Peter Laslett

English historian (1915-2001)

Peter Laslett (18 December 1915 – 8 November 2001) was an English historian.


  • From the point of view of our discussion, the book as a response to political and literary circumstances, its origin belongs to the autumn and winter of 1678-80, exactly a decade earlier than it is traditionally supposed to have been written. Two Treatises is an Exclusion Tract, not a Revolution Pamphlet.
    • "Introduction," in John Locke, Two Treatises of Government (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005)

Quotes about Laslett

  • Laslett’s research was methodologically as well as historically important to me, because he tried to place Locke’s text within the precise historical context that made sense of Locke’s preoccupations and commitments. I already believed in the need for such an approach, largely through my reading of Collingwood (who must surely have influenced Laslett too). But Laslett’s edition seemed to me -- and still seems to me -- to exemplify the approach brilliantly.
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