Harriet Taylor has been long forgotten as an economist and political philosopher, while merely remembered as John Stuart Mill’s friend and belatedly wife. Never was fate more unjust: we only need to recall that Taylor - whose liberal background soon led her to be fascinated by socialist theories and the evolution of labour movements - wrote chapter VII of the fourth book of the Principles of Political Economy, the well-known On the Probable Futurity of the Labouring Classes. Not to mention, moreover, her reflections on social mobility, women’s rights and female participation to the labour market, delivered in brilliant essays like Enfranchisement of Women. Detaching from mainstream Taylor’s scholarship, this paper tries to confer autonomy to her economic thought (compared to Mill’s) by suggesting that its original feature lies in the correspondence she established amid the liberation of the working classes and women’s enfranchisement, in order to place Taylor’s ideas in a more accurate intellectual perspective.
Keywords: Feminist economics, liberalism, socialism, labour market, women’s rights, Harriet Taylor Mill, John Stuart Mill
Jel Code: B12, B14, B31, B54, J71