to appreciate Price's profound originality. He changed our understanding. And now we think of his dialogue as the standard that we all try to meet. As Michael Connelly wrote in his New York Times Book Review of The Whites, it is, quote, "a work of reportage as much as it is a work of fiction. That's what makes it important. It tells it like it is. It provides insight and knowledge, both rare qualities in the killing fields of the crime novel." Frequently using the police or crime novel as a frame, Price has explored large social issues from the crack epidemic to the changed economy of New York City in the first decade of this century, from the intricacies of family histories and dynamics in The Whites to the psychological toll of incarceration in The Night Of. His work is suffused with a near Shakespearean verbal inventiveness. Or is it attentiveness? A sense of life's absurdity and humor, a surprising tenderness for the foibles and vulnerabilities of his characters, and an amazing accuracy when it comes to human behavior, from the smallest gestures on up. Writing good fiction is like being a safecracker. A writer is listening for the tiniest clicks. No writer listens better than Richard Price. And no writer better transforms that deceptively humble activity in superlative compelling storytelling. He takes narratives with which we're familiar and returns them to us each time as something illuminating and surprising, enacting Ezra Pound's exhortation to make it new. It is a privilege and a great pleasure to welcome Richard Price. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Thank you for that introduction. That was a privilege. Thank you. So Richard will read, but we thought we may chat a little first. Yeah. A tad. A tad, a tad bit. One thing I wondered about, because we talked about it in my class, in one of my classes, if you took the dead bodies out of your fiction you would win every prize. And so, I don't know if that's ever occurred to you. But that was something we were thinking about. We were thinking that actually what you do in writing American society is of have such a high level. And you do get a lot of acclaim. But I feel as though, I don't know if you get the big prizes. Do you know what I'm saying? Yeah. Oh, yeah. And I wondered if that was a choice? Whether you thought, this is what I want to write about and this is the way I do it. I was wondering, how the elements of genre, if you will, are important to you as a writer? They're convenient and they're a pain in the ass. Because the minute you use the word "genre," a genre has rules. And in the crime, mystery genre, you have a hero, or an anti-hero more likely. You have a bad guy, or a group of bad guys, good, bad. You show off that nobody's really all good or really all bad a little bit. But there are rules. You can't walk out of there without justice served. And you're like moody Marlboro man, half Nordic, half Chandleresque guy with the busted Venetian blinds and the bottle of old overcoat whiskey in his bottom drawer. I'll be honest. My first book that I would say I reported was Clockers. And I was working on that from 1988 to 19-- it came out in '92. I had written four books, which are based on my own human experience. But I was 32. I didn't have all that much to say. And I just felt like I wrote myself into a corner. And through a number of circumstances, I found myself more in the world than I had ever been. I was haunted by my own bad cocaine habit of the early '80s. I wound up teaching at a day top village, which is sort of a residential drug center. Pro bono teaching fiction writing to kids. And I found myself, after having written a movie, Sea of Love, it came out in '86 with Al Pacino, I found myself in the company of cops. And being with cops-- there's no judgment, good, bad, or indifferent-- the stuff you're allowed to see of the world when you're with cops really pulled me out of my inner, I wonder as I wander books. And I became addicted to going out into the field, so to speak, and finding a story larger than myself. I loved it. I just loved it so much that I really wanted to write stories not about me but-- everything, every novel is an autobiography. I think crossword puzzles, you'll find autobiography in there from the person who made up the clues. I figured, there's enough of me just having a narrative voice here. And I also found, as my landscapes in books became more and more panoramic, like in Lush Life it was about Lower East Siders live not in the days of [INAUDIBLE] sleep but in the days of post-crack yuppification. And all the worlds involved in it-- there were seven separate planets. And I didn't want to write a travelogue. And then I realized, if you follow criminal investigation, it provides you with a spine that you can ride to a very complex landscape, like a white horse. Because criminal investigations are orderly. This happens, they're chronological. They makes sense. If you talk to this person, well, if you talk to this person, then you need to talk to that person. And that person might be a Fujinese Chinese person walking by, that person might be an entrepreneur circa the early 2000s opening up a hip restaurant. The third person might be a woman who lives in a housing project around the corner. Fourth person might be an old Talmudic scholar davening on the Lower East Side. And I just got addicted to taking on landscapes and using the cleanness of a criminal investigation. And like I said, I didn't like or dislike cops. Cops are like people. They even are people. They're like people. I'm joking. I'm not a police buff. I don't automatically take the police point of view in dramatic situations. You can't count on me to back up your opinion just because I write about. And what happens is, I just love that stuff. And I just love using that wherever I go. So there's bodies in it, and there's crime. But I don't want to protest too much, but how many great novels had crimes in them as their basis? Not to compare myself with anybody. Let's start with Dreiser. Sorry, I said I wouldn't do that. Then all of a sudden, you've got a reputation as a crime writer. And I went, whoa, wait, wait, wait. That's not it. I don't feel like I am. But I feel like I have to step away from that just to write myself as not a genre writer, which I never felt I was. When you say, step away, in what way step away? Step away from crime and punishment. You mean in your work, or just in-- In my work, in my writing. But that means stepping away from something I love. I really have a blast writing crime and punishment. And you've got to like what you're writing. It's like it's like a marriage. And you shouldn't marry this individual because it'll be good for you, like oatmeal is good for you. So it's a big compromise between my fun and but I don't want to get seduced into it. I want to show people that I can write. So the minute you start thinking about readers as opposed to yourself, you get lost in the woods. And you can't figure out, what do I really want to do. Time is tight. I'm 67. It's not like I have 50 years of writing ahead of me. So it's complicated. I'm wrestling with this every day. If you've never felt-- I wanted to put to you because many years ago, the writer [INAUDIBLE] said to me-- it wasn't just me, it was in a room full of people, but whatever-- he said, you can make up the characters or you can make up the plot, but you can't make up both. And I think a lot about that. And I think, do I agree with him? I don't know if I agree with him. But it's certainly true that any work of fiction is a balance between freedom and constraint. And when you say that having a crime gives you a sort of white horse that you can ride through a landscape it gives you a structure, it gives you constraint. And if those constraints are in fact liberating for you-- you've written novels, as I said in the introduction, that are actually about all these very different bigger social issues. There may happen to be corpses in them or investigations in them. But it hasn't stopped you writing about anything. Why would you step away from it? Because of what you just said. If it wasn't for bodies I might be regarded more. But you are regard-- I feel you are. Well, that's a problem with me. It's like, stay with yourself. But they're saying this and this about me. Well, I'll show them. And that's where you get screwed, where you screw yourself. I'm the type of person that reviews are dangerous to me. Much less so than ever before. But I'm easily influenced. Like in third grade, it'd be, well, he just follows this crowd. I'd really like to see little Richard-- it's a struggle every day. Part of the struggle is you have to really enjoy what you're doing to do it. And I write about certain people. And this is going to sound bizarre, and very unliterary, but I write about the people I write about because I can make them funny, not to sacrifice to the complexity of their humanity. I know how to make working class urban people. I know how to write about urban underdog. I know how to write about cops. I know how to write about put together families on a certain level of society. I just love being able to freedom, to make the dialogue fly. Humor doesn't come out of it ha, ha. Humor comes out of sheer recognition. And it's a surprise when you find yourself grinning, like I knew that. I didn't know I knew that until I read that. But once I read that, I recognized I knew that all along. So for me, it's the beauty of hope, people being able to recognize certain elements of their personality and their situation. I don't know how to make patent engineers funny. I don't know how to make corporate lawyers funny. I don't know how to make brain surgeons funny. Well, you should write about a higher level of society because then it would show you have this big span, blah, blah. I just have to have fun. If I'm not having fun nobody's going to have fun. If I don't enjoy writing this nobody's going to enjoy reading this. I hear you. Life is short. I agree. You've said before that place is a character for you. And that your start with place. Or that place is one of the fundamental elements. And I wonder, given the sort of breadth and range of, in a way, thematically of the subjects that you've written about, whether you choose a place with it-- Did you choose, say, for Lush Life, did you choose the Lower East Side because of the-- Every place is a choice. Because let's say you have three key characters in a story. One of those characters is location. I'd like to know going into the book at least I have one of my characters down cold. So I will always write about urban environments. Look, if I grew up by the sea I'd be writing sea books. If I grew up in the mountains it would all take place in the mountains. If I grew up in the Great Plains, et cetera, et cetera. I grew up in the city, and I love it. For all the anxiety and hair pulling that goes through making a book from beginning to end, you got to love what you're doing. You got to love the people you're writing about, even if whatever you making them, blacker than black in terms of devil souls, you've got to love them in some way. And I've got to love my world. And I got to love my people. When I was younger before-- when I was writing my first four books I was in my 20s. They're very deep books. Not. I started feeling, well, I don't want to reputation as this d'ese, d'em, d'ose dialogue writer. I'm going to show them. I'm going to write about the Spanish Armada. And I'm going to do it so, wow, he can write about anything. Never happened. I was probably drunk at the time, but-- It's all about love. I'm sounding like a broken record. But it's a long haul, a book. It's like getting married. You got to love the hell out of the person that you're joining with for a number of years. There are lots of things I want to ask you. But maybe, what about starting with dialogue. And to what extent is that just something you can do in your sleep? To what extent is that something that you work at relentlessly? To what extent is it actually just reported speech? Listen, I always liked making up people talking to each other. I remember when I was six years old, there was a girl I had a crush on, first grade. And I would never talk to her in a billion years. But I would I would lay in bed before I went to sleep, and she was being attacked by a space monster. And she was going, help, Richard, help. And I'd go, I'll save you. But then I would have a big dialogue with the space monster. Don't you touch Freida Jankolowitz. I will touch anybody I want. No. We'd start arguing. And Freida would go, Hello. I'm drifting out in space. I just get so caught up. And I would say this and the monster would say that. So it's just