A request for information in the prospect of the dictionnaire de l’économie politique (1853)


Letter from Gilbert Guillaumin to P.-J. Proudhon

11 January 1853

Translated by Benoît Malbranque 

[Archives Proudhon, Besançon, Ms 2956, f° 196.]


Paris, [Tuesday] 11 January, 1853

My dear Mr. Proudhon,

We need to gather some biographical information for the article on you in the Dictionnaire de l’économie politique [1], which I ask you to send to me later this week if you cannot sooner.

As for bibliographical information, I believe I have a complete list of your works on the cover of your last book.

Please accept my very friendly greetings.

G. Guillaumin


Attached to this letter is a printed sheet, on an official Éditions Guillaumin letterhead paper, on which we read:


The Dictionnaire de l’Économie politique, which we have undertaken, will include short biographies of the people who have written on any branch of Political Economy, and consequently we kindly ask you to provide us with:

1° The date and place of your birth;

2° A summary of the positions you have held;

3° The list of the works you have published, indicating the number of volumes, the format and the date of publication.

It is our honor to greet you with the highest consideration.

Guillaumin et Cie. [2]


[1] This dictionary was published in two volumes, the first (A-I) in 1852 and the second (J-Z) in 1853.

[2] These letters were sent massively. Another similar document has survived, an unpublished letter by William Thomas Thornton (dated 17 June 1853), in which the British economist answered Guillaumin by stating his date and place of birth, the exact term of his office in the British East India Company, and the list of his publications.

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