Harriet Taylor Mill

Harriet Taylor Mill, née Hardy

*October 8, 1807 (London, United Kingdom)
†November 3, 1858 (Avignon, France)

Spouses: John Taylor; John Stuart Mill

Children: Herbert, Algernon, and Helen Taylor

Harriet Taylor Mill was an English philosopher and early advocate for women’s rights whose philosophical contribution is often subsumed under the works of her husband, the philosopher John Stuart Mill. She was born in London in 1807 as the daughter of Thomas Hardy and his wife Harriet Hurst and received a decent education at home. At the age of eighteen, she married John Taylor, a wealthy merchant, with whom she had three children in the following years: Herbert, Algernon, and Helen Taylor. In 1830, she was first introduced to John Stuart Mill through the politically radical community of the Unitarian Church, for whose publication, the Monthly Repository, she had contributed several articles. These should remain the only publications openly credited to her, but her philosophical career thrived during the acquaintance with Mill, who regarded her as his intellectual equal. For the next twenty years, they maintained an intellectual collaboration and extensive correspondence, including essays on subjects such as marriage and women’s rights, in which Taylor often expressed more radical views than her future husband. Although the extent of her contribution to Mill’s writings remains the topic of some debate, it is widely believed today that Taylor is the joint author of most books and articles published under Mill’s name, as Mill claims in his autobiography. Additionally, Taylor has been identified as the primary author of the landmark feminist essay “The Enfranchisement of Women” (1851), in which she argues for full legal, social and economic equality of women. The relationship between Taylor and Mill was largely tolerated by her husband, from whom she would eventually separate. She and Mill married two years after her first husband’s death in 1859. True to their shared philosophical principles, Mill denounced the usual legal prerogatives of a husband in their marriage contract. Taylor hence retained full legal and economic autonomy in their marriage.

  • Primary Sources

    Mill, John S. & Mill, Harriet Hardy Taylor 1850. The Enfranchisement of Women. Westminister Review.

    Mill, Harriet Hardy Taylor 1868. Enfranchisement of Women. London: Trübner.

    Mill, John S. & Mill, Harriet Hardy Taylor 1869. The Subjection of Women. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co.

    Mill, John S., Mill, Harriet Hardy Taylor & Hayek, Friedrich A. von [Hrsg.] 1951. John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor: Their Correspondence and Subsequent Marriage. London: Routledge & Paul.

    Mill, John S. & Mill, Harriet Hardy Taylor, Rossi, Alice S., (Hg.) 1970. Essays on Sex Equality. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (420).

    Mill, John S. & Mill, Harriet Hardy Taylor 1970. Early Essays on Marriage and Divorce, in Rossi, Alice S., Mill, John S. & Mill, Harriet Hardy Taylor (Hg.): Essays on Sex Equality. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (420), 65–88.

    Mill, Harriet Hardy Taylor, Jacobs, Jo E. & Payne, Paula H. 1998. The Complete Works of Harriet Taylor Mill. Bloomington, Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.

    Mill, John S. & Nutzinger, Hans G. (Hg.) 2008. Einige ungelöste Probleme der politischen Ökonomie. Vom Hrsg. durchges. und erg. Fassung von 1976. Marburg: Metropolis-Verl.

  • Secondary Sources

    Abaroa, Elena G. 2007. La liberacion de las mujeres y la economia según Harriet Hardy Taylor Mill (1807-1858), in Perdices de Blas, Luis (Hg.): Mujeres economistas: Las aportaciones de las mujeres a la ciencia económica y a su divulgación durante los siglos XIX y XX. Madrid: Ecobook, 55–82.

    Abaroa, Elena G. 2010. La incorporación de las mujeres a la economía política en los albores del Siglo XIXJane Marcet, Harriet Martineau, Millicent Garrett Fawcett y Harriet Taylor Mill. Mujeres y Economia 852, 13–25.

    Abbey, Ruth 1997. Odd bedfellows: Nietzsche and Mill on marriage. History of European Ideas 23(2-4), 81–104.

    Abbey, Ruth & Den Uyl, Douglas J. 2001. The Chief Inducement? The Idea of Marriage as Friendship. J Appl Philos 18(1), 37–52.

    Abbey, Ruth 2007. Back toward a Comprehensive Liberalism? Justice as Fairness, Gender, and Families. Political Theory 35(1), 5–28. Online im Internet: URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20452523.

