The Letters of Richard Cobden (1804-65)
The Cobden Project has completed its printed publication of four volumes of fully annotated letters (1570 in total).
The aim of the Cobden Project was to produce a complete published set of the letters of the prominent British radical, who became a statesman of national and international standing through his leadership of the Anti-Corn Law League and his pursuit of a vision of international peace based on freedom of trade between sovereign nations.
- The Letters of Richard Cobden, Volume 1 (1815-1847), edited by Anthony Howe, with the assistance of Simon Morgan and Gordon Bannerman (OUP, 2007) Volume One
- The Letters of Richard Cobden, Volume 2 (1848-1853), edited by Anthony Howe, with the assistance of Simon Morgan and Gordon Bannerman (OUP, 2010) Volume Two
- The Letters of Richard Cobden, Volume 3 (1854-1859), edited by Anthony Howe, with the assistance of Simon Morgan and Gordon Bannerman (OUP, 2012) Volume Three
- The Letters of Richard Cobden, Volume 3 (1854-1859), edited by Anthony Howe, with the assistance of Simon Morgan and Gordon Bannerman (OUP, 2012) Volume Four
See too the OUP Blog Post
These volumes are also available through Oxford Scholarly Editions
This edition was initiated with the support of two Arts & Humanities Research Council grants between 2002 and 2006, ad has met widespread critical acclaim:
'Anthony Howe's comprehensive, erudite and superbly annoted edition...will take its place alongside Gladstone's diaries, the letters of Carlyle and Disraeli, and John Stuart Mill's collected works as an indispensible resource for understanding the Victorians'. Miles Taylor, London Review of Books
'...an edition skilfully masterminded by Anthony Howe, who is now established as the foremost commentator on the history of free trade and mercantile politics in Britain. The letters are a great monument to Cobden's restless politivcal activity, all the more so for revealing a more emotional and obsessive personality than many would have suspected: Joseph Parkes's remarks that they contained ''a few rabid sentences...better deleted'' rather underestimates the matter'. Jonathan Parry, Times Literary Supplement
The published letters represent only just over one-fifth of the letters which have been transcribed and annotated by the Project. Further letters are also regularly added as a result of new archival discoveries, library acquisition, or individual purchase. Among recent transcriptions are further letters from the Morgan Library, New York, including one to Elizabeth Gaskell, and by purchase letters to a great Victorian vintner Thomas Shaw (featured in a separate essay) and to Thomas Lloyd, a leading British merchant in Genoa in the 1840s. It is hoped in due course to publish online all the remaining extant known letters and to add both thematic essays and a critical edition of Cobden’s Paris Diary (1859-61) throwing new light on the negotiations of the Anglo-French commercial treaty of 1860. In advance of future publication the Project welcomes information as to any newly discovered Cobden letters, and will be pleased to provide copies of its transcriptions for any scholarly or public purpose.
ADDRESS AND CONTACTS
Professor Anthony Howe (Editor)
The Letters of Richard Cobden
School of History
University of East Anglia
+44 (0)1603 59 3635