this intuitive thing that I just liked. And I was intimidated by Warner's English Grammar Handbook. It was the bane of my adolescence. And I just had an ear. Like some people have-- always compared to being a runner. You can't teach anybody. People run fast or they don't. You can fine tune, you can shave a second or two at best off their times. But you can't teach someone to run fast. And with dialogue, you just have to have an ear. That's the one thing, the one gift I was given is I have an ear. I remember, it was actual creative writing class in high school. Nobody had a creative writing class at that point. And I had to write a story. And I tried to make people real. And I used the word "damn," Like god damn, or damn. And the paper came back to me and was hemorrhaging red from the English teacher. This is not necessary to use language like this. I always loved the profane. I always loved the music. That somehow I could put music into dialogue in a way that, I don't know what to compare it to. It was like jazz for me. Yeah. My whole rhythm came out of-- Lorraine Adams, who spoke earlier today, has heard this a billion times because we lived together. She's my wife and I'm her husband. And so she hears me, oh, god that one again. The way I found my voice-- and finding your voice is the most important thing, I think, for novels. Because your narrative voice is a close cousin to dialogue. How intimate is the narrator going to get to the characters? How vernacular is it going to be? Lorraine called it a close third person. And that's pretty much what it is. And I tried to find my voice. And when I was in high school in the Bronx I always liked social realism because I don't know anybody in Jane Austen's world, I don't know anybody in John Steinbeck's world. So it's not just like English. I don't know anybody in Dickens world. But when I started reading James Baldwin, Richard Wright, a couple of other people, James T. Farrell, Studs Lonigan, people that were writing about things I walk on and I see and I breathe, I found myself. And it taught me that my experience is valid grounds for literature. That was a big breakthrough. However-- And that was in high school? Yeah. However, the problem was with social realist novelists, for the most part, some of the names I have given you excluded from this, is that's writing to make a point. And it's like sawing wood. One fact, another fact, somebody makes a statement that's proving the point or the social humanitarian point that the author is trying to make. There's no magic in it. It was just like taking dull photographs. But I clung to that because I recognized, oh, I know that world. So, yeah. Then I read a book that probably very few people in this room have read. It's called Last Exit to Brooklyn. And it was by a writer who's a Beat writer, named Hubert Selby. Hubert Selby also wrote about-- no, wait, god, am I that boring? Selby also wrote about the streets. He wrote about Brooklyn, Red Hook part of Brooklyn, I think, or Bay Ridge, somewhere. But he was a child of the Beat. He was a Beat. He was he was a bebop artist with words. So he wrote about the same thing but he had this like rhythm, this like de-de-te-da, de-de-te-da. And he just lifted all the concrete out of the cement of a social realist. It was like he was playing an instrument. And I found a way not to write like I was using a hammer and tongs. I was using a saxophone. And so when I found my voice like that, it was so intimate and there was no line between dialogue and prose. And it just lifted me off the ground and really allowed me to get into my dialogue and not worry too much, in a way to tell a full story. So-- I don't even think I answered the question. Well, you did. Now I'm curious. Where along the line did you say, this is what I'm going to do? Somewhere between the space monster dialogue in your bed at night and-- When I was eight. Early. Fantasy wise, when I was eight. Realistic wise, not until I graduated college and had a choice. My grandfather was a factory worker in Brooklyn. Sorry, you got to hear all this stuff. My grandfather was a factory worker in Brooklyn. He was a Russian immigrant. And like every Jew in Russia, he was studying to be a rabbi. I don't think just one person from Russia who came over that was Jewish who wasn't studying to be a rabbi. Anyway, he was foreman in a chrome plating factory. But he was very literate. He read the Russians in Russian. And he came over and he was he was an actor and a stagehand with the Lower East Side Yiddish Theater. And he would write poems. And they would be published in this mimeographed thing for the Brooklyn YMHA, which is this-- but there would be poems on that would be mimeographed like this, and it's stapled. And it had huge circulation, I think, 40, 50 copies. And I just remember, when I was eight seeing my grandfather's poem. Even at eight, after-- well, that was kind of corny there, gramps. But nonetheless, it had his name at the bottom. And my father revered my grandfather. It was his father. Yeah, his father. And I looked at my father looking at my grandfather. I said, I want some of that look too. So I decided it was going to be writer right then. But it was always a fantasy. When you get older you want to have a specialty, like the best dancer, or the best hair, the math brain. And I just wanted to be known as the writer, which involved pinching my nose in a library at a table where there was a couple of girls. And I went like this hoping some of them would come up to me and say, are you suffering? Never happened. But my nose really did get narrower. I went to Cornell. I got a degree in labor relations. But I took all my electives in creative writing. And I really, really wanted to be a writer. And my father said, look, you can write in your spare time. It could be like your hobby. But once you have a serious job you can write on the weekends. And then came time, what are you going to do for graduate school? And so I applied to every-- including Harvard. I got for MAT in teaching. That lasted about six minutes. And the one Master of Fine Arts school I got into was Columbia. And I felt like I had no right to go. I was working class. I felt like I had no right to go. My father had a little hosiery store. And he got so exasperated by me Hamleting all across the floor, I don't know what to do. And my father finally said, oh, Jesus Christ, go to your stupid creative writing program. If it doesn't work out, two years from now you'll go to law school, big deal. I just remember saying literally, gee, dad, you mean it? Boom. And once I went to graduate school it was great because I was surrounded by 12 people around a seminar table about once a week. And all 12 of those people, none of them went to law school. We're all here. None of them were premed. none of them went to business school. Meanwhile, everybody's friends from college were now on their way with a real job. And the worst thing in the world when you're a young writer, even if you're determined, is somebody saying-- say your a writer, and somebody says, oh, well, what have you written? Well, I'm working on this Spanish Armada novel, but I'm waiting for my translator. I want to put it in 17th century Spanish and I don't know Spanish. Instead of saying, well, what do you write? I could say, well, I'm in the Master of Fine Arts program at Columbia. It puts your ego on hold and it gave you at least two years where you weren't mortified by wanting to be a writer. And I got very lucky. I published a book when I was 24. So were you still in the program when you-- This is the other thing that's really embarrassing. I was in the program. I left for a year to go to Stanford because they had a little fellowship which Columbia didn't. Which they still have? Yeah. I got a $1,500 fellowship, which at that time, you're in the money. That's cabbage. And I came back from Columbia. I was taking a class or two, finishing a seminar, and I published my first novel, The Wanderers. Then everybody hated you. Well-- No? Probably. But I refused to quit the program. And I published another novel, and I was still in the program. And it's driving everybody batshit. And people said, what, are you making fun of us? The teachers hated me. Richard Yates was my teacher. And in when he did the roll call he said, who's Price? Oh, you're a billion dollar bonus baby. What I finally realized, the reason why I stayed in that program because I wanted a master's degree in fine arts. I was the first person ever go to college in my family. And I wasn't even thinking about it. I wanted that MFA because I was going to have checks printed on top it would say, Richard Price, MFA. I was just a working class thing that I didn't even recognize until years after I finally graduated. Did you have the checks printed? No. It's not too late. [INAUDIBLE] a friend who put PhD on his checks. It's not too late. You still could. Yeah, I guess. By the time you were at university you knew you wanted to go straight-- the story is you wanted to go straight on and be a writer. And when you wrote The Wanderers, because the official story is that you wrote one chapter, as it were, that was then published in, Halpern published in-- In Antaeus. In Antaeus. The class hated it. And Dan Halpern, who became the head of the writing program for a while-- and he was a very well known and well regarded editor, has his own imprimatur at HarperCollins. Echo. Echo. He came up to me-- the class hated it because the first chapter of The Wanderers was about an all-out gang war between an Italian gang and a black gang. And I had the Italians win. It was the most politically incorrect thing to do. And teacher was a psychopath, who hated the fact that he had to teach these people half his age. Was this Richard Yates or somebody else? Yeah, Richard-- no, no, no. It was W.B. Yeats. No. I don't want to say his name. But he was the nastiest person, and charismatic, very funny. So you really didn't realize you have internal injuries until you went home. But he led this wolf pack on this, and everybody trashed it in the class. And it was the first thing I ever read in a writing program. I can't hardly remember how I felt. I was like startled and I believed everything. I also felt like, oh, well. And at the end of the class, Dan Halpern, who's taken a fiction class just because he knew he was going to be an administrator and he wanted to see how the whole writing program worked and all the seminars. He'd come up to me and he said, I want to publish. I have a magazine and I want to publish that story. I said, how much? I didn't even blink. I said, how much? And he looked at me and he said, well, it's a literary quarterly. We don't have a lot of money. We don't pay anybody. I went, oh. I thought when I said how much, I thought how much do I have to pay for him to publish? [LAUGHTER] He said, well, you will get seven free copies. OK. And I couldn't believe it. That was my first class. But it reminded me, Paul Schrader, filmmaker, once had a movie that opened at the Locarno Film Festival. The Locarno Film Festival has the largest outdoor screen in the world. And the film was The Comfort of Strangers. It was based on an Ian McEwan book. And I said, wow, how did it go? He said, well, they started booing in the opening credits and they never stopped until the screen went dark an hour and a half later. I said, oh, my god, how did you feel? He said, I felt they were wrong. I wasn't that bulletproof. But there is a little part of me that went-- In the workshop? Not a very little part of me that went-- But it's important to have that part. Anybody wants to be anything in the arts as a career, you need insane confidence. Because it's a loser's option of, some day I'm going to be driving a cab but I'm really a novelist. But at least I'm making a good $150 a week while I write this novel for 10 years. You really got to believe in yourself to put up with all the crap that you have to do. The most precious thing a writer can buy is time. But I don't know, if didn't get published so young, if it took 10 more years to publish my first book, I don't know if I would have had the stamina. I think I was very lucky to publish early simply because with my upbringing, I don't know if I could take it. Visiting my Cornell roommates, one guy is now vice president at some pudding company, or another guy is-- What's a pudding company? The Jell-O pudding, and Cosby was his client. Young Cosby. Pudding Pops. But people were doing real things. And I don't know if I could have-- I would have avoided every one of them. I would've been so-- oh, Price, you still writing that book? How's it going? Well, I'm flying in my taxi. that Harry Chapin song. I wanted to be some kind of