The Letters of John Stuart Mill - Vol. 1

The Letters of John Stuart Mill - Vol. 1

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The Letters of John Stuart Mill - Vol. 1

The Letters of John Stuart Mill - Vol. 1

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Excerpt

On Mill's death in 1873, he left behind him an almost complete record of his correspondence over a large period of his life. Painstaking and assiduous to a unique degree, he rarely wrote a letter even on unimportant matters without a liberal sprinkling of erasures and interlineations, which often made its deciphering a task of some difficulty. He therefore formed the habit of transcribing every letter he wrote after he had revised it; the transcribed letter he despatched to his correspondent, while he himself carefully preserved the rough draft. These rough drafts accumulated in the course of years to many thousands, and it is from them that the bulk of the present book is taken. It was clearly Mill's intention that a selection of them should be published after his death, for across many of them he had written--"For publication. J. S. Mill." While I have included in the present collection all those so marked by Mill, even though in some cases their interest at the present day hardly seemed to justify it, I have inserted in addition a large number which he had not marked, but which appeared to me to possess an interest, either on account of modern developments in political and philosophical speculation, or on some other grounds.

The first three chapters of the book are derived from a different source. With the exception of one letter to Gustave d'Eichthal, they consist exclusively of letters to Carlyle, John Sterling, and Lytton Bulwer (afterwards Lord Lytton). The letters to Sterling are printed from the letters actually sent by Mill, which were apparently returned by Sterling's relatives after his death. In the case of the letters to Carlyle and Bulwer, I have not had . . .

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