Pyotr Kropotkin (Moscou, 1842 – Dmitrov, 1921)

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Belle et très longue lettre autographe en anglais, signée et datée Sept 24. 1891 par le scientifique, socialiste russe, théoricien du communisme libertaire. Suite à son arrestation en France dans le cadre du procès des anarchistes de Lyon, Kropotkin est libéré grâce à une pétition en 1886. Il s’installe à Londres, où il est accueilli par les réfugiés politiques russes et les intellectuels anarchistes anglais. Dans cette lettre, Kropotkin s’adresse à Charles Rowley, journaliste auprès de la revue anarchiste londonienne The Torch, en discutant sur une récente conférence à propos de ses théories sur l’aide mutuelle entre êtres humains: “…I did not ask you whether you were pleased with the lecture, because I was not myself. It seemed to me, all the time, as if the subject was not very familiar to the audience and when I told facts from animal life it, all the time seemed to me as if the audience was not quite convinced by them and listened rather with some doubts as to the exactitude or the right interpretation of the facts – what was your impression? Tell it, please, with entire frankness. My idea is not to reduce the lecture entirely: to reduce the animal illustrations from animal life and to consider under separate headings what are the best conditions (struggle or mutual support) for the security of the species, the longevity of the individual, the regular supply of food, the means to resist calamities, and so on, and to ensure further development. May be, Man (primitive Man) will have to be introduced in that review. At any rate – may be because I expected the lecture to be much better – such as I delivered it on Sunday last, it did not please me at all. You would very much oblige me by saying entirely what you, or your friends think about it…”. Kropotkin fait mention de l’accueil des salons anglais: “… I had not tell you that we had a most pleasant musical evening on Sunday, at Mr. [H. S.] Jones’s house. Mr. [Carl] Fuchs came with his cello, the young delightful basso sang a few more songs, and a trio of Brahms was quite artistically played by Miss Jones, Miss Wraith and Mr Fuchs. Miss Jones, all nerves and music, played again one of Beethoven’s Sonatas, and so on, till late is the night. For long time since I did not so deeply enjoy music…”. Pour un total de 8 pp. sur deux feuilles. In-8.