    Annas, Julia. Mill and the Subjection of Women. Philosophy 52, 179–194.

    Anschutz, R. P. 1955. J. S. Mill, Carlyle and Mrs. Taylor. Political Science(7).

    Bardeleben, Renate v. & Plummer, Patricia (Hg.) 1998. Perspektiven der Frauenforschung. Tübingen: Stauffenberg-Verlag.

    Bäumer, Gertrud 1980. Die Geschichte der englischen Frauenbewegung, in Lange, Helene & Bäumer, Gertrud (Hg.): Handbuch der Frauenbewegung. Weinheim: Beltz, 225–288.

    Bodkin, Ronald G. 1999. Women’s Agency In Classical Economic Thought: Adam Smith, Harriet Taylor Mill, And J. S. Mill. Feminist Economics 5(1), 45–60.

    Boralevi, Lea C. 1987. Utilitarianism and Feminism, in Kennedy, Ellen & Mendus, Susan (Hg.): Women in Western political philosophy: Kant to Nietzsche. Brighton, Sussex: Wheatsheaf Books.

    Botting, Eileen H. & Kronewitter, Sean 2012. Westernization and Women’s Rights: Non-Western European Responses to Mill’s Subjection of Women,1869-1908. Political Theory 40(4), 466–496.

    Budde, Gunilla F. 2004. Harriet und ihre Schwestern. Frauen und Zivilgesellschaft im 19. Jahrhundert, in Jessen, Ralph, Reichardt, Sven & Klein, Ansgar (Hg.): Zivilgesellschaft als Geschichte: Studien zum 19. und 20. Jahrhundert. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften. (Bürgergesellschaft und Demokratie, 13), 327–344.

    Burgess-Jackson, Keith 1995. John Stuart Mill, Radical Feminist. Social Theory and Practice 21(3), 389–396.

    Cranston, Maurice 1959. Mr. and Mrs. Mill on Liberty. The Listener 62(1589), 385–386.

    Deutscher, Penelope 2006. When Feminism Is ‘High’ and Ignorance Is ‘Low’: Harriet Taylor Mill on the Progress of the Species. Hypatia 21(3), 136–150.

    Dimand, Mary A. 1995. The economic thought of Harriet Taylor Mill, in Dimand, Mary A. (Hg.): Women of value: Feminist essays on the history of women in economics. Aldershot, Hants: Elgar, 101.

    Dimand, Mary A. (Hg.) 1995. Women of value: Feminist essays on the history of women in economics. Aldershot, Hants: Elgar.

    Dimand, Robert W. 2000. Nineteenth-Century American Feminist Economics: From Caroline Dall to Charlotte Perkins Gilman. The American Economic Review 90(2), 480–484.

    Dimand, Robert W. & Nyland, Chris (Hg.) 2003. The status of women in classical economic thought. Cheltenham: Elgar.

    Dimand, Robert W., Forget, Evelyn L. & Nyland, Chris 2004. Retrospectives Gender in Classical Economics. Journal of Economic Perspectives 18(1), 229–240.

    Donner, Wendy & Fumerton, Richard 2009. Sexual Equality and the Subjection of Women. Oxford, UK: Wiley‐Blackwell. (Blackwell Great Minds, Mill, Mill’s Moral and Political Philosophy, Chapter 7, p.106-124).

    Duran, Jane 2006. Eight Women Philosophers: Theory, Politics, and Feminism. Urbana-Champaign: Univ of Illinois Press.

    Forget, Evelyn L. 2003. John Stuart Mill, Harriet Taylor and Social and French Social Theory, in Dimand, Robert W. & Nyland, Chris (Hg.): The status of women in classical economic thought. Cheltenham: Elgar, 285–311.

    Freedman, Estelle B. 2007. The Essential Feminist Reader. 1st ed. New York: Modern Library. (Modern Library classics).

    Gamble, Sarah 2001. The Routledge companion to feminism and postfeminism. [New ed.]. London: Routledge.

    Gatens, Moira 1993. Feminism and philosophy: Perspectives on difference and equality. Cambridge: Polity Press.

    Gronert, Anka (Hg.) 2001. Frauen in der Ökonomie: Die Anfänge in England. Marburg: Metropolis-Verl.

