Entries from the Online Book of Remembrance

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I, like many others, owe a debt of gratitude to Arthur, and Majorie Seldon for all their support and encouragement to develop ways of looking at the world and its problems different from prevailing orthodoxies. I will always remember the warmth, hospitality and guidance which, with the passing of time, is ever more appreciated. Arthur lives on in our endeavors.
United Kingdom

Patricia Morgan, UK. 28th January 2006

In 1966, I was fortunate enough to find myself working as a ‘temp’ for Arthur Seldon
in Hobart Place. He and his wife lived very near my parents in Kent and I recall visiting them a couple of times. Another thing we had in common was a stammer, but I don’t recall communication being a problem! There was much laughter. When the permanent secretary returned, Mr. Seldon asked me to stay on to market the fledgling publications, but I was on my way to a job in the theatre, as I was when, about a year later, Ralph Harris asked if I would consider returning, as Mr. Seldon’s secretary was leaving. I was so flattered, but ‘the peculiar charm of the theatre’ was irresistible. Nevertheless, I have often thought how differently my life might have turned out had I said yes. Sadly, I lost touch with Arthur Seldon and the IEA over the years. My knowledge of economics remains as slender as before, but I shall always remember those three months at the IEA with affection and gratitude.

Ann Daniels (nee Robinson), UK. 12th January 2006

I know the high regard my late Father held for Arthur and I was always made welcome by him, especially in my childhood visits and most recently after my mother died and Aurthur and Marjorie enttertained my Father and I.

Paul Solly, UK. 10th January 2006

Dear Marjorie,

Since the first time I met Arthur, in 1968, I felt that I have in him not only a friend and an intellectual guide, but really a member of my family. I can never forget how he enjoyed seeing me and Beatriz, as a recent married couple, at the beginning of the seventies.

Our common libertarian principles and quite similar East European origin and traditions were two hard links not to have present with Arthur for the rest of my life. Such principles have joined us together and forever in our pursuit of man's liberty.

Please, have my deepest regrets and feelings.

Meir Zylberberg, Argentina . 15th December 2005

One of the few people who can truly be called a Great Briton. He will be sorely missed.

Andrew Ian Dodge, UK. 23th November 2005

I have known Arthur and Marjorie, since I was born, and remember them from a very early age - we visited them frequently and went on holidays with them. On a trip to Florence, Arthur took a look at the grandiose staircase of the pensione, where we were staying, and felt that this was the perfect setting for an aria from some Italian opera he was keen on. He burst into song. Arthur was always great fun to be with, and encouraged me in whatever I was up to. Above all, he was a kind-hearted and loving person.

His passing on is a great loss. We send our warmest wishes to Marjorie and her family.

Adam, Lopa and Mala Yamey, UK. 20th November 2005

I first met Arthur in the early 1960s following his invitation to write Hobart Paper No. 33 "Paying for Parking". He was an instructive and supportive editor and I learnt more economics from him than from any other person. We remained friends ever since despite his scepticism about my subsequent work at the World Bank.

There are not many who make a significant difference to the progress of humanity, but Arthur surely belongs in that select group. His pioneering work at the Institute of Economic Affairs directly influenced the election and achievements of the Thatcher government and, through many other free-market institutes inspired by the IEA, it also influenced development in other countries. He, and all of us, are fortunate to have seen the adoption of many of his recommendations.

Gabriel Roth, United States. 20th November 2005

Arthur set me on the way to be a writer - in my first Hobart he detected 1/3 of the words as superfluous !

His insight into the economcis and politics of public decision-making was outstanding.

Professor John Hibbs, UK. 17th November 2005

It was a privilege to help with the publication of his Collected Works. The workings of a first-rate mind are seldom so modestly, affably, and clearly expressed.

Dan Kirklin, United States. 11th November 2005

Arthur Seldon became member of the Mont Pelerin Society in 1959. The officers and members recognized their debt of gratitude by appointing him as Fellow in 1996. He was the first member receiving this honour.
- Arthur's intellectual contributions will survive him. We remember his openness to listen to new members with genuine curiosity and good will. We will miss his kindness.

Carl-Johan Westholm, Secretary of the Mont Pelerin Society since 1988. Sweden. 9th November 2005

With abiding respect, Dennis Lees

Dennis Lees, UK. 8th November 2005

Arthur was a wise and humble man who taught me, and many others, the power of ideas.
He and his life partner, Marjorie, have been a major influence to promote the rule of law, the primacy of the market, and the freedom to choose for the individual.

His work will long be remembered beyond his life, because he truly espoused the importance of
"the permanent things."

Arthur's personal role as a founder of the IEA, and personally, providing me with my first think tank job (at the munificient salary of five pounds a day!), more than forty years ago, have inspired my own work, and that of my colleagues here at The Heritage Foundation in Washington.

Arthur's legacy lives around the world, and to Marjorie, we send our warmest regards and real love.

Ed Feulner, joined by wife, Linda, who is a fellow admirer of Arthur, and all of my colleagues at Heritage, and in the Mont Pelerin Society. United States., 8th November 2005.

Arthur was indeed an accomplished man and I have had no idea of his humble beginnings. My memories date back to when I first met Peter and when I used to overnight at their home north of Sevenoaks, before "Thatched Cottage". Arthur was always very jovial and always a pleasure to be in his company. At 14 years I found he was very attentive to us young ones and treated us as adults with stimulating conversation. Ocassional encounters since then was always a pleasure.

Thank you for hosting my nineteenth birthday just prior to my departure from the UK.

He will no doubt be sorely missed.

Michael Barthel, Canada. 7th November 2005

Arthur Seldon had a powerful intellect that led to many original economic theories and statements about our world. Yet he was also a totally accessible and loving family man. He had a sharp wit and was devoted to his loving wife Marjorie and his sons Peter Anthony and Michael.

