Arnold Toynbee

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Arnold Toynbee

Birthdate: (30)
Birthplace: Savile Row, London, England, United Kingdom
Death: March 9, 1883 (30)
Wimbledon, London, England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of Joseph Toynbee and Harriet Toynbee
Brother of Harry Valpy Toynbee and Grace Toynbee

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Immediate Family

About Arnold Toynbee

Arnold Toynbee (23 August 1852 – 9 March 1883) was a British economic historian also noted for his social commitment and desire to improve the living conditions of the working classes.


Toynbee was born in London, the son of the physician Joseph Toynbee, a pioneering otolaryngologist.

Arnold Toynbee was the uncle, via his brother Harry Valpy Toynbee, of universal historian Arnold Joseph Toynbee (1889–1975); with whom he is often confused.

Toynbee attended public schools in Blackheath and Woolwich. In 1873 he began to study political economy at Oxford University, first at Pembroke College and from 1875 at Balliol College, where he went on to teach after his graduation in 1878. His lectures on the history of the Industrial Revolution in 18th and 19th century Britain proved widely influential; in fact, Toynbee coined, or at least effectively popularised, the term "Industrial Revolution" in the Anglophone world—in Germany and elsewhere it had been brought into circulation earlier by Friedrich Engels, also under the impression of the industrial changes in Britain.

He married Charlotte Atwood, 12 years his senior and a cousin of Harold F. Davidson, the famous rector of Stiffkey.

Toynbee died in 1883, at age 30. His health had rapidly deteriorated, probably due to exhaustion by excessive work.

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Arnold Toynbee's Timeline

August 23, 1852
Savile Row, London, England, United Kingdom
March 9, 1883
Age 30
Wimbledon, London, England, United Kingdom