like a pilot. I was driving a taxi but he still get so high when he's stoned. It's like that. I didn't want to be like this-- You didn't want to be that guy. Yeah. I just-- No. So then how did writing for film, how did that come about? And how is that different for you? Well, it's very different. I've done a lot of film. And now I'm doing a lot of TV. And the difference is, when you write a novel, it's all yours. Every decision, every word, every comma is yours. When you're working on a TV show, it's a collaborative medium. And you're just one of a number of people. So you write the script. And they're going to change the script for expediency's sake, or the budget's too big, or we lost the main actor. We have another actor but he doesn't want to play this type of guy, change the guy. So you write the script, but as I said ad nauseam, it's not a building, it's a blueprint. The building is not going to be the blueprint. The building is going to be building, depending on what kind of materials they can get, how the economy goes, well, we can't afford all these windows. So when you write a movie, no matter how good it is, it's never the movie that's made, and because you don't have any control over it. You're the first one in and everybody lands on top of you in the decision making process. And so you could be Shakespeare, if they had movies back then. And you got this great story about this boy and this girl, they go crazy for each other, blah, blah, blah. The families are fighting. And that's great. But you know what? Steven Segal wants to play the Capulet boss. We got a good shot at getting Brando for the Montague. And these kids, I know they're supposed to be 13, but there's this 22-year-old hot actress named Amber Heard. And we really think she would help the movie. And, well, Denzel wants to play Romeo. So we've got to really age up these characters. It's going to happen. It's not your choice. You're at the mercy. So when a movie or a TV show is a big success, and somebody comes to you and says, I loved your movie. I feel like they're congratulating eight people between me and them because it wasn't my movie, it was my script. And for a sense of pride and a sense of really wanting to be an artist unfettered by compromise, unfortunately, [INAUDIBLE] it's novels. Right. You got the freedom. And bluntly, honestly speaking, you can make money. There's no such thing as free money. But you can make money doing the other stuff. And sometimes if you get good at it, it can be like crack. You get so addicted to the pace, especially with TV. You write something, bang, two weeks later it's on. When you're writing a novel you could have cobwebs going from your forehead to the paper. It would be like that Dickensian birthday cake. And nobody would know. Hey, see Price around? I think he died. No, no, no, he's working on a novel. So you get addicted just metabolically. And frankly, writing a novel is so freaking isolating. That's one of the other reasons why I love reporting the novel. That was my social life, hanging out with all these psychopaths and people. At least I was talking to somebody instead of sitting in my room all day like I was in a garret. When you're making a movie it's like you're dealing with people, you're dealing with people. It was like antivenom for isolation. It has nothing to do with the ultimate finished product of the art. What's hard for me to come to terms with is writing is what I do. It's a calling, but it's not my entire life. And the older I get-- I was pretty unhappily in a domestic situation. I had two kids I loved. But I just felt very not where I was supposed to be in my heart. Not with the kids, but with the person I was married to in the world that we found ourselves in. One of the superficial but-- so all of my self-esteem and all my sense of satisfaction, when I wasn't dealing with my children, was tied up in the reception of my books. And my books became life or death for me in a very unhealthy way. So my life has changed. And I feel like, yeah, I love to write, I'll always write. But my life is so much more than writing. It's not like if I don't write today I'll die. If I open up a paper and there's a review of something I live and die by that review. I don't feel it anymore. It's not like I don't give a damn, but I kind of don't give a damn. That's great. But that goes back to what you were saying, the Paul Schrader moment. In a way, that's where you want to be. I just feel if people like it I'm happy. If people don't like it I'm not not happy. I'm sort of unhappy. I said, it's too bad evolution hasn't allowed humans to live 400 years because it takes about 380 years to figure this shit out. I'm having one of these, oh, now I'm going a high get it. Everything is in its proper place. [INAUDIBLE] believes in we're going to be cryogenically frozen, like Walt Disney and Ted Williams. And we're going to come back fresher and stronger but with all our wisdom. I don't know. I'm just going to play it minute by minute. I'm wondering, would you be willing to read a little for us now? Maybe. OK. I'm going to read. What I discovered, unfortunately and unhappily, is I love to read, I love to read more than people love to listen. So I'm going to read something pretty short. That's paradoxical, or contradictory. That's contradictory. That's like a Marx Brothers thing. Why a pair of ducks? Sorry. Innuendo. Husband comes in the door, I go out-- I got that all messed up. Your husband leaves, I go innuendo. Sorry. Never mind. Oh, that was really tedious. So sorry. Speak, oh tablet. OK. This is from the end of The Whites. I also learned, never read a passage that involves two people, more than two people because nobody knows who the hell is talking about who. And it takes a year to set it up. And people have completely forgot to set up. As you're reading, you see people doing this with their phones. Oh, look, I've got a new friend on Facebook. This is from the end of-- and it's basically a funeral oration. One of the main characters in The Whites is a retired detective named John Pavlicek. And Pavlicek was a very powerful-- is a very powerful presence. He is kind of a natural leader of any group of individuals he's with. And Pavlicek is now retired. He's made a lot of money. And he had a son who was a total screw up when he was a teenager. And then he finally started straightening himself out. And then he found out he was diagnosed as having a leukemia at 21 that normally people get when they're in their late 60s. And he dies. And his name is John, Jr. And I'm going to leave out as much description as I can. So it's a whole bunch of cops at this funeral. And I'm going to refer to the dead son. "Junior had apparently had been utterly indifferent to the notion of any kind of god. And so Pavlicek, no Bible beater himself, passed on having any kind of religious celebrant. And instead, turned the program over to his son's friends, who served up a half a dozen well-spoken homages, an acoustical duet on "I'll Fly Away," and a teary solo of "Angels Among Us," sung by a young woman who had been the closest thing Junior had had to a girlfriend in the last year of his life. When the woman returned to his seat a retired detective from Bronx homicide not on the program spontaneously got up and sang and a cappella version of Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven," which had half the room weeping like babies. And I'm jumping. "It ended with the old African-American father of the funeral director doing a soft gospel singing in his reedy voice. He was seeing singing seemingly-- sorry-- he was seemingly singing directly to Junior's father as he closed out the concert with "The Battle is Not Yours." And then it was this time. Pavlicek rising from the front row, giving his back to the room as the silently leaned over the coffin." This is one of the observers. "Billy could hear him whispering something to his son but too indistinctly for anyone to make out. Then finally, turning to the assembled, the expression on his face near homicidal. 'I don't know if anybody came here to celebrate John, Jr.'s life, but I certainly didn't,' he said, gripping the podium as if he wanted to crush it. 'I am here before you. I am here among you to rage and curse god for the arbitrarily murdering fuck that he is. Not that I'm the first parent ever to feel that way. And to grant myself at least one afternoon where suicide would be logistically difficult. You know, you read the papers after a young man dies in this city. Someone's always saying, he was just starting to get his life together. He was just talking about going back to school, getting his GED, getting a job, talking about being a real father to his daughter, talking about getting away from the hood, about enlisting, about marrying his fiance. He was just about to do this, he was just about to do that. All these justs, whether they were true or not, because they all died young and just was all they had. Tomorrow was all they had. And the same could be said for my boy. He was just about to finish his schooling. He was just about to find his own way in the world, just about to show me the man that now, now he'll never get to be. The man that over the years would have null and voided every hardship, every heartache I've ever endured in my life. You want to hear what a great kid he was? How his heart was pure gold, how he loved life, loved people, loved the challenge, all that boilerplate et cetera, et cetera. Well, those of you who want to hear all of that, consider it said. The fact of the matter is was that he was just about to be and now he's not. There's some people in this room right now,' Pavlicek said, 'who gave 20 years or more to the job, myself included. We've seen it, all handled it all. And when a young person dies, we've all walked up the stairs, knocked on the doors and delivered the news, between us, to an army of parents. We've caught them on their way to the floor, carried them into the bedroom or living room, then gone into their kitchens and brought them water. Over the years, an ocean of water, glass by glass by glass. And so, after all of that, we think we understand what it must feel like to be one of those parents. But we don't. We can't. I still can't. But I'm getting there. Thank you for coming.'" I feel like I'm saying that to the audience. Thank you for-- It's just short. I guess pretty corny after that. I just a voices thing. [APPLAUSE] So this novel, The Whites, you published initially under a pseudonym. See, that's where the problem gets deeper. I need money. And my agent, Lynn Nesbit-- I didn't want to write anymore screenplays because they became-- all anybody wanted was a Marvel hero adaption. They weren't even interest in DC Comics. And here I am in my late 50s, early 60s, and I'm auditioning to write the screenplay about the Platinum Neuromancer, the Turquoise Surfer. I'm too old for Marvel comics. But the executives I was having to pitch to-- this is another word I hate-- were all younger than my daughters. It is humiliating. I would say, well, I think the blind nut's action, the Surfer with the guy with the telescope in his head, I think he should-- and then, here comes Farto, the villain. You know his super power. And they go, wow, it's great, writing down everything I said. And at the end of the thing, at the end of the spiel, I'd give them all my ideas, and i can hear the scritching of pencils on the other side, writing down every iota of thought I had on the subject. And at the end of this I was winded. It was like an hour. I was going, whoo, it is fantastic, fantastic. Oh, fuck it. Who cares? I got a job. And he said, we should really get him on the phone with Mitch. Who the hell's Mitch? It's their boss. They have no power to say yes or no. They only have the power to say no or maybe. Wow, you got to talk to Mitch. So I've got to set up for Mitch. I talk another hour on the phone with Mitch a week later. Mitch is going, brilliant, brilliant. I heard you were a genius, but here it is in living color. And I want to tell you something. You just know, you need to talk to Sarah. And we go up the pike, and up the pike. And here I am, dancing like a marionette with a busted string to these children. And I went all way up the chain to Allison. And it turns out they gave the gig to somebody else, who never written a screenplay before, was 24 years old, and would do whatever they said for a fraction of the price. I said, that's it. You asked me what time it is and you're going to have the whole history of Bolivar watch factory. So I'm go into Lynn Nesbit, my agent, and said, I'm losing my mind. I'm really behind in my bills. And she says, well, why don't you write a novel under a pseudonym, like John