- [to come]
Talks and Papers:
Additions to the "Guillaumin Collection" (now 49 titles in 65 volumes, and counting):
- A favourite of mine is one of Richard Overton's many "verbal arrows" directed at "all tyrants and tyranny" in general while he was being held in prison. It is one of the great statements of "self-ownership" and the right to individual liberty which stems from it: Richard Overton, An Arrow Against all Tyrants and Tyrany, shot from the Prison of New-gate into the Prerogative Bowels of the Arbitrary House of Lords and all other Usurpers and Tyrants Whatsoever (12 Oct. 1646). It is part of my Leveller Tracts Collection and is now in "enhanced HTML", facs. PDF, and eBook HTML, PDF, and ePub.
- Milton's poem about rebellion and obedience: Paradise Lost. A Poem in Twelve Books. The Second Edition. Revised and Augmented (1674) - in "enhanced HTML" and facs. PDF; eBook HTML, PDF, and ePub
- On a similar theme see John Milton, The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates: Proving, That it is Lawfull, and hath been held so through all Ages, for any who have the Power, to call to account a Tyrant, or wicked KING, and after due conviction, to depose and put him to death; if the ordinary MAGISTRATE have neglected or deny’d to doe it. And that they, who of late, so much blame Deposing, are the Men that did it themselves. (1650) - "enhanced HTML" and facs. PDF; and eBook HTML, PDF, and ePub
- In his book An Essay on the Trial by Jury (1852) Spooner states in the opening lines (p. 5) the role he thought juries had and should play in protecting Anglo-American liberty:
"For more than six hundred years—that is, since Magna Carta, in 1215—there has been no clearer principle of English or American constitutional law, than that, in criminal cases, it is not only the right and duty of juries to judge what are the facts, what is the law, and what was the moral intent of the accused; but that it is also their right, and their primary and paramount duty, to judge of the justice of the law, and to hold all laws invalid, that are, in their opinion, unjust or oppressive, and all persons guiltless in violating, or resisting the execution of, such laws.
Unless such be the right and duty of jurors, it is plain that, instead of juries being a “palladium of liberty”—a barrier against the tyranny and oppression of the government—they are really mere tools in its hands, for carrying into execution any injustice and oppression it may desire to have executed."
- See Spooner, An Essay on the Trial by Jury (1852) - "enhanced HTML"', facs. PDF, and eBook HTML, PFDF, and ePub.
- Spooner followed these provocative pamphlets with a pair of forthright letters to sitting politicians - Senator Thomas Bayard from Delaware and President Grover Cleveland - telling them very "frankly" that they had no legitimate right to hold office and exercise power over others and therefore that they were “usurpers and criminals”. See Letters to Senator Thomas Bayard (1882) and President Grover Cleveland (1886): Bayard facs. PDF and Cleveland PDF; "enhanced HTML"; and eBook HTML, PDF, and ePub.
- A bracing corrective to the views of Hamilton, Jay, and Madison on the American Constitution is provided by the American radical individualist Lysander Spooner (1808-1887) who argued in a series of pamphlets written between 1867 and 1870 that is was "no treason" to withold or withdraw one's consent to be governed by a particular government or constititution. He argued that in most cases people living today had never been asked for, or given their consent to be subject to this constitution; or if they had done so, they were within their rights to withdraw that consent and leave at any time, just like they had the right to join or not join, or leave a church or a sporting club. The three pamphlets on No Treason are in "enhanced HTML" and facs. PDFs for each individual pamplet : No. 1 - No. II - No. VI; and eBook HTML, PDF, and ePub.
- I have written an introduction to the Guillaumin Collection describing how the texts are coded and formatted (and why), the various electronic versions the texts are in, and their source.
- Thomas Paine's Rights of Man. Part the Second. Combining Principle and Practice (1792) in "enhanced HTML", facs. PDF; and eBook HTML, PDF, and ePub
- Little known in his lifetime, Wilhelm von Humboldt’s Ideen zu einem Versuch, die Gränzen der Wirksamkeit des Staats zu bestimmen (Some Ideas in an Attempt to determine the Limits of the Functions of the State) only came to light in the 1850s. He wrote it as a series of essays in 1792 during the French Revolution, a couple of which were published at the time. He did not publish the complete book in his lifetime, perhaps fearing how radical it was now that he had become a senior public servant in the Prussian education system. It was eventually published in 1851 in German and was quickly translated into English in 1854, just in time to have an impact on John Stuart Mill who acknowledged Humboldt's influence on his thinking in On Liberty which was published in 1859.
- One of the great debates about the perennial problem of "the proper sphere of government" (as Herbert Spencer put it) was in 1787-88 between "The Federalists" (who were really "The Centralists") and "The Anti-Federalists" (who were really the "True Federalists") about the new American Constitution. The corrective to the mainstream pro "Federalist" approach is Lysander Spooner's series of pamphlets on "The Constitution of No Authority" (1867-70) amd his letters to Senator Bayard (1882) and President Cleveland (1886).
