Book of Remembrance - Additional letters and emails


Letter from Milton and Rose Friedman

More information on Miton Friedman - click here

Dear Marjorie,

Rose and I were saddened to hear of Arthur's death. He was a great man who deserves much credit for the healthy changes that have happened in Britain. Unfortunately, because of the distances, we did not see as much of you and Arthur as we would have liked but we both enjoyed and benefitted from every time we did see you whether at home or at one of the Mont Pelerin meetings or at the Institute of Economic Affairs.


Robert Wilson, Aberdeen, Scotland.

12th July 2006

I have in my possession three editions of Everyman's Dictionary of Economics, including a revised edition compiled by Arthur Seldon and F.G.Pennance.

I have no idea how Arthur Seldon regarded this particular piece of his work, but I know how I regarded it, and still do.

When I first discovered it, as an undergraduate, it was like finding a nugget of gold. When I entered teaching, it was the first book that I bought for the Economics department that I was asked to set up.

Time has caught up with some of the entries, of course, particularly with the institutional material, but many of the entries remain models of clarity and exemplars of how to convey key ideas and key insights that enable students to 'get started'. He must have been a wonderful lecturer and tutor, with such overacrching graso and piercing incisiveness.

I remaned indebted to his writings throughout my teacher career, which has recently ended with retirement.


Letter from John & Heather Raybould

October 14th, 2005

Dear Marjorie,

Heather and I are so sad to hear about Arthur's passing on Tuesday. We send our love and condolences to you  and your family, and are thinking of you all, from afar, in Canada’s most westerly Province.

I have been reading Arthur’s obituaries in the English papers and I am so pleased they are paying him such substantial  tributes. As you know, of course, he was an inspiration to us all ... in fact, when I worked at the IEA he was the finest, most encouraging and most knowledgeable "boss" I ever had in my whole career.

After I left UCL with my Modern History Degree in 1961 and started work, I felt I wanted to learn some Economics. So in 1964 I bought Arthur's "Everyman's Dictionary of Economics". It has been my guide ever  since and I still have my well-used copy. I never realised in 1964 when I bought Arthur’s "Dictionary" that  I would one day be working for him and Ralph Harris!

When I worked at the IEA in the 1980s I marvelled that two so very different people as Ralph and Arthur had adjacent offices and their connecting doors were usually open. I once said that Arthur always had an open door and an open mind. He played a towering intellectual role at the IEA, so crucial for its success. It is wonderful that the Liberty Fund is publishing his "Collected Works"....a treasure for generations to come. Working with Ralph, Arthur, Sir Antony Fisher, Ken Smith, Martin Anderson and Mike Solly at the IEA in the 1980s was an experience of a lifetime for me. I cherish my  memories of the time.

As you know, Arthur played a pivotal role as the Editor of all Professor Hayek’s Papers published by the IEA over so many years. I remember the charming greetings telegram that Hayek sent which was read out at Arthur’s 70th birthday celebration in the crypt of St. John’s Church,  Smith Square,  London in 1986.  In it, Hayek  said that Arthur was the toughest editor he ever had, and how grateful he was to him. This was supreme professional praise coming from a Nobel Laureate in Economics.

I remember how kind Arthur and you were about my illustrated book "Hayek: A Commemorative Album" that Dr. Eamonn Butler at the Adam Smith Institute published in 1998, in association with John Blundell at the IEA.  My book has been very well received, and it has now been published in England, Canada, Italy, Korea and Spain. I feel very privileged to have been able to make such a contribution recording the life,  work and huge impact of our mentor.

You, Arthur and I share a profound love for the printed word and for books. I was delighted to be able to help you both when you were publishing your delightful book "Poppies and Roses" about your parents’ life.

Heather and I have lots of happy memories of being with you and Arthur on many occasions, including the lovely croquet matches and teas at your "At Homes" at your delightful Thatched Cottage, near Sevenoaks. I was so pleased when you and Arthur invited me to be the MC at your Golden Wedding Anniversary celebration at the Charing Cross Hotel in London in 1998, just before Heather and I returned to live in retirement in Canada. What a joy the evening was in the company of so many of your family and friends. We will  never forget it.

You are both are very much in Heather’s and my thoughts at this time.