Banville and Benjamin Black? There was this wave of like, Hi, it's me, but it's not me. I'm going to have more fun. And so I said, I can get you as much money as you would get for a screenplay. I said, great. I'll do it. So I figured out some kind of crime book. That was going to be The Whites. And she said, oh, by the way, if it takes more than three months to write this thing it's not worth it. I said, got it. Cut to four years later. The Whites, the end. My pants fell off, I'm more bald on this side of my head from pulling my hair out. How do you write down-- you write the way you write. No, write stupider. Write gliber-er-er. And you just write the way you write. And so that was one hell of a three-month-- So the book came out. And I thought it was a quote, unquote "genre book." And so I really wanted to keep the pen name because I didn't want this book to be judged in comparison with one of my more serious books. I didn't want to-- How did it feel different to you? I'm just curious. Because it's-- Because it followed the rules. That thing of all genres is that there are rules. And if you break the rules people don't know what the hell this is. They don't know what to call the book. Is it a thriller, is it a philosophical meditation on human mortality? So I said fine. It was part of the easy part. This has to happen. But how do you write less complex characters? If you don't believe in good guys and bad guys, if what you cherish-- like every novelist should cherish is the gray not the black or the white, but the complexity of every biped on earth. But I was worried that because it fit the conventions and the genre, let me keep the pen name. It's just like a-- but everybody knew it was me. So it was like pulling, I actually said, pulling a rabbit out of a glass hat. Here he is. Don't tell anybody. [INAUDIBLE] So it is ridiculous. Because it said in the reviews even. Well, what happened is I'd start reading reviews and it was like, whoa, hey, it's a good book. I said, hmm, why did I ever put it-- But it's a lesser book. I honestly think it's a lesser book. As good as it might be, and just as good as it was received, well as it was received, I think it's a lesser book. Because it's about solving, aha, they're the guys that did it. Crime is the only genre where the reader is in competition with the writer because they want to outsmart the writer. And I don't know the difference between that and word jumbles or Friday New York Times crossword puzzles. It's supposed to be you just surrendered to a book. I feel like I surrendered to this book as I surrendered to the others. And it's true that it's plotted. I you think about a crime novel, it's got to have a revelation. And I hate revelations. And I hate answers. Because life is open ended. There are no answers. The crime genre requires if not immortal answers, solutions to the mystery. And hopefully, you got there before the reader did. And it's just no way to run an airline. Who the hell wants to write like that when the whole world is out there in all it's unanswerableness? Yeah. But humanly, the characters are there and all their unanswerableness. I try. But the point is, this time I really went right to the genre. And that's why it was more of like, I killed myself on it, but it was more like, well, what I do now? And you consult the guide book. In a minute we'll open it up to questions from the audience. But I just wanted to ask you also about The Night Of, which you are not just the main writer of, but also a producer. So it's your project, it was your project-- Yeah. I wrote all the episodes. In a way completely differently perhaps from some of your other television. Yes and no because the co-creator was also the director. So things will get changed. He had more power than I did. So he's not only changing things on the set, determining on circumstances, but he's changing things because he's also a writer, he's a screenwriter. So the worst thing in the world is for a writer to write for a writer because they're never going to respect what you wrote. And things happen. I can see the character a certain way but he wants to cast someone that's going to play an entirely opposite way. And it's his decision. It's better to hire this individual and let her or him do his thing. It will serve the story so much better. I mean, I love what you wrote, but now we're dealing with putting flesh on the page. Yeah, it was mine. But there's always this element of like no, no, no, no what do you do, what did you do? But then there is also stuff that you didn't write that's in there. And you'll go, wow, he really nailed that. I don't even touch that. So it's a give and take. At best it's a give and take. At worst it's all take. And you go home with elephant ears inside out, feeling angry and I'll never do that again, till the next time. I realized that there was a thing way back that I wanted to ask you. There were two paths in a wood. And it was about research, and how you do your research. And you said, it was an excuse to spend all this time with people. But it involves calling people up and going-- Sometimes the things you see in here, the most non sequitorious things you hear, and the most meaningless gestures, it's like heroine of insight. And I don't do research, I hang out. I'm not going to go back to my own life. Like somebody once said, a lot of post-World War II American fiction is vaguely unhappy in Connecticut. I was vaguely unhappy in the Bronx. I don't want to do that. I don't want to write about myself, except how I filter in through my sensibility. I had notebooks, I had notebooks. I'd scribble this down, scribble that down. There would be a pile like Rain Man. And I never look at the notebooks because I figured whatever I remember is the important things. If I don't remember it, looking up my indecipherable handwriting is going-- Right. What's the point? OK, what did the guy say? Because I don't know if this word is gosh or damn. You go out there and you don't even know what you're looking for. I don't go out there with a hit list of questions or goals. I go out there just to be with these people. You think it was a nothing day or a real waste of time. And then 4 o'clock in the morning you shoot upright in bed and you go, oh, my god. What do he say? And all of a sudden, it glink, glink, glink, glink, glink. And I love it. I just love hanging. It's part of writing. Like I said, once again, it's not like you have a goal of like these big game animals you want a bag. You're just going out there to see what happens. The danger of that is because it's so addicting and for me it was so much fun, I feel like I'm a student, I'm a perpetual student. And just talking to anybody on the street in any situation I feel like I'm learning. I know this sounds a little goody, goody, but it's true. The danger is you can get so addicted to this game that you forget to write. It's like trying to drink the ocean with a colander. There's just too much world out there. And it's really hard to stop. I remember, when I was two years on the street for Clockers, my editor said, well, that's great, that's great. I tell them all this amazing stuff. And he said, well, let me ask you a question. What's the first sentence of the book? And I immediately had a speech defect. Well, I don't know enough about the welfare system. I don't know about the public defender. Just start writing. You're a lifeguard who's a little bit afraid of sea creatures so you make it so musclebound with experience that you can't swim. Just stop, stop. Stop pumping iron, stop filling up notebooks. Just write. Anybody can go out and observe. It's like taking in all his life, and now you got to shape it into some baggy but logical beholding of a world, where everything out there is like chaos and pinballs. And so the art is taking all that stuff and molding it into a story. And the most dangerous thing you can do, that I ever done is I start writing. Never, ever go back out on the street. Guaranteed somebody is going to say something that's going to make you doubt everything you've ever known. It's fine, you're fine. Get away, get away before it's too late. So you're writing and then you start talking to somebody. And it's so dangerous. Like in seventh grade science they try to teach you about super saturation. So they have beaker water. It's clear water. And then they drop something in, it turns violet. That's what going out there-- all of a sudden it's clear water. You go out there one time too many and it's ink. And you can't see. You lose all your confidence. It's like being bold but being fragile too because you've got to protect yourself. Thank you. I'm wondering, I'm thinking that we should see if people in the audience would like to ask a question or two. I just want to say before people ask questions, ask a question. It's happened once too often. People get up and they have something to say. At which point, after 10, 15 minutes, you go, what's the question? And then they ask some question that they never meant to ask just to couch it as a question. It makes everybody a captive audience. So I would love to take questions. Yes. [INAUDIBLE] I'm sorry. Hang on. There's a mic coming. Hi. First of all, thanks for being here. I appreciate it. You talk about how your approach to writing changes when you're writing for the screen as opposed to when you're writing for a novel, for a page. The question was, what's the difference in writing on the page, screen writing and novel? Novels have language, sentences. Novels have prose. Screenplays have no prose. They are like telegrams to the director. This guy does this, she says that. He does this, she does that. End of scene. Next scene. Two sentences set up the location, the move. OK. Boy. Blah, blah, blah. Girl. blah-de-blah-de-blah-blah. Boy. Blah-de-blah. They start throwing kitchen appliances at each other. Cut. Next scene. Exterior, night. Interior, day. Blup, blup, blup. It's like Post-It notes. [INAUDIBLE] development. I guess my question was more development wise, if I can use that term, which comes from TV and film making. When you're going into conceptualizing, developing a screenplay versus conceptualizing and developing a book. I guess your approach to plotting and to structure in that way rather than the actual writing of a scene versus-- Well, I think what happens is the difference in consciousness is the clock. When you're writing a novel there's no narrative clock. When you're writing a script, or a television pilot, if you go over say an hour and 50 minutes you're dead. If you go over 55 minutes you're dead. So you're writing with one eye on the clock. He wants page 40. So you have to be exactly conscious of where you are vis-a-vis the length of the project you're writing. Novels, you could write a 9,000-page book. The only requirement is that it's compelling and readable and says something. And you could be more amorphous when you're writing novels because you can have two people sitting on a bench talking for 20 pages. And once again, the conversation, all it has, the conversation has to be scintillating or interesting at least. You can't do that for film because it's not a written medium. It's a visual medium. It's a two-M dimensional medium. You hear and you see. Like I said, there's no I wonder as I wander. In writing a script, you have to know your story. And there's no room for, gee. You have to know before you start, because you're in such a small phone booth, exactly what the story is. Because you can't wander off after 20 pages and decide you don't like your main character in the screenplay. He'll kill you. A novel, some people just write novels from sentence to sentence, see where it takes them. But time is money, and there's a lot of people waiting for a script. And it's got to be tight, crisp, and go where it's going up front. And that's all the difference in the world. Thank you. It feels as though the script writing has more restrictions on you. I just think, do you feel as if you can get your narrative voice into a character's mouth, or not? Oh, I can. But once again, it's my voice. But who knows what the ultimate interpretation that the actor will have or who the actor will be? Or what the director wants, what the studio wants? That's what I'm saying. You're the first person in and everybody piles on top of you. And at the end of the day, you're lucky if you feel you recognize half of what you wrote in the final product. But if you know that going in you're OK with that? Well, like I said, no such thing as free money. You to make money, this is what you got to do. We were joking-- Is it painful, though? Hmm? Is it painful, or do you just get past that-- It used to be painful when I was younger because I was so