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The pleasures of office life: Mill at East India House

Stack, D. (2020) The pleasures of office life: Mill at East India House. Nineteenth-Century Prose, 47 (1).

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John Stuart Mill spent thirty-five years of his life working at East India House. For many years, and following Mill’s own lead, Mill scholars consistently underestimated the importance of Mill’s place of employment in shaping his development. This began to change with a growing recognition of the centrality of India to Mill’s thought, but even then the focus remained primarily on intellectual influences rather than Mill’s immediate work environment. This article attempts to put Mill back into the context of East India House and to explore the myriad ways in which office life and office culture - the art and architecture by which he was surrounded, the literary and botanical interests of his colleagues, and the workplace friendships that he formed - helped to shape Mill’s development. The article concludes by arguing that Mill’s work experiences and the culture of East india House need to be more fully integrated into the ongoing attempts to form a full understanding of Mill’s life and thought.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Humanities > History
ID Code:87358

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