All our love, John Raybould

Letter from Bob Schuettinger, WISC

28th October 2005

Dear Marjorie,

I was so sorry to hear of the death of Arthur. I had the priviledge of knowing Arthur for over 45 years. He was a wonderful friend who contributed so much for his country and to the world. He will not be forgotten - he will be rememberd for as long as people value liberty.

Please accept my deep sympathy.


Letter from Jim Dorn, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Cato Institute, USA.

5th November 2005

Arthur was a great friend and mentor. His outstanding work at the IEA, his intellectual rigor, and his personal warmth deeply impressed me and have greatly influenced my work as editor of the Cato Journal. I remember fondly our meetings in Interlaken, organized by Karl Brunner, my visits to Arthur and Majorie's lovely home, and the times we met in Washington or at the Mont Pelerin Society meetings. I shall miss him.


Letter from Tony Culyer, Institute for Work & Health, Canada.

20th October 2005

Dear Marjorie,

You and I met once, which was delightful. I wanted just to say to you that, though Arthur and I did not quite share his optimism about the liberal way, we certainly did share a loathing of the piety of the trendy left - as well as of its patronising tone, its emptiness of real intellectual contact and its lack of a genuine common humanity. I also loved his sense and love of the outrageous (preferably understated). That I shared 100%

He was a great patron in the best of senses. He patronized me. He also taught me how to write. I remain grateful to this day for both these gifts. He was a lovely, humane man and I can't say how sorry I am that he's left us.

I am sure you will treasure his memory.

My very best wishes.

Tony


The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
10th October 2005

It is with great regret that I write to express, on behalf of the London School of Economics, my sincere condolences to your family on hearing of the death of Arthur Seldon.

The London School of Economics is extremely proud of the links Arthur Seldon had with us, as student and alumnus, and we were greatly honoured when Arthur was elected an Honorary Fellow of the School. Arthur was an extraordinary man of extraordinary and lengthy achievements and we share your loss.

Howard Davies - Director


Letter from Tony Jay
October 2005

Dear Marjorie,

I was so sorry to hear about Arthur's death. He was a lovely person as well as a brilliant one. I suppose his outstanding qualities were his tremedous moral and intellectual integrity, but I especially admired his craftmanship as a writer and editor, and his amazing clarity of mind and expression.

No-one will ever be able to quantify the extent of his achievements in the immense task of moving Britain away from the statist culture and towards a free society. We're still not there by a long way, but the fact that we have moved so far away from the postwar consensusm is as much Arthur's doing, Arthur's and Ralph's, as anyone.

We'll all miss him, though not as much as you will, but there is a lot of consulation in reflecting on how much he did for this country - and that he lived to see the change he worked for, being put into effect.

With deepest sympathy and best wishes.

Tony.


One Man Can Make a Difference.

From the Gregransom website - 13th October 2005:

Without Seldon there might have been no Hayek revival, no Thatcher revolution, no world wide liberal revolution. To take one small example of what Seldon has wrought, imagine American political debate over the past 30 years if George Will had never have developed as a conservative thinker, having never come across Seldon's publications - including those of Hayek - while at Oxford. Simliarly, no Seldon no Andrew Sullivan. The American political conversation would be different had not this man gone about his business spreading ideas and changing minds. One man can make a difference.


From The Filter website - 12th Octover 2005:

Everyone interested in economic rationality, not to mention the liberty of the individual, should mourn the passing of a great friend of freedom. His work at the Institute of Economic Affairs has changed the world for the better.


A Light Goes Out

From samizdata.net website - 12th October 2005

Arthur Seldon, one of the founders of the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA), a think thank that has played a crucial role in the fightback against collectivism, has died. Even though he was heading towards his 90th year - he was born in 1916 - his death is still a sad shock to me. I met him several times, both at IEA receptions at the organisation's offices and at numerous conferences. He was a lovely man.

Every time I met him, Arthur always treated you with respect and kindness. He had the ability to make his arguments without implying that people who disagree have base motives, which is a sensible strategy. He regarded the prophets of Fabian socialism, who have wreaked so much havoc in this country, as well intentioned fools rather than knaves (with the possible exception of Beatrice and Sidney Webb, whom he loathed). Arthur was, to use an old fashioned word, a gentleman.

His contribution to the re-birth of liberal ideas (to use it in its proper sense) cannot be exaggerated.
I shall raise a glass to a great classical liberal writer tonight. May he rest in peace.