Samuel Smiles was a 19th century Scottish author and reformer. In 1838 he became the editor for the Leeds Times and in 1840 he became secretary to ... Show synopsis Samuel Smiles was a 19th century Scottish author and reformer. In 1838 he became the editor for the Leeds Times and in 1840 he became secretary to the Leeds Parliamentary Reform Association. Smiles advocated causes ranging from women's suffrage, free trade, and parliamentary reform. Today Smiles is known as the writer of books on self-help, and biographies about the achievements of heroic engineers. Thrift is a self-help book written in 1875. Smiles says, "Some of the finest qualities of human nature are intimately related to the right use of money; such as generosity, honesty, justice, and self-denial; as well as the practical virtues of economy and providence. On the other hand, there are their counterparts of avarice, fraud, injustice, and selfishness, as displayed by the inordinate lovers of gain; and the vices of thoughtlessness, extravagance, and improvidence, on the part of those who misuse and abuse the means entrusted to them."