H.M. Prison Brixton
15th May 1918.
To the Right Honourable His Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for the Home Department.
I am applying to you for leave (1) to see my solicitor, J.J. Withers Esq, 4 Arundel Street, Strand, W.C.2, concerning a draft contract2 with a publisher, in which I desire certain alterations; (2) to be allowed to send to The Nation 10 Adelphi Terrace W.C.2 a review of a book3 which they desired me to review; (3) in future, subject to the approval of the Governor of Brixton Prison, to be allowed to send MSS of which the interest is wholly of a technical philosophical character to H. Wildon Carr Esq, President of the Aristotelian Society, 107 Church Street, Chelsea, S.W.3.
I remain, yours faithfully
[document] The letter was edited from a digital scan of BR’s signed, handwritten contribution to a petition form printed on a long, single blue sheet located in the National Archives, UK. The addressee’s formal title is printed on the form. The date is written in another hand on the form, misspelling BR’s first name. The governor approved it by signing it (“C. Haynes”), after rating BR’s conduct so far as Good, above a printed mention of early remission: “Marks for remission forfeited or not earned through any cause except illness.” There are two date-stamps: 16 May 1918 by the Prison Commission, and 17 May 1918 by the Home Office. The letter was published as App. XIII.3 in Papers 14.
contract BR’s only publishing contract then in draft was for Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy. BR saw Withers on 3 June (Letter 12). See note 3 to Letter 21 for clauses BR wished altered in this agreement. Although there was trouble with Lippincott over their contract to publish Roads to Freedom, their letter of 23 May 1918 (BRACERS 48708) declining to do so could hardly have arrived before BR saw Withers.
book … to review “Pure Reason at Königsberg”, a largely favourable assessment of Norman Kemp Smith, A Commentary to Kant’s “Critique of Pure Reason” (London: Macmillan, 1918), in The Nation 23 (20 July 1918): 426, 428 (B&R C18.05); 14 in Papers 8. BR concluded the review: “It is with a strange heartache that one looks back to the days when the Königsberg philosopher lived a life of pure reason; in our time the life of reason is more difficult and more painful.”