    Hagengruber, Ruth 1998. Widersprüche, Paradoxien und Klärungen: Überlegungen grundsätzlicher Art zur Frauenforschung aus der Sicht von Philosophinnen, in Bardeleben, Renate v. & Plummer, Patricia (Hg.): Perspektiven der Frauenforschung. Tübingen: Stauffenberg-Verlag, 19–27.

    Hayek, Friedrich A. 1951. John Stuart Mill an Harriet Taylor: Their Friendship [Correspndence] and Subsequent Marriage. London: Routledge & Kegan Pau.

    Heilbroner, Robert L. 2014. Die Denker der Wirtschaft: Ideen und Konzepte der großen Wirtschaftsphilosophen. 2. Aufl. München: FinanzBuch-Verl.

    Hekman, Susan 1992. John Stuart Mill’s the subjection of women: The foundations of liberal feminism. History of European Ideas 15(4-6), 681–686.

    Held, Virginia 1971. Justice and Harriet Taylor. The Nation, 405–406.

    Himmelfarb, Gertrude 1990. On liberty and liberalism: The case of John Stuart Mill. San Francisco, Calif: ICS Press.

    Holland-Cunz, Barbara 20]07. Die alte neue Frauenfrage. Orig.-Ausg., 1. Aufl., [Nachdr.]. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp. (Neue sozialwissenschaftliche Bibliothek, 2335).

    Holub, Hans W. 2011. Eine Einführung in die Geschichte des ökonomischen Denkens. Wien, Berlin: LIT. (Einführungen Wirtschaft, Bd. Band 16Bd).

    Jacobs, Jo E. 1994. “The Lot of Gifted Ladies Is Hard”: A Study of Harriet Taylor Mill Criticism. Hypatia 9(3), 132–162.

    Jacobs, Jo E. 1998. Introduction, in Mill, Harriet Hardy Taylor, Jacobs, Jo E. & Payne, Paula H. (Hg.): The Complete Works of Harriet Taylor Mill. Bloomington, Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, XI–XXV.

    Jacobs, Jo E. 2000. Harriet Taylor Mill`s Collaboration with John Stuart Mill, in Tougas, Cecile T. & Ebenreck, Sara (Hg.): Presenting Women Philosophers. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. (The new academy), 155–166.

    Jacobs, Jo E. 2002. The voice of Harriet Taylor Mill. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

    Jessen, Ralph, Reichardt, Sven & Klein, Ansgar (Hg.) 2004. Zivilgesellschaft als Geschichte: Studien zum 19. und 20. Jahrhundert. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften. (Bürgergesellschaft und Demokratie, 13).

    Kamm, Josephine 1977. John Stuart Mill in love. London: Gordon & Cremonesi.

    Kennedy, Ellen & Mendus, Susan (Hg.) 1987. Women in Western political philosophy: Kant to Nietzsche. Brighton, Sussex: Wheatsheaf Books.

    Krouse, Richard W. 1982. Patriarchal Liberalism and Beyond: From John Stuart Mill to Harriet Taylor, in Elshtain, Jean B. (Hg.): The family in political thought. Brighton, Sussex: Harvester Press.

    Lange, Helene & Bäumer, Gertrud (Hg.) 1980. Handbuch der Frauenbewegung. Autoris. fotomechan. Nachdr. der Originalausg. Berlin 1901 – 1915. Weinheim: Beltz.

    Leipold, Helmut & Wentzel, Dirk 2016. Ordnungsökonomik Als Aktuelle Herausforderung. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter GmbH. (Schriften Zu Ordnungsfragen der Wirtschaft Ser, Bd. v.78Bd).

    Lloyd, Trevor 1970. Suffragetten. Die Emanzipation der Frau in der westlichen Welt. Lausanne: Recontre.

    Manning, Rita 2006. Review of: Jo Ellen Jacobs, The Complete Works of Harriet Taylor Mill (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1998). Utilitas 18(3), 317–321.

    Mendus, Susan 1994. John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor on Women and Marriage. Utilitas 6(2), 287–299.

    Meyer, Ursula I. & Bennent-Vahle, Heidemarie (Hg.) 1994. Philosophinnen-Lexikon. Aachen: ein-FACH-Verl. (Philosophinnen, 2).