excited about working in movies and working with people that I've watched since I was a teenager on screen. The older I get, I'm more philosophical. This is what I do for money. Because my name is on it I'll do the best I can do. But I know the lay of the land. I'm not going to get my knickers in a twist. This is what they're going to do. And I have an agreement with myself. If this happened to me-- because movies, you can write the best thing in the world. But they have a change of studio heads and there's a whole new slate all of sudden. When I did something for CBS, they decided halfway through the series, CBS does not want to dramas anymore. Dramas aren't making it. Every drama has to be converted to action. What am I, like Hopalong Cassidy? I mean, it's like, Jesus. You don't want me to write action. You can't tell me mid-stream more bells than whistles. I'm not going to give you bells and whistles to begin with. I forgot the question. Am I good with that? I realize, I want certain things in life. I want things in life for my family. I want things in life for myself. I want to enjoy myself. Everything's a compromise. If I want certain things there are certain things I have to do. It's still writing. Whatever I write, no matter how much I complain, and nobody feels sorry for that poor little rich girl, but no matter how much I complain I'm still writing. I'm getting paid for writing. It might not be what I would like to write, but I'll make it into something I want it write. It's called first draft. After that it's hell. I mean first draft of a script. Yes. Somebody. I was wondering if you could describe how your reading has changed over time. Because I know that you mentioned that once you discovered more New York and urban centric writers that you really found your voice. But now that maybe you have a better sense of what your voice is than you did then, if your reading has expanded to like other perspectives. And if that's maybe like-- Has my reading broadened? Yeah, it has because I don't need them anymore. I'm the one that the ones coming up read, in that sense. If you're looking for somebody that reminds you of you, if you were like me, I'm the guy, among others. My reading has always been eclectic. Not all reading is for inspiration. It's because you love to read. When I'm reading to find myself, that's more hunting. I'm not hunting anymore, I'm reading for pleasure. What? So what are you reading? What am I reading? Sorry, I didn't-- Is that Spanish Armada there? I read a hot book about Sir Francis Drake and didn't decide to follow up on it. I don't know what I'm reading. I'm reading everything. Because of ebooks, if you have a really good cup of coffee, or god forbid, 5 milligrams of Adderall, and you go to Amazon, you're going to wind up buying seven books in about seven minutes. You're going to read maybe one. You're going to read maybe a couple of pages of another one. And you're going to look at the other five and say, why the hell did I buy this? What's this about? Ebooks has ruined my concentration. There's so much I want to read. I could be reading anything. But I'm also reading four other books, and I'll probably never finish any of them. There's a sadness also. Is that, when you get older you realize you're never going to read the writers you always meant to read. You're never going to a lot of the writers you always meant to read because you don't want to read them. Your rhythm, your metabolism. There are certain books you love when you're 20, in your 20s. And it's like learning a foreign language. Your brain is open to this book at this time in your life. And as you get older, I know what I like, I know what I want. I know what makes me curious. So god help me, I'll probably never read the Mayor of Casterbridge. I'll never read a million books that I'm embarrassed to say I haven't read. I want to, but time is short. There are a lot of books out there. And it's kind of like a depressing thought. Yes. [INAUDIBLE] Price, Claire mentioned John Le Carre. I wonder if you could name a few other writers, who like you, have kind of walked with a genre and yet gone outside it wildly too? Basically, are there writers in that particular genre? No, not in that particular genre, but writers like you who've-- [INTERPOSING VOICES] Writers like you who really have a tricky and great relationship with genre and have gone beyond it in great ways. I'd say Le Carre's one, and you're another. Are there others, do you think? I'm sure there are. I can't think of any right now, but I'm sure there are. Listen, Joseph Conrad wrote spy books. If you want to think about, Dostoyevsky wrote probably one of the best murder mysteries, although you know up front who did it, which is what I prefer. Look at the science fiction being written by Doris-- there are people that use genres, but they're using genres. It's not like they're dyed in the wool, loyal card carrying members of that genre. Would you call Cormac McCarthy a Western writer? You Well, speaking more narrowly, what about writers working as you do with police and dead bodies, and yet writing these novels that transcend. Are there others? All I can say is there are a lot of people in the crime genre that are really great writing crime genre. But they're writing crime genre. I don't know too many crime writers who bust out of the corral. The thing about crime writing is you can't remember who did what to what. I might read The Big Sleep or Farewell, My Lovely or The Maltese Falcon. Who cares who did what to what? You read crime for the narrative voice and for the atmosphere. And for creating a memorable central character and evoking a time and a place. Everything else is popcorn. Many questions. Sir at the back. Yes. Hi. Thanks. Could you speak a little bit about the role that drugs play in the writing process, if they play a role for you? In drugs? Drugs. Like you mentioned cocaine briefly, Adderall. I'm wondering if that's something that does play a role in the writing process in terms of creativity or otherwise? Even William Burroughs said he's never written any a damn page that was any good on drugs. Apologies to Thomas De Quincy. I think drugs are the enemy of real creativity. Not to sound like a moralizer, but I'm haunted by my own experience with drugs. But when I try to write on that-- Adderall, I do take Adderall because sometimes I just feel like I don't want to write about. But with Adderall, it'll just give me a little bit of a boost. And so when I open it I get lost in working really fast. But my writing is haunted by drugs because of my own experience. Clockers, I was just sniffing coke, like party coke when crack came along. I finally figured out how to make cocaine affordable to poor people. And it was 10 times deadlier. This cocaine is god's way of telling you you're making too much money. But this is not coke. I was so haunted by my own years on cocaine, when crack became a phenomena, and it is the quintessence of not the end of the world in a white rock. You couldn't read the sports pages back in the late '80s where crack-- even you'd say, well, Yankees 4 crack 3. Crack had just drafted a new crack head. It was pervasive. And it just haunted me. And that drove me to write Clockers. Like I said, autobiography seeps in. I'll tell you my experience trying to write on coke. Quite bluntly, I was 30 years old. I do like to get me started. I do a line, I'd write a line, I'd write a paragraph. I'd go, that's a great paragraph. Let's celebrate. Write two more lines. That was a great two more lines. Anybody up for a boop? Write one line. All right. Those are great three words. Let's have a bump. And pretty soon, I started out allegedly snorting coke in order to write. And then it got so horribly perverted I was writing as an excuse to do coke. And at one point I'm working on something. I had 100 pages and each page was great. But each page was for a different book. So it made no sense. It was too. It's like an oscillating beer sign by the jukebox. Listen, there are serious drugs that need to be taken by people who are suffering from stuff that makes them drop down a hole that nobody can understand if they haven't had that malady. [INAUDIBLE] that type of drugs, recreational drugs. Alcohol? Nope. You can't do any of that stuff and keep a coherent flowing mind. And that's been my experience. That's it. I wouldn't even go for a second cup of coffee because I'll just buy seven more books on ebooks, instead of writing. Now I've got 14 books I'll never read. Maybe one last question. Sir here in the front. Actually do you-- no, sir, go ahead. Do you have any examples of scripts you've written and there's a big change either like there was a great change, or like, oh, my god, I can't believe I did that? Could you be more specific? I'm not quite-- Like if you wrote a script, and then it got produced, let's say. I don't know. Was Color of Money was the protagonist a 12-year-old girl originally, or something like that? No. No. That's screenwriting. And TV writing is all business. You don't have the whim, you don't have the power of whimsy to change your mind because you're getting paid by people who are creating a product. And they know the reason why you're writing it is that they gave it thumbs up. Yeah, this sounds great. Go do it. And you can't come in, you know, I decided that 12-year-old girl, she should be a 400-year-old man from another planet. It works so much better. They're going to look at you and you're done. You can't do that. Whereas, there are some great stories about writers who started out doing one thing and halfway through they switch from a car to an airplane. I had a writing teacher, who was a mid-century British novelist, Alan Sillitoe, who wrote The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, and Saturday Night and Sunday Morning. And some of these books were part of the black and white British cinema of the late '50s and early '60s, And when he was writing Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, Richard Harris played the main character. He said, the main character that he intended was a sailor. And he comes into a bar, I think it was in Nottingham. So he comes into the bar and he challenges any of these factory lugs to a drink off. I can drink any man under the table. He said, well, now I have to create a character to take up the challenge. So he starts writing. These guys are drinking and talking, and this and that. All of a sudden, he realizes, he likes this guy a lot better than the sailor. So he finished the scene by having the sailor pass out and get dragged out of the pub and the book. And it became about the guy that took up the challenge. But you can do that with a novel. It's yours. It's yours until you surrender it. Are there any times when a director or producer, whoever, will change something and it was a pleasant surprise? Well, OK, glad you asked. Constantly. You write a line, you write, who do you think you are anyhow? And it's the way [INAUDIBLE] Who do you think you are, anyhow? But I'll tell you a story. There's a great novelist named Leonard Gardner. And he wrote a book called Fat City, which is about a tank town boxers, like night of the tomato can boxers. And was Stockton. It was Steinbeck country. And it was a beautiful, beautiful novel. Kind of Hemingway-esque but better. And I read that book when it came out. I loved it. And I was at a party in San Francisco. And John Huston made a movie out of that with Jeff Bridges and I forgot who else. Stacy Keach. Hmm? Stacy Keach. Right, right. Exactly. So I meet Leonard Gardner at a party. And here's what you should never say to a novelist at a party, especially when there's alcohol. So what did you think of the movie they made of your book? [LAUGHTER] So I asked him that question. And he's built like a whippet. I think he used to box himself at some point. He was just a coil. He wasn't even a man. He was just a coil of muscle and tension and quiver. But when I asked that question he literally started shaking. I thought his temples were going to explode. He started cursing out John Huston. That son of a bitch. Any time he thought he could he could score a girl he gave her an extra line that I didn't write. And he did this, and he did that. And it was like talking to the Ancient Mariner on steroids. And I said, oh, my god. And I was thinking of adapting one of my own books. I had an offer. And after that, I said, god damn, I'm never going to touch my books, which I should have stuck to. And I said, god, I'm so sorry, Leonard. What are you doing now? I'm writing a script for John Huston. [LAUGHTER] And I went, oh, my god. Well, perhaps that's a good place for us to stop. Richard, thank you so much. [APPLAUSE] It was [INAUDIBLE]


