Through Mill's autobiography, the social and political climate of nineteenth century England comes alive. The reader is given new insights into the events of an age: the reform movements, the English-Irish question, the development of democratic principles. With candor and perception, Mill discusses these issues and explains how they influenced his writing and thinking.
John Stuart Mill (1806-73) was educated by his father and through his influence obtained a clerkship at India House. He formed the Utilitarian Society which met to read and discuss essays, and in 1825 he edited Bentham’s Treatise upon Evidence. In 1826 he suffered an acute mental crisis and found that poetry helped him recover the will to live, particularly the work of Wordsworth. Having reconsidered his aims and those of the Benthamite school, he met Harriet Taylor and she inspired a great deal of his philosophy. They married in 1851. Utilitarianism was published in 1861 but before that Mill published his System of Logic (1843), Principles of Political Economy (1848) and On Liberty (1839). His other works include his classic Autobiography (1873). Mill retired in 1858 and became the independent MP for Westminster from 1865 to 1868. He spent the rest of his life in France and died in Avignon.
Table of Contents
Autobiography Introduction Editor's Note
I. Childhood, and Early Education II. Moral Influences in Early Youth. My Father's Character and Opinions III. Last Stage of Education, and First of Self-Education IV. Youthful Propagandism. The Westminster Review. V. A Crisis in My Mental History. One Stage Onward VI. Commencement of the Most Valuable Friendship of My Life. My Father's Death. Writings and Other Proceedings up to 1840 VII. General View of the Remainder of My Life Index of Personal Names