By Lisanne Radice
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Extra info for Beatrice and Sidney Webb: Fabian Socialists
But her new interest (she had been invited by Charles Booth to be a member of the Board ofStatistical Research) lay in the methodology of social sciences, particularly the question of what was the right relation of personal observation to statistical inquiry. Her enforced confinement was broken by her other sisters' determination that she should be able to lead her own life, at least for part of the year. A new pattern was therefore evolved- she would spend eight months looking after Rosy and her father and the remaining four would be hers to do with what she would, while her sisters took her place.
A new pattern was therefore evolved- she would spend eight months looking after Rosy and her father and the remaining four would be hers to do with what she would, while her sisters took her place. She opted to continue to work in the East End. However, though still ambitious to make her mark, Beatrice continued to be assailed by self-doubt: 'practical work does not satisfy me', she wrote miserably. 'It seems like walking on the shifting sand with the forlorn hope that the impress of your steps will be lasting to guide others across the desert' (8 November 1886).
Perhaps I shall find some day' she wrote bleakly, 'a solution to this great difficulty of how I ought to employ my time' (24 October 1873). Beatrice's introspection led her towards religion. She had 'gone off the path of orthodox religion' by the time she was sixteen, and now began to look for a 'firm belief of my own'. She sought a religion which was unselfish and demanded the highest duties from the self, 'the power of self-sacrifice in the individual for the good of the community'. Her studies included Catholicism, Buddhism and the 'Religion ofHumanity'.
Beatrice and Sidney Webb: Fabian Socialists by Lisanne Radice