Early life

52–55 Newington Green, including the houses of Price and Rogers. This is the oldest brick terrace in London.
52–55 Newington Green, including the houses of Price and Rogers. This is the oldest brick terrace in London.

Richard Price was the son of Rhys Price, a dissenting minister. His mother was Catherine Richards, his father's second wife. Richard was born at Tyn Ton, a farmhouse in the village of Llangeinor, Glamorgan, Wales.[1][2] He was educated privately, then at Neath and Pen-twyn. He studied under Vavasor Griffiths at Chancefield, Talgarth.[3]

He then left Wales for England, where he spent the rest of his life. He studied with John Eames and the dissenting academy in Moorfields, London.[3][4] Leaving the academy in 1744, Price became chaplain and companion to George Streatfield at Stoke Newington, then a village just north of London. He also held the lectureship at Old Jewry, where Samuel Chandler was minister.[3][5] Streatfield's death and that of an uncle in 1757 improved his circumstances, and on 16 June 1757 he married Sarah Blundell, originally of Belgrave in Leicestershire.[6]

Newington Green congregation

In 1758 Price moved to Newington Green, and took up residence in No. 54 the Green, in the middle of a terrace even then a hundred years old. (The building still survives as London's oldest brick terrace, dated 1658.) Price became minister to the Newington Green meeting-house, a church that continues today as Newington Green Unitarian Church. Among the congregation were Samuel Vaughan and his family.[7] Price had Thomas Amory as preaching colleague from 1770.[8]

When, in 1770, Price became morning preacher at the Gravel Pit Chapel in Hackney, he continued his afternoon sermons at Newington Green. He also accepted duties at the meeting house in Old Jewry.

Friends and associates

Newington Green neighbours

A close friend of Price was Thomas Rogers, father of Samuel Rogers, a merchant turned banker who had married into a long-established Dissenting family and lived at No. 56 the Green. More than once, Price and the elder Rogers rode on horseback to Wales.[9] Another was the Rev. James Burgh, author of The Dignity of Human Nature and Thoughts on Education, who opened his Dissenting Academy on the green in 1750 and sent his pupils to Price's sermons.[10] Price, Rogers, and Burgh formed a dining club, eating at each other's houses in rotation.[11] Price and Rogers joined the Society for Constitutional Information.[12]

Bowood circle

The "Bowood circle" was a group of liberal intellectuals around Lord Shelburne, and named after Bowood House, his seat in Wiltshire. Price met Shelburne in or shortly after 1767,[13] or was introduced by his wife Elizabeth Montagu, a leader of the Blue Stocking intellectual women, after the publication of his Four Dissertations in that year.[14]

In 1771 Price had Shelburne employ Thomas Jervis.[15] Another member of the circle was Benjamin Vaughan.[16] In 1772 Price recruited Joseph Priestley, who came to work for Shelburne as librarian from 1773.[17][18][19]

"Club of Honest Whigs"

The group that Benjamin Franklin christened the "Club of Honest Whigs" was an informal dining group around John Canton. It met originally in St Paul's Churchyard, at the London Coffee House; in 1771 it moved to Ludgate Hill. Price and Sir John Pringle were members, as were Priestley and Benjamin Vaughan.[20]


At home, or at his church itself, Price was visited by Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Thomas Paine;[21] other American politicians such as Ambassador John Adams, who later became the second president of the United States, and his wife Abigail; and British politicians such as Lord Lyttleton, Earl Stanhope (known as "Citizen Stanhope"), and William Pitt the Elder. He knew also the philosophers David Hume and Adam Smith. Among activists, the prison reformer John Howard counted Price as a close friend;[22] also there were John Horne Tooke, and John and Ann Jebb.[9]


Joseph Priestley, Richard Price and Theophilus Lindsay in the pulpit, in a 1790 engraving satirising the campaign to have the Test Act repealed
Joseph Priestley, Richard Price and Theophilus Lindsay in the pulpit, in a 1790 engraving satirising the campaign to have the Test Act repealed

Others acknowledged their debt to Price, such as the Unitarian theologians William Ellery Channing and Theophilus Lindsey. When Lindsey resigned his living and moved to London to create an avowedly Unitarian congregation Price played a role in finding and securing the premises for what became Essex Street Chapel.[23] At the end of the 1770s Price and Lindsey were concerned about the contraction of dissent, at least in the London area.[24] With Andrew Kippis and others, they established the Society for Promoting Knowledge of the Scriptures in 1783.[25]

Price and Priestley took diverging views on morals and metaphysics. In 1778 appeared a published correspondence, A Free Discussion on the Doctrines of Materialism and Philosophical Necessity. Price maintained, in opposition to Priestley, the free agency of man and the unity and immateriality of the human soul. Price's opinions were Arian, Priestley's were Socinian.[26]

Mary Wollstonecraft

Mary Wollstonecraft moved her fledgling school for girls from Islington to Newington Green in 1784,[27] with patron Mrs Burgh, widow of Price's friend James Burgh.[28] Wollstonecraft, originally an Anglican, attended Price's services, where believers of all kinds were welcomed.[29] The Rational Dissenters appealed to Wollstonecraft: they were hard-working, humane, critical but uncynical, and respectful towards women,[30] and proved kinder to her than her own family.[29] Price is believed to have helped her with money to go to Lisbon to see her close friend Fanny Blood.[31]

