Abstract: In John Maynard Keynes's Collected Writings there are forty-five biographical essays, sixteen of which are obituaries from the Economic Journal. The obituaries in the Economic Journal were very important to Keynes. The Collected Writings attempt 'to publish a complete record of Keynes's serious writing as an economist' and in Essays in Biography 'to include not only his major but also his minor writings both about economists and his friends in King's'. In this paper, however, it is argued that not all of Keynes's biographical writings are included in his Collected Writings. There may be over ten additional obituaries authored by Keynes that are not included in the Collected Writings version of Essays in Biography. Two of these are definitely attributable to Keynes, one of which is half of Ramsey's obituary in The Times. During Keynes's editorship of the Economic Journal there were fourteen anonymous obituaries in the Economic Journal. It is argued that almost all of these were authored by Keynes. In addition to the obituaries in the Economic Journal, there were announcements of death. It is argued that most, if not all, of the announcements of death in the Economic Journal during Keynes's editorship were also written by him.
John Maynard Keynes edited the Economic Journal for over thirty years. There were over one hundred and forty obituaries published in the Economic Journal while he was editor, a number of them by Keynes. The obituaries in the Economic Journal were very important to him. In an August 1940 letter to R.H. Tawney concerning the notice of Eileen Power, Keynes wrote: 'the obituary section of the Journal is rather ambitious and probably remains the most permanent record of the personalities and accomplishments of the economists of our time ...' (Keynes 1993, p. EJ/1/7/41). And three years later, in a letter to Selig Perlman, Keynes wrote: 'we make rather a feature of our obituary notices and devote more space to them than is usual in most learned journals' (1) (Keynes 1993, p. MM/5/256).
In the General Introduction to Keynes's Collected Writings it states: 'This series will attempt to publish a complete record of Keynes's serious writing as an economist' (Keynes 1972, p. x). In the Editorial Foreword to the Collected Writings version of Essays in Biography (2) it states:
We have decided to include not only his major but also his minor writings both about economists and his friends in King's. We have done this for two reasons. First, many of them admirably illustrate Keynes's remarkable gift for creating a vivid picture of a man in a few unforgettable sentences. Second, and perhaps more important, these are the outstanding economists, public servants or academics of a generation; Keynes's account of them is in some cases almost the only account that survives. (Keynes 1972, p. xvi)
There are forty-five biographical essays by Keynes in the Collected Writings. (3) This, though, may only be about three-quarters of the sketches and essays in biography actually written by Keynes. In this paper it is argued that there are over ten additional biographical essays by Keynes--in the form of obituaries--which are not included in Keynes's Collected Writings. The paper comprises six main sections. In section two l consider the obituaries of French economists that Keynes may or may not have written. In section three I focus predominantly on an obituary of Frank Ramsey that was written by Keynes and which was quite separate from his better known account of Ramsey that appeared in Essays in Biography. In section four I comment briefly upon the paragraph Keynes contributed to Jiuchi Soyeda's obituary in the Economic Journal and which was not published in Essays in Biography. In section five I analyse fourteen of the obituaries in the Economic Journal during Keynes's editorship that do not have an author listed, and, although one of these (on Wilhelm Lexis) is attributed to Keynes and appeared in Essays in Biography (Keynes 1972, pp. 317-8), I argue that that most of the others were also written by Keynes. In section six I consider the many shorter death announcements, primarily of economists, in the Economic Journal during the period Keynes was editor. The paper is summarised in the final section.
2 Obituaries of French Economists by Keynes
Keynes was appointed editor of the Economic Journal on October 17, 1911. 'He remained editor until the April 1945 issue had gone to press' (Moggridge 1990, p. 143). The March 1912 issue of the journal was the first to appear under his editorship (Economic Journal, March 1912, p. 156). He was the second editor of the Economic Journal; F.Y. Edgeworth was editor from 1891-1911. Obituaries were a regular feature of the Economic Journal from the very beginning. In the very first issue there is an anonymous obituary of Antoine Beaujon (Economic Journal, March 1891, p. 219). There were obituaries every year while Edgeworth was editor, from a low of one in 1903 to a high often in 1892, with an average of almost five per year. (4) Under Edgeworth's editorship all obituaries were in the obituary section; there were no extensive memoirs such as Keynes's of Alfred Marshall (Economic Journal, September 1924, pp. 311-72) and of H. S. Foxwell (Economic Journal, December 1936, pp. 589-614), which were the lead articles in their respective issues.
Keynes continued the pattern established by Edgeworth with respect to obituaries. As was mentioned above, over one hundred and forty obituaries were published in the Economic Journal while he was editor, an average of over four per year, with at least one in every year, except for 1913. The greatest number was nine in 1926. There were three in the April 1945 issue, the last under Keynes's editorship. In Keynes's Collected Writings there are sixteen obituaries from the Economic Journal authored by him.
In the preface to the French edition of the General Theory, Keynes wrote: 'it fell to my duty, when I first became a youthful editor of the Economic Journal to write the obituaries of many of (the school of French Liberal economists)--Levasseur, Molinari, Leroy-Beaulieu ...' (Keynes 1973, p. xxxii). Emile Levasseur's obituary is in the September 1911 issue of the Economic Journal, before Keynes became editor. The author is listed as A. de Foville though, not Keynes, at the end of the obituary (Economic Journal, September 1911, p. 490) and in the index on the cover of the journal. Keynes had a certain style in writing the notices of the death of economists in the obituary section of the Economic Journal. There is certain wording that he tended to use in the first sentence of the notice, and a certain style for the notice itself. …