Edward William Vernon Harcourt (26 June 1825 – 19 December 1891) was an English naturalist and Conservative politician.
Harcourt was born in Stanton Harcourt, Oxfordshire, the son of the Rev. William Vernon Harcourt who was a scientist, and grandson of Edward Harcourt, Archbishop of York. He was educated at Christ Church, Oxford.
Harcourt was a J.P. for Berkshire and Sussex, and a J.P. and Deputy Lieutenant for Oxfordshire and High Sheriff of Oxfordshire in 1875. He was Honorary Colonel of the 3rd Volunteer Brigade, Cinque Ports Division of the Royal Artillery. He was a member of Royal Commission for organizing the Volunteer Force in 1862, and was 15 years President of National Artillery Association.
He was the author of Sketch of Madeira (1851) and Sporting in Algeria (1859).
He inherited Nuneham House and Park in 1871 and had a new Nuneham Courtenay parish church built in 1872-74.
He served as Member of Parliament for Oxfordshire from 1878 to 1885 and for Henley from 1885 to 1886.
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“Is a civilization naturally backward because it is different? Outside of cannibalism, which can be matched in this country, at least, by lynching, there is no vice and no degradation in native African customs which can begin to touch the horrors thrust upon them by white masters. Drunkenness, terrible diseases, immorality, all these things have been gifts of European civilization.”
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