Wollstonecraft was then unpublished: through Price she met the radical publisher Joseph Johnson. The ideas Wollstonecraft ingested from the sermons at Newington Green pushed her towards a political awakening.[32] She later published A Vindication of the Rights of Men (1790), a response to Burke's denunciation of the French Revolution and attack on Price; and A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), extending Price's arguments about equality to women: Tomalin argues that just as the Dissenters were "excluded as a class from education and civil rights by a lazy-minded majority", so too were women, and the "character defects of both groups" could be attributed to this discrimination.[33] Price appears 14 times in the diary of William Godwin, Wollstonecraft's later husband.[34]

The American Revolution

The support Price gave to the colonies of British North America in the American War of Independence made him famous. In early 1776 he published Observations on the Nature of Civil Liberty, the Principles of Government, and the Justice and Policy of the War with America. Sixty thousand copies of this pamphlet were sold within days; and a cheap edition was issued which sold twice as many copies.[35] It commended Shelburne's proposals for the colonies, and attacked the Declaratory Act.[36] Amongst its critics were Adam Ferguson,[37] William Markham, John Wesley, and Edmund Burke; and Price rapidly became one of the best known men in England. He was presented with the freedom of the city of London, and it is said that his pamphlet had a part in determining the Americans to declare their independence.[35] A second pamphlet on the war with America and the debts of Great Britain, followed in the spring of 1777.[6]

Price's name became identified with the cause of American independence. Franklin was a close friend; Price corresponded with Turgot; and in the winter of 1778 he was invited by the Continental Congress to go to America and assist in the financial administration of the states, an offer he turned down. In 1781 he, solely with George Washington, received the degree of Doctor of Laws from Yale College.[6] He preached to crowded congregations, and, when Lord Shelburne became Prime Minister in 1782, he was offered the post of his private secretary. The same year he was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[38]

Price wrote also Observations on the importance of the American Revolution and the means of rendering it a benefit to the World (1784). Well received by Americans, it suggested that the greatest problem facing Congress was its lack of central powers.[39]

French Revolution controversy

Smelling out a Rat, a caricature of Price with Edmund Burke's vision looking over his shoulder, by James Gillray, 1790.
Smelling out a Rat, a caricature of Price with Edmund Burke's vision looking over his shoulder, by James Gillray, 1790.

Both Price and Priestley, who were millennialists, saw the French Revolution of 1789 as fulfilment of prophecy.[40] On the 101st anniversary of the Glorious Revolution, 4 November 1789, Price preached a sermon entitled A Discourse on the Love of Our Country, and ignited the pamphlet war known as the Revolution Controversy, on the political issues raised by the French Revolution. Price drew a bold parallel between the Glorious Revolution of 1688 (the one celebrated by the London Revolution Society dinner) and the French Revolution of 1789, arguing that the former had spread enlightened ideas and paved the way for the second one. Price exhorted the public to divest themselves of national prejudices and embrace "universal benevolence", a concept of cosmopolitanism that entailed support for the French Revolution and the progress of "enlightened" ideas.[41] It has been called "one of the great political debates in British history".[42] At the dinner of the London Revolution Society that followed, Price also suggested that the Society should send an address to the National Assembly in Paris.[43] This was the start of a correspondence with many Jacobin clubs in Paris and elsewhere in France. Though the London Revolution Society and the Jacobin clubs agreed on basic tenets, their correspondence displayed a sense of growing misunderstanding as the French Jacobins grew more radical and their British correspondents, including Price, were not prepared to condone political violence.[44] The Society's Committee of Correspondence, which included Michael Dodson, took up the contact that was made with French Jacobins, though Price himself withdrew.[45][46] At the same time, the Revolution Society joined with the Society for Constitutional Information in December 1789, at Price's insistence, in condemning the Test Act and Corporation Act as defacing the British polity, with their restrictions on Dissenters.[47]

Burke's rebuttal in Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790) attacked Price, whose friends Paine and Wollstonecraft leapt into the fray to defend their mentor; William Coxe was another opponent, disagreeing with Price on interpretation of "our country".[48] In 1792 Christopher Wyvill published Defence of Dr. Price and the Reformers of England, a plea for reform and moderation.[49]

Later life

Memorial to Price in Newington Green Unitarian Church
Memorial to Price in Newington Green Unitarian Church
Tomb of Price and his wife Sarah in Bunhill Fields burial ground
Tomb of Price and his wife Sarah in Bunhill Fields burial ground

In 1767 Price received the honorary degree of D.D. from the University of Aberdeen, and in 1769 another from the University of Glasgow.[3][6] In 1786 Sarah Price died: there were no children by the marriage.[6]

In the same year Price with other Dissenters founded Hackney New College.[50] On 19 April 1791 Price died.[6] His funeral was conducted at Bunhill Fields and his funeral sermon was preached by Joseph Priestley.

His extended family included William Morgan, the actuary, and his brother George Cadogan Morgan (1754–1798), dissenting minister and scientist, both sons of Richard Price's sister Sarah by William Morgan, a surgeon of Bridgend, Glamorganshire.


In 1744 Price published a volume of sermons.[6] It was, however, as a writer on financial and political questions that Price became widely known. Price rejected traditional Christian notions of original sin and moral punishment, preaching the perfectibility of human nature,[51] and he wrote on theological questions. He also wrote on finance, economics, probability, and life insurance.

Thomas Bayes

Price was asked to become literary executor of Thomas Bayes the mathematician.[52] He edited Bayes's major work An Essay towards solving a Problem in the Doctrine of Chances (1763), which appeared in Philosophical Transactions, and contains Bayes' Theorem, one of the fundamental results of probability theory.[53] Price wrote an introduction to the paper which provides some of the philosophical basis of Bayesian statistics. In 1765 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in recognition of his work on the legacy of Bayes.[52][54]


Observations on reversionary payments, 1772.

From about 1766 Price worked with the Society for Equitable Assurances.[3] In 1769, in a letter to Benjamin Franklin, he made some observations on life expectancy, and the population of London, which were published in the Philosophical Transactions of that year.[6] Price's views included the detrimental effects of large cities, and the need for some constraints on commerce and movement of population.[55]

In particular Price took an interest in the figures of Franklin and Ezra Stiles on the colonial population in America, thought in some places to be doubling every 22 years.[56] A debate on the British population had begun in the 1750s (William Brakenridge, Richard Forster, Robert Wallace who pointed to manufacturing and smallpox as factors reducing population,[57] William Bell[58]), but was inconclusive in the face of a lack of sound figures. The issue was of interest to European writers generally.[59] The quantitative form of Price's theory on the contrasting depopulation in England and Wales amounted to an approximate drop in population of 25% since 1688. It was disputed numerically by Arthur Young in his Political Arithmetic (1774), which took in also criticism of the physiocrats.[60][61]

In May 1770 Price presented to the Royal Society a paper on the proper method of calculating the values of contingent reversions. His book Observations on Reversionary Payments (1771) became a classic, in use for about a century, and providing the basis for financial calculations of insurance and benefit societies, of which many had recently been formed.[52] The "Northampton table", a life table compiled by Price with data from Northampton, became standard for about a century in actuarial work. It, too, overestimated mortality.[62] In consequence, it was good for the insurance business, and adverse for those funding annuities.[63] Price's nephew William Morgan was an actuary, and became manager of the Equitable in 1775.[14] He later wrote a memoir of Price's life.[6]

Price wrote a further Essay on the Population of England (2nd ed., 1780) which influenced Thomas Robert Malthus. His continuing claim in it on British depopulation was challenged by John Howlett in 1781.[64] Investigation of actual causes of ill-health began at this period, in a group of radical physicians around Priestley, including Price but centred on the Midlands and north-west: with John Aikin, Matthew Dobson, John Haygarth and Thomas Percival.[65] Of these Haygarth and Percival supplied Price with figures, to supplement those he had collected himself in Northampton parishes.[66]

Public finance

In 1771 Price published his Appeal to the Public on the Subject of the National Debt (ed. 1772 and 1774). This pamphlet excited considerable controversy, and is supposed to have influenced William Pitt the Younger in re-establishing the sinking fund for the extinction of the national debt, created by Robert Walpole in 1716 and abolished in 1733. The means proposed for the extinction of the debt are described by Lord Overstone as "a sort of hocus-pocus machinery," supposed to work "without loss to any one," and consequently unsound.[6] Price's views were attacked by John Brand in 1776.[67] When Brand returned to finance and fiscal matters, Alteration of the Constitution of the House of Commons and the Inequality of the Land Tax (1793), he used work of Price, among others.[68]

Moral philosophy

The Review of the Principal Questions in Morals (1758, 3rd ed. revised 1787) contains Price's theory of ethics. The work is supposedly a refutation of Francis Hutcheson.[6] Price represented a different tradition, deontological ethics rather than the virtue ethics of Hutcheson, going back to Samuel Clarke and John Balguy.[69] The book is divided into ten chapters, the first of which gives his main ethical theory, allied to that of Ralph Cudworth. Other chapters show his relation to Joseph Butler and Immanuel Kant.[6] Philosophically and politically Price had something in common with Thomas Reid.[70] As a moralist Price is now regarded as a precursor to the rational intuitionism of the 20th century. He drew, among other sources, on Cicero and Panaetius, and has been labelled a "British Platonist".[71]

