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- Character Name: Thomas Hobbes
- Title: none
- Estate Name: none
- Nationality: English
- Age: 87 (b.1588)
- Gender: Male
- Eye Colour: Dark Blue
- Hair Colour: Once Dark blond, now white
Physical Attributes & Initial Impression of Personality
Hobbes is an old man, with shrewdness in his eyes. He needs a cane to walk, his voice sounding venerable. Yet he is possessed of a certain intellectual passion. He also has an eye for the ladies, indulgent with the pretty ones.
According to Hobbes, society is a population beneath an authority, to whom all individuals in that society covenant just enough of their natural right for the authority to be able to ensure internal peace and a common defense. This includes matters of faith. This sovereign, whether monarch, aristocracy or democracy (though Hobbes prefers monarchy), should be a Leviathan, an absolute authority. Leviathan was written during the English Civil War; much of the book is occupied with demonstrating the necessity of a strong central authority to avoid the evil of discord and civil war. Any abuses of power by this authority are to be accepted as the price of peace.
Hobbes was born in Westport, Whiltshire. His father was the Vicar of Charlton and Westport, but left the care of his 3 children to his elder brother, Francis Hobbes. Educated at Magdalen Hall of Oxford University, Hobbes was likely influenced by some of its Principal's Puritan beliefs.
After eventually completing his studies at Oxford, he took employment as tutor to the son of William Cavendish, then Baron of Hardwick (later Earl of Devonshire). Thus began a life-long connection with that great family.
He visited Florence in 1636 and later was a regular debater in philosophic groups in Paris. From 1637, he considered himself a philosopher and scholar, with a particular interest (at that time) in the physical doctrine of motion. He returned to England in 1637, only to flee back to France in 1640, as his ideas were not in keeping with the political climate.
The company of the exiled Royalists, including his time as tutor to Charles II in 1647, led Hobbes to produce an English book to set forth his theory of civil government in relation to the political crisis resulting from the war. This was Leviathan, for which he is best known, which was finally published in 1651.
This had the almost immediate effect of severing his connection with the exiled Royalists. Thus he returned to London, where he was allowed to take up a quiet private life in Fetter Lane.
As Thomas Hobbes is one of the former tutors of Charles II, he enjoys his protection. He continues to live a quiet life in a townhouse in London, but still publishes even at his high age.
Hobbes is an enthusiastic supporter of Charles II, but lost his favor with the Royalist faction because of his rumored atheism. Since 1666, when the House of Commons introduced a bill against atheism and profaneness, he has not been published in England but maintained a great following in intellectual circles in foreign countries.