- To put only one side of this debate online, I have added my "enhanced HTML" version of the first edition of The Federalist (1788) even though my sympathies lie with the "True Federalists" and not Hamilton et al. I have used the copies held by the Library of Congress (owned by Thomas Jefferson) and the Boston Public Library. I was surpised to find that the LoC copy (vol. 2) is missing 12 pages and this is not stated on their website. So I had to also use the Boston PL version as well. I presume the people in Congress have read one of the founding documents of their government and noticed this fact - but perhaps not ...
- See the facs PDFs:
- And the eBooks (2 vols in 1): HTML, PDF, and ePub
- I also note how hard it was to find a corrected HTML version of the text with the original page numbers. The University of Michigan hosts the Evans Early American Imprint Collection which has a copy which includes this vital information, but it has several serious flaws which make it hard for the user. Again I found this surprising given the text's status as a "holy text" of the American founding. For example, the "footnotes" are not included in or alongside the text (they are "pop ups") and there were 389 uncorrected "gaps" in the text which were easily corrected by comparing the HTML against the facs. PDFs. The proof-readers seemed to be uncertain that the word "leg(?)slature" might be "legislature". Multiply this stupidity by nearly 400 and you get the picture.
- the mature Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) was wrapping up his long and productive life with the publication of his two magna opera:
- Herbert Spencer, The Principles of Ethics. In Two Volumes 1896-97) - in facs. PDF [vol1 and vol2], the "enhanced HTML" (2 vols. in 1),and eBook formats for each volume (to come):
- Herbert Spencer, The Principles of Sociology. In Three Volumes (1898) - in facs. PDF [vol1 and vol2 and vol3], the "enhanced HTML" (3 vols. in 1), and eBook formats for each volume:
- an early work by Herbert Spencer, The Proper Sphere of Government (1843) where he shows his radical or "true liberal" colours - in facs. PDF, the "enhanced HTML", and eBook HTML, PDF, and ePub.
- Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman: with Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects (1792) - "enhanced HTML" and eBook HTML, PDF, ePub. The HTML is of the London editon of 1792, but I couldn't find a facs. PDF of this edition but I do have that of the Boston edition of 1792. (with different page numbering)
- Frédéric Bastiat's Sophismes économiques:
- the first edition of Sophismes économiques (1846) in facs. PDF [B&W 4.2 MB] and [colour 39.4 MB]; “enhanced” HTML, and eBook HTML, PDF, and ePub
- the first edition of the sequel Sophismes économiques. Deuxième Série. (1848) in facs. PDF [colour 45.5 MB and B&W 5.1 MB]; “enhanced” HTML, and eBook HTML, PDF, and ePub
- and a “2 volumes in 1” version in “enhanced” HTML only
- My edition of the two series of “Sophismes Économiques” is in memory of Michel Leter who edited a volume for “La Bibliothèque classique de la Liberté” for Les Belles Lettres publisher in Paris in 2005 (reissued in 2009). The volume also includes an insightful Preface, “Frédéric Bastiat et les fondements littéraires de l’analyse économique,” pp. 7-38. I should also mention his pioneering essay on “L’École de Paris” of which Bastiat was an important member: Michel Leter, “Éléments pour une étude de l’École de Paris (1803-1852)," in Histoire du libéralisme en Europe, eds. Philippe Nemo and Jean Petitot (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 2006), pp. 429-509. [See my own essay on the Paris School and my collection of their key texts.]
- Another addition to the "Guillaumin Collection" of enhanced HTML texts: William Godwin, An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, and its Influence on General Virtue and Happiness (1793) - in enhanced HTML and eBooks in HTML, PDF, ePub and the zipped collection.
- I have also created an "enhanced HTML" version of a modern edition of the plays of Shakespeare based on the Oxford edition of 1916. Because of its size and complexity I have split the plays into three parts, based upon the categories used in the First Folio edition:
- This year is a good year for celebrating some anniversaries of important authors by adding some of their works to the Guiillaumin Collection of enhanced HTML and eBook formats. For example 2023 is:
Additions to the Library:
- John Milton, Paradise Lost. A Poem in Twelve Books. The Second Edition. Revised and Augmented (1674) - in "enhanced HTML" and facs. PDF;
- Lysander Spooner, An Essay on the Trial by Jury (1852) - "enhanced HTML"', facs. PDF, - "enhanced HTML"', facs. PDF, and eBook HTML, PFDF, and ePub.
- Herbert Spencer, The Proper Sphere of Government (1843) - the "enhanced HTML" and eBook HTML, PDF, and ePub.
- Hamilton, Jay, Madison, of The Federalist (1788) - "enhanced HTML" and facs. PDF Boston PL copy: vol1 and vol2 - eBook HTML, PDF, and ePub