J. G. A. Pocock comments that Price was a moralist first, putting morality well ahead of democratic attachments. He was widely criticised for that and an absence of interest in civil society. As well as Burke, John Adams, Adam Ferguson and Josiah Tucker wrote against him.[72] James Mackintosh wrote that Price was attempting to revive moral obligation.[73] Théodore Simon Jouffroy preferred Price to Cudworth, Reid and Dugald Stewart.[74] See also William Whewell's History of Moral Philosophy in England; Alexander Bain's Mental and Moral Sciences; and Thomas Fowler's monograph on Shaftesbury and Hutcheson.[6]

For Price, right and wrong belong to actions in themselves, and he rejects consequentialism. This ethical value is perceived by reason or understanding, which intuitively recognizes fitness or congruity between actions, agents and total circumstances. Arguing that ethical judgment is an act of discrimination, he endeavours to invalidate moral sense theory. He admits that right actions must be "grateful" to us; that, in fact, moral approbation includes both an act of the understanding and an emotion of the heart. Still it remains true that reason alone, in its highest development, would be a sufficient guide. In this conclusion he is in close agreement with Kant; reason is the arbiter, and right is

  1. not a matter of the emotions and
  2. no relative to imperfect human nature.[6]

Price's main point of difference with Cudworth is that while Cudworth regards the moral criterion as a νόημα or modification of the mind, existing in germ and developed by circumstances, Price regards it as acquired from the contemplation of actions, but acquired necessarily, immediately intuitively. In his view of disinterested action (ch. iii.) he follows Butler. Happiness he regards as the only end, conceivable by us, of divine Providence, but it is a happiness wholly dependent on rectitude. Virtue tends always to happiness, and in the end must produce it in its perfect form.[6]

Other works

Price also wrote Fast-day Sermons, published respectively in 1779 and 1781. Throughout the American War, Price preached sermons on fast-days and took the opportunity to attack Britain's coercive policies toward the colonies.[75] A complete list of his works was given as an appendix to Priestley's Funeral Sermon.[6]

See also


  1. ^ Prior, Neil (20 April 2013). "Dr Richard Price: The Welshman who influenced US founders". BBC News. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  2. ^ "Richard Price of Llangeinor". Gerald Jarvis, Garw Valley Heritage Society, 16 March 2011. 15 March 2011. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Price, Richard (1723–1791)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. 2004. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/22761. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  4. ^ Lee, Sidney, ed. (1896). "Price, Richard (1723–1791)" . Dictionary of National Biography. 46. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  5. ^ Thornbury, Walter (1878). "Old Jewry". Old and New London: Volume 1. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Mitchell 1911, p. 314.
  7. ^, John Vaughan papers, 1768 – Circa 1936.
  8. ^ Stephen, Leslie, ed. (1885). "Amory, Thomas (1701–1774)" . Dictionary of National Biography. 1. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  9. ^ a b Thorncroft, p. 15.
  10. ^ Gordon, p. 42.
  11. ^ Allardyce, p. 23.
  12. ^ English Dissent. CUP Archive. pp. 41–42. GGKEY:UGD38TZ8G4J. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  13. ^ Fruchtman, Jack (1 January 1983). The Apocalyptic Politics of Richard Price and Joseph Priestley: A Study in Late Eighteenth Century English Republican Millennialism. American Philosophical Society. p. 25. ISBN 978-0-87169-734-9. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  14. ^ a b Holland, p. 48.
  15. ^ Lee, Sidney, ed. (1892). "Jervis, Thomas" . Dictionary of National Biography. 29. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  16. ^ Whatmore, Richard. "Clavière, Étienne". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/98253. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  17. ^ Rivers and Wykes, p. 38.
  18. ^ Blakemore, Steven (1 January 1997). Intertextual War: Edmund Burke and the French revolution in the writings of Mary Wollstonecraft, Thomas Paine, and James Mackintosh. Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press. p. 87. ISBN 978-0-8386-3751-7. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  19. ^ Seed, John (1985). "Gentlemen Dissenters: The Social and Political Meanings of Rational Dissent in the 1770s and 1780s". Historical Journal. 28 (2): 299–325 (320). doi:10.1017/S0018246X00003125. JSTOR 2639100.
  20. ^ Wood, Paul (2004). Science and Dissent in England, 1688–1945. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 120. ISBN 978-0-7546-3718-9. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  21. ^ Graham, p. 131.
  22. ^ Throness, Laurie (2008). A Protestant Purgatory: Theological Origins of the Penitentiary Act, 1779. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. pp. 131–. ISBN 978-0-7546-6392-8. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
  23. ^ chapter 2 The History of Essex Hall by Mortimer Rowe B.A., D.D. Lindsey Press, 1959. Archived 7 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ Rivers and Wykes, p. 159 and p. 160 note 41.
  25. ^ Page, Anthony (2003). John Jebb and the Enlightenment Origins of British Radicalism. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 66. ISBN 978-0-275-97775-7. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  26. ^ Botting, Eileen Hunt (May 2007). Family Feuds: Wollstonecraft, Burke, and Rousseau on the Transformation of the Family. SUNY Press. p. 158. ISBN 978-0-7914-6706-0. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  27. ^ Jacobs, p. 38.
  28. ^ Gordon, p. 46.
  29. ^ a b Tomalin, p. 60.
  30. ^ Tomalin, p. 51.
  31. ^ Gordon, p. 48.
  32. ^ Gordon, pp. 51 passim.
  33. ^ Tomalin, p. 61.
  34. ^ "Person record for Price, Richard". Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  35. ^ a b J. H. Plumb, England in the Eighteenth Century, (Middlesex: Penguin Books Ltd, 1950)
  36. ^ Jack P. Greene; J. R. Pole (15 April 2008). A Companion to the American Revolution. John Wiley & Sons. p. 250. ISBN 978-0-470-75644-7. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
  37. ^ Fitzpatrick, Martin (2006). Knud Haakonssen (ed.). Enlightenment and Religion: Rational Dissent in Eighteenth-Century Britain. Cambridge University Press. p. 70. ISBN 978-0521029872.
  38. ^ "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter P" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  39. ^ Graham, p. 49.
  40. ^ Landes, Richard (7 July 2011). Heaven on Earth:The Varieties of the Millennial Experience. Oxford University Press. pp. 250–51. ISBN 978-0-19-983181-4. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
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  43. ^ Graham, p. 136.
  44. ^ On the French reception of Price's Discourse and the Revolution Society, see Duthille, Rémy (2010). "1688–1789. Au carrefour des révolutions : les célébrations de la révolution anglaise de 1688 en Grande-Bretagne après 1789". In Cottret, Bernard; Henneton, Lauric (eds.). Du Bon Usage des commémorations : histoire, mémoire, identité, XVIe – XVIIIe siècles (in French). Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes. pp. 107–120.
  45. ^ Duthille, Rémy (2004). "London Revolution Society (act. 1788–1793)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/96833. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  46. ^ Graham, p. 212.
  47. ^ Graham, p. 139.
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  51. ^ Gordon, p. 50.
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  62. ^ Hacking, Ian (31 August 1990). The Taming of Chance. Cambridge University Press. p. 49. ISBN 978-0-521-38884-9. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
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  65. ^ Lucas, Bryan Keith (1980). The Unreformed Local Government System. Routledge. pp. 116–17. ISBN 978-0-85664-877-9. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
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  67. ^ Stephen, Leslie, ed. (1886). "Brand, John (d.1808)" . Dictionary of National Biography. 6. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
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  69. ^ Terence Cuneo; René van Woudenberg, eds. (2004). The Cambridge Companion to Thomas Reid. Cambridge University Press. p. 247. ISBN 978-0-521-01208-9.
  70. ^ Haakonssen, Knud (2 November 2006). Enlightenment and Religion: Rational Dissent in Eighteenth-Century Britain. Cambridge University Press. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-521-02987-2. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  71. ^ Zebrowski, Martha K. (1994). "Richard Price: British Platonist of the Eighteenth Century". Journal of the History of Ideas. 55 (1): 17–35. doi:10.2307/2709951. JSTOR 2709951.
  72. ^ J. G. A. Pocock; Gordon J. Schochet; Lois G. Schwoerer (25 July 1996). The Varieties of British Political Thought, 1500–1800. Cambridge University Press. p. 286. ISBN 978-0-521-57498-3. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
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  75. ^ Rémy Duthille, “Dissent against the American War : The Politics of Richard Price’s Sermons”, in War Sermons, Gilles Teulié and Laurence Lux-Sterritt, Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009, pp. 149–72.


  • Graham, Jenny (2000). The Nation, the Law, and the King: Reform Politics in England, 1789–1799 (two volumes). University Press of America. ISBN 978-0-7618-1484-9.
  • Holland, J. D. (1968). "An Eighteenth-Century Pioneer Richard Price, D.D., F.R.S. (1723-1791)". Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London. 23 (1): 43–64. doi:10.1098/rsnr.1968.0009. JSTOR 530851.
  • Isabel Rivers; David L. Wykes, eds. (2008). Joseph Priestley, Scientist, Philosopher and Theologian. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-921530-0.

Further reading

External links


 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainMitchell, John Malcolm (1911). "Price, Richard" . In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. 22 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 314–315.

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