How we work

Many of the texts presented in the Standard Edition appear in print here for the first time. Our sources are for the most part manuscripts held in the National Archives at Kew, sometimes fair copies in legible hands, sometimes Shaftesbury’s own drafts and notes. The latter range in terms of ‘decipherability’ from the comparatively neat and straightforward to the scrawled and cryptic.

The examples below are fairly typical of the Earl’s hand and of the challenges we sometimes face.


Fig. 1: Draft instructions for the revised Characterisicks; see SE I 3,275-7.














Fig.2: Addenda and corrigenda for the revised Characteristicks; see SE I 3,339-41