    Meyer, Ursula I. 1994. Harriet Taylor Mill, in Meyer, Ursula I. & Bennent-Vahle, Heidemarie (Hg.): Philosophinnen-Lexikon. Aachen: ein-FACH-Verl. (Philosophinnen, 2), 533–537.

    Meyer, Ursula I. (Hg.) 1997. Die Welt der Philosophin. Aachen: EIN-Fach Verlag.

    Meyer, Ursula I. 1997. Harriet Taylor Mill. Die Hörigkeit der Frau, in Meyer, Ursula I. (Hg.): Die Welt der Philosophin. Aachen: EIN-Fach Verlag, 285–293.

    Miller, Dale E. 2013. Harriet Taylor Mill.

    Millett, Kate 2018. Sexus und Herrschaft: Die Tyrannei des Mannes in unserer Gesellschaft. Köln: Kiepenheuer & Witsch.

    Mineka, Frances 1963. The Autobiography and the Lady. University of Toronto Quaterly 32, 301–306.

    Morales, Maria H. 1996. Mill’s Substantive Egalitarianism, in Morales, Maria H. (Hg.): Perfect Equality: John Stuart Mill on Well-Constituted Communities. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 21–48.

    Morales, Maria H. (Hg.) 1996. Perfect Equality: John Stuart Mill on Well-Constituted Communities. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.

    Moser, Friedhelm 1998. “Alles am Weibe ist ein Rätsel …”: Der philosophische Blick auf die Frau. Frankfurt am Main: Eichborn.

    Narewski, Ringo 2008. John Stuart Mill und Harriet Taylor Mill: Leben und Werk. Zugl.: Gießen, Univ., Magisterarbeit. 1. Aufl. Wiesbaden: VS Verl. für Sozialwiss. (Politik und Geschlecht, 20).

    Niedhart, Gottfried 2004. Geschichte Englands im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert. 3., durchgesehene Auflage. München: Verlag C. H. Beck. (Geschichte Englands, Bd. in drei Bänden ; 3Bd).

    Nye, Andrea 1989. Feminist theory and the philosophies of man. Paperback ed. New York: Routledge.

    Okin, Susan 1987. Justice and Gender. Philosophy and Public Affairs 16(1), 42–72.

    Pappe, H. O. 1956. The Mills and Harriet Taylor. Political Science 8(1), 19–30.

    Pappe, H.O 1960. John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor Myth: Australian National University Social Science Monograph. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press.

    Perdices de Blas, Luis (Hg.) 2007. Mujeres economistas: Las aportaciones de las mujeres a la ciencia económica y a su divulgación durante los siglos XIX y XX. Madrid: Ecobook.

    Polkinghorn, Bette A. & Thomson, Dorothy L. 1999. Adam Smith’s daughters: Eight prominent women economists from the eighteenth century to the present. Cheltenham, UK: Elgar.

    Přibram, Karl & Brühmann, Horst 1992. Geschichte des ökonomischen Denkens. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.

    Pujol, Michèle A. 1992. Feminism and anti-feminisim in early economic thought. Aldershot [u.a.]: Elgar.

    Ring, Jennifer 1985. Mill’s “The Subjection of Women”: The Methodological Limits of Liberal Feminism. The Review of Politics 47(1), 27–44.

    Robson, Ann P. 2010. Sexual Equality a Mill-Taylor Reader: Writings. Toronto Ont.: University of Toronto Press. Online im Internet: URL: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&scope=site&db=nlebk&db=nlabk&AN=682425.

    Robson, John M. 1966. Harriet Taylor Mill and John Stuart Mill: Artist and Scientist. Queens Quarterly 73, 167–186.

    Robson, John M. 1983. Harriet Taylor on Marriage: Two Fragments. Mill News Letter 18, 2–6.

    Rose, Phyllis & Lester, Rosemarie K. 1989. Parallele Leben: Fünf viktorianische Ehen. Dt. Erstausg., 14. – 16. Tsd. Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rowohlt. (rororo Neue Frau, 5857).

    Rossi, Alice S. 1970. Sentiment and Intellect: The Story of John Stuart MIll and Harriet Taylor Mill, in Rossi, Alice S., Mill, John S. & Mill, Harriet Hardy Taylor (Hg.): Essays on Sex Equality. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (420), 3–63.

