Love or Liberty? