George Lennox Sharman Shackle to Henry M. Boettinger: Letters

Scope and Content

Letters from George Shackle to Henry M. Boettinger, American Telephone and Telegraph Company, New York, retired to Cornwall, on their respective work, writings and lectures. The letters cover economics, business and the philosophy of science.

Administrative / Biographical History

George Lennox Sharman Shackle (1903-1992) was born in Cambridge, and educated at the Perse School. He was unable for financial reasons to take up a place at St Catharine's College in 1920, and found employment in a bank, and later as a schoolmaster. While working he studied for an external degree from London University, which he obtained in 1931.

In 1934 Shackle won a Leverhulme Research Scholarship to the London School of Economics (taken up in January 1935), where his supervisor was F.A. Hayek. After hearing a lecture by Joan Robinson at a seminar in Cambridge in 1935, he obtained permission from Hayek to study the ideas of Keynes, and wrote as his doctoral dissertation (1937) what became his first published book, Expectations, investment and income (1938). In March 1937 he joined the Oxford University Institute of Statistics as research assistant to Henry Phelps Brown, and the work done in his two years there resulted in a dissertation for an Oxford D.Phil. degree (1940).

In 1939 Shackle was appointed to the Economics Department of St Andrews University, but on the outbreak of war he was called to London, where he worked in Sir Winston Churchill's Statistical Branch of the Cabinet Office until 1945, and, thereafter, in the Economics Section of the Cabinet Secretariat. In 1950 he was made Reader in Economic Theory at Leeds University, and in 1951 Brunner Professor of Economic Science at Liverpool University, where he remained until his retirement in 1969.

Shackle was Visiting Professor at Columbia University, New York, 1957-1958, and at Pittsburg University, 1966-1967. After his retirement he lectured in Belfast. He gave the F. De Vries Lectures in Amsterdam in 1957, and the British Academy Keynes Lecture in 1976. He was a member of the Council of the Royal Economic Society, 1955-1969, and was made a Fellow of the British Academy in 1967, and of the Econometric Society in 1960. He was President of Section F (Economics) of the British Association in 1966. Shackle published more than a dozen books, and contributed many articles and reviews to learned journals.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Presented by Henry M. Boettinger, 1989.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Summary Catalogue.

Related Material

Cambridge University Library also holds correspondence and writings of George Shackle, MS.Add.7669, and letters from George and Catherine Shackle to Stephen Frowen, with additional papers, MS.Add.8816.