    Rossi, Alice S. (Hg.) 1988. The feminist papers: From Adams to de Beauvoir. 1. Northeastern Univ. Pr. ed. Boston, Mass.: Northeastern Univ. Pr.

    Rossi, Alice S., Mill, John S. & Mill, Harriet Hardy Taylor (Hg.) 1970. Essays on Sex Equality. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (420).

    Rowbotham, Sheila 1980. Im Dunkel der Geschichte. Frauenbewegung in England vom 17. bis 20. Jahrhundert. Frankfurt am Main: Campus Verlag.

    Rullmann, Marit 1998. Harriet Taylor Mill, in Rullmann, Marit (Hg.): Philosophinnen. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 273–280.

    Rullmann, Marit (Hg.) 1998. Philosophinnen. 2. Aufl. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.

    Schmoly, Eva 2001. Harriet Taylor MIll (1807-1858), in Gronert, Anka (Hg.): Frauen in der Ökonomie: Die Anfänge in England. Marburg: Metropolis-Verl., 61–91.

    Seiz, Janet 2000. Harriet Taylor Mill. American Economic Review 90(2), 476–479.
    Shanley, Mary L. 1981. Marital Slavery and Friendship: John Stuart Mill’s The Subjection of Women. Political Theory Vol. 9(No. 2), 229–247. Online im Internet: URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/190714 [Stand 2014-05-16].

    Siegel, Reva B. 1994. Home As Work: The First Woman’s Rights Claims Concerning Wives’ Household Labor, 1850-1880. Faculty Scholarship Series. Online im Internet: URL: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/fss_papers/1094.

    Smith, Elizabeth S. 2001. John Stuart Mill’s “The Subjection of Women”: A Re-Examination. Polity 34(2), 181–203.
    Stillinger, Jack 1983. Who wrote J. S. Mills Autobiography. Victorian Studies 27(1), 7–23.
    Straube, Ingrid 2003. Verordnete Unmündigkeit: Essays zur Philosophiekritik aus feministischer Sicht. Aachen: ein-FACH-Verl. (Philosophinnen, 14).

    Strober, Myra H. 1994. Rethinking Economics through a Feminist Lens. American Economic Review 84(2), 143–147.

    Szapuová, Mariana 2006. Women in Philosophy. The Case of Harriet Taylor Mill. Human Affairs. A Postdisciplinary Journal for Humaniities and Social Sciences 16(2), 133–143.

    Tollison, Robert D. 1986. Economists as the Subject of Economic Inquiry. Southern Economic Journal 52(4), 909–922.

    Tougas, Cecile T. & Ebenreck, Sara 2000. Presenting Women Philosophers. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. (The new academy).

    Waithe, Mary E. (Hg.) 1991. A History of Women Philosophers: Modern Women Philosophers, 1600-1900. Dordrecht [Netherlands], Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers. (A History of women philosophers, 3).

    Waithe, Mary E. 1991. Harriet Taylor Mill: 1807-1858, in Waithe, Mary E. (Hg.): A History of Women Philosophers: Modern Women Philosophers, 1600-1900. Dordrecht [Netherlands], Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers. (A History of women philosophers, 3), 246–251.

     

  • Online Sources
  • ECC
  • Media

    Ruth Hagengruber in Conversation with Dieter Birnbacher on Harriet Taylor Mill

    Ruth Hagengruber (Paderborn University) in Conversation with Dieter Birnbacher (Düsseldorf University) on Harriet Taylor Mill, and women in philosophy today.

    Vorlesung “History of Women Philosophers” – Harriet Taylor Mill, Edith Stein und Hannah Arendt

    Teil 10 der Vorlesung “History of Women Philosophers” des Wintersemesters 2011/2012 von Prof. Dr. Ruth Hagengruber an der Universität Paderborn.

  • Projects

    Online Teaching  (Deutsch)

     

  • Quotes

    “There is no inherent reason or necessity that all women should voluntarily choose to devote their lives to one animal function and its consequences. Numbers of women are wives and mothers only because there is no other career open to them,—no other occupation for their feelings or activities.”
     Enfranchisement of Women

    “We deny the right of any portion of the species to decide for another portion what is and what is not their ‘proper sphere.’ The proper sphere for all human beings is the largest and highest which they are able to attain to. ”
    ― Essays on Sex Equality

Back to top