Hamish Riley-Smith

Rare Books And Manuscripts

John Stuart Mill

Autograph letter signed to Thomas Falconer. 1835

Mill as editor of the 'London Review'

Autograph letter signed to Thomas Falconer.
I[ndia] H[ouse], Saturday 3d Oct. [1835]
Quarto, 23.0 x 18.2 cm, 3 pages + integral address leaf, in ink, trace of mounting but in very good condition, preserved in a green cloth box.

A remarkable autograph letter to the nominal editor of the London Review showing Mill’s editorial work on the third issue of October 1835 (which included Mill’s article A Review of M.de Tocqueville’s work on Democracy in America) and planning articles for later issues. Thomas Falconer [1805-1882], barrister and later judge, though nominally editor was really sub-editor under Mill. He was the brother-in-law of Mill’s close friend J.A.Roebuck. By the New Year 1836 it became apparent that Mill’s assistant Falconer was incompetent and inefficient and Mill was to write to him “we are the laughing stock of everybody who knows us, for our way of doing business” and in April 1837 he was replaced.
“One of the projects occasionally talked of between my father and me, and some of the parliamentary and other Radicals who frequented his house, was the foundation of a periodical of philosophic radicalism…In the summer of 1834 Sir William Molesworth, himself a laborious student, and a precise and meta-physical thinker, capable of aiding the cause by his pen as well as by his purse, spontaneously proposed to establish a Review, provided I would consent to be the real, if I could not be the ostensible, editor. …The Review was founded, at first under the title of the London Review, and afterwards under that of the London and Westminster, Molesworth having bought the Westminster…and merged two into one. In the years between 1834 and 1840 the conduct of this Review occupied the greater part of my spare time.” J.S.Mill, Autobiography pp.198-200.
Provenance: formerly owned by Professor F.A.Hayek. Mineka, The Earlier Letters of John Stuart Mill, no.143. Packe, Life of John Stuart Mill, book 4, The London & Westminster Review, pp.191-247.

John Stuart Mill - Autograph letter signed to Thomas Falconer. 1835

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