This chapter discusses the theme of this book, which is about the politics, society, and culture in Belfast, Northern Ireland during the period from 1801 to 1832. The book provides a biographical study of William Tennent and the Tennent family, examines the political life of early nineteenth-century Belfast, evaluates the scope of significance of its cultural and intellectual life, and traces the connections between philanthropy, evangelicalism, and social change among the town's middle classes. It aims to provide a fuller picture of Presbyterian mentalities by paying equal attention to cultural and intellectual activity and to charitable endeavour.
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