Book of Remembrance - Additional letters and emails
Letter from Milton and Rose Friedman
information on Miton Friedman - click here
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
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
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
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.
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
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
With deepest sympathy and best wishes.
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.