The John Stuart Mill Collection extends from 1812 - 1888, with around 425 items, mainly correspondence to or from John Stuart Mill. There are 237 letters by Mill, 131 of which are to his wife, Harriet (Hardy) Taylor Mill. Twenty-four letters are from Helen Taylor (1831 - 1907), Mrs. Mill's daughter.
The collection contains letters from Jeremy Bentham (1748 - 1832) to James Mill and John Stuart Mill. Bentham's philosophy was very influential upon James Mill and John Stuart Mill in his early years.
Letters to or from John Sterling (1806 - 1844), John Austin (1790 1859), Augustus DeMorgan (1806 - 1871), Edward Livingston Youmans (1806 - 1873), Herbert Spencer (1820 - 1903), and George Grote (1794 - 1871) are important to the collection. George Grote's friendship is particularly vital to Mill's own thought. The Grote - Mill letters contain discussion of Platonic thought in conjunction with Aristotle, Socrates, and Xanophon. Augutus DeMorgan's letters contain discussions of Plato and Comte.
Of the female correspondents, an Isabella Beecher Hooker (1822 - 1907) letter of August 10, l869, covers Mill's book, The Subjection of Women, as well as some Hooker thoughts on woman suffrage.
Mill's own copious letters to Harriet give a thorough account of their, relationship and the overpowering influence which she held on his life. The subject is well covered in F. A. Hayek's work, John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor. The friendship was ostensibly one of equality, as reflected in Mill's letters contained in the collection.
The John Stuart Mill Collection reveals much of Mill's personal life and an ample amount of his published philosophy. Anyone interested in philosophy as it developed in the nineteenth century would find the Mill correspondence valuable.