236. D. H. Robertson to Harrod , 26 April 1932 [a]

[Replies to a letter not found, follows on from 234 ]

Trinity College, Cambridge #

26 April 1932

My dear Roy,

I have talked over your letter with Maynard. [1] We are both definitely of the [b] opinion that you should finish writing your book as a book (i.e. shouldn't boil it down into an article or couple of articles),--and that you should make it the sort of book you want to make it, i.e. shouldn't force & torture yourself into doing what doesn't come natural. If the resulting product should not prove suitable for the C[ambridge ]E[conomic ]H[andbooks] series, we haven't the slightest doubt that there would be no difficulty whatever in finding a publisher for it. [2] But there is no reason why we should aim at strict uniformity of treatment in the series, i.e. why some books shouldn't be less "juicy" than others: and I have every hope that we should want the book for ourselves. Certainly there's nobody else from whom we want a book on that theme,--i.e. you haven't in any way prevented me from getting the thing done by somebody else,--which after your first defection I tried my best to do! [3]

If you should feel inclined to move at all in the direction I indicated, don't try to do it by introducing any kind of chattiness or juiciness which doesn't come natural, but only by giving a little more incidental information. E.g. foreign investment: my memory may be wrong, but would any reader of your book learn that America has been a large lender abroad in the last decade, or Germany a large borrower?

I do hope you'll feel encouraged to go on. I feel sure the book ought to be finished as a book, and at least hopeful that it will be our book.

I look forward to seeing you on 5th. [4]



  1. 1. On 22 April Robertson thanked Harrod for a letter (not found), and anticipated that he would have discussed it with Keynes before replying (in HP IV-990-1069d/10).

    2. Harrod, International Economics ( 1933:10 ). The book was eventually published in the Cambridge Economic Handbook series, of which Keynes was the editor and Robertson the assistant editor.

    3. Harrod was originally invited to contribute a book for the Cambridge Economic Handbooks series in January 1927 (see letter 131 ), and agreed to submit it not later than August 1928. But he did not feel up to the task: see note 1 to letter 135 .

    4. Robertson invited Harrod in occasion of a feast in Cambridge for Ascension day (letter of 22 April 1932, cited in note 1 to this letter).

    1. a. ALI, two pages on one leaf, in HP IV-990-1069d/11. Envelope addressed to Christ Church.

      b. Ms: «of opinion».

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