My late father, Hymie Valins, once said of Arthur “he’s a beautiful fella”. That about sums it up.

Martin Valins, United States. 6th November 2005

Dearest Authur, we will always remember him with great affection. Especially his great wit and sense of humour. We will miss him.

Ray and Andrea Valins, UK. 6th November 2005

A gentleman in every respect and one we were pleased to know.

Len and Joyce Wray, UK. 4th November 2005

Arthur was a splendid editor, both of young authors and of established writers. He improved the work of many of us. His editing and, in particular, his own extensive writings made him one of the great moving forces in the revival of classical liberal ideas in the latter part of the twentieth century and in the radical changes in economic policies around the world that ensued.

He was a great friend and his death will leave gaps in many lives that he touched. But his family and friends can be comforted by the knowledge that his ideas and his influence live on.

Professor Colin Robinson, UK. 4th November 2005

We lost a great man. His work inspired many, myself being among them, everywhere in the world. He will always be remembered as one of heroes of international freedom cause. His work will inspire future fighters of freedom. We learned so much fro Arthur and we will keep going in his way with respect to ideas and strategy to reach to a better and more free world...

Atilla Yayla, Turkey. 1st November 2005

It was not my privilege to know this gentleman personally -- but as I worked for one of the founders and major movers of a Washington think tank called AEI (The American Enterprise Institute) I was directly influenced by his thought and work through the others there who had experienced the benefit of his ideas. Thus the influence of his life goes on through the lives of others whom he touched intellectually and through the worth of the ideas he espoused. I judge he will be missed -- and remembered.

Jack Buttram, NC, United States. 27th October 2005

A great man who helped to change the world.

Martin Chren, Slovakia. 27th October 2005

Call him Drake's drummer!

See Rafe's short piece on Arthur here

Rafe Champion, Australia. 27th October 2005

Reading the details of the life and achievements of my uncle Arthur Seldon makes me realise what a truly modest man he was. He clearly influenced the policies of many governments and was not afraid to stand fast in his beliefs against those who disagreed with him. How satisfying that he was able to see his propositions proved right.

Ruth Starr, UK. 25th October 2005

A true hero has gone...

Ronan Jubineau, France. 25th October 2005

I was priviledged to have his guide and encouragement in the mid 1990s at IEA to start a free market organization in Bangladesh.

May his soul rest in peace.

Nizam Ahmad, Bandladesh. 24th October 2005

Many of his perceptive writings grace my library. Clear, concise and devastatingly articulate, Arthur's thoughts influenced many of us free market intellectual warriors. And they will continue to do so.

Peter Holle, Canada. 24th October 2005

A beautiful mind, a beautiful soul, a gift to the world.

Patsy J. Shaffer, United States. 24th October 2005

We need many more like him and we need them in the universities and sites of learning

Robert C Miller, United States. 24th October 2005

He profoundly influenced my feelings regarding monetary policy as well as being a source of pride to all of us

Matthew Starr, Israel. 22nd October 2005

The loss of this great man is the loss of the liberal world. But his ideas are to survive forever. We are bringing them into China.

Dean Peng, China. 21st October 2005

Farewell to my dear friend, Arthur. We knew each other for 69 years and shared so many opinions on the great issues of our time.

I shall treasure my memories of you until my time has come.

Stuart Waterhouse on 21 October 2005

It was an honour yesterday to, as the Rabbi taking the service explained, accompany Arthur on his final journey. It is a token of the esteem in which he is held that so many were there to hear read the wonderful but truly fitting eulogy.

The man, who I only knew as Uncle Arthur, was ‘ordinary’ i.e. he was never aloof. He would treat, talk and listen to me just the same as if he were with a grandee. This to me is the mark of a truly great man.

Anthony Gower, UK. 20th October 2005

Deep sympathy to Marjorie and the family

George and Bridget Willett, UK. 20th October 2005

A man who changed the history of the UK, but always modest about his achievements.

Life will be duller without Arthur's sparkle.

John Barnes, UK. 19th October 2005

There are three men who were the unsung "backroom heroes" of the Thatcherite revolution. They were Arthur Seldon and Ralph Harris at the Institute of Economic Affairs, and Alfred Sherman at the Centre for Policy Studies.

Sam Burnside, UK. 19th October 2005

Arthur was a true individual who never asked anyone to do anything he would not do himself such as thinking the unthinkable or considering what was politically impossible. He encouraged us young 'uns to follow our logic and pointed out, very disarmingly, our errors.

A very human hero he was a great intellectual and a very warm, convivial and generous human being. I was priviledged to know him, even if only for a very short time.

Gerry O'Neill, United States. 16th October 2005

Arthur was clearly among the most effective proponents of classical liberalism in the latter half of the twentieth century. In addition to the legacy of his writings, he will be remembered for his role in putting the IEA on the map as a major force in Britain.

Gordon L. Brady, United States. 14th October 2005

I salute one of that stalwart band of heroes who kept alive the cause of classical liberalism during the twentieth century.

Mark Brady, United States. 14th October 2005

A truly great man whose ideas and ideals will always be treasured. One of our heroes who will be remembered for his accomplishments as long as true liberalism is recognized.

Kenneth R. Gregg, United States. 14th October 2005


A great man, whose influence was profound, tho'much of it was behind the scenes. Future historians will be able to assess his key role in keeping liberal ideas alive, & esp. in transmitting Hayek's views at a time when he was completely ignored by the establishment.

Sudha Shenoy, Australia. 14th October

Thank you to all those that posted an entry into Arthur's Book of Remembrance.

If you would like to add your comments, please go to 'Contributions' in the menu on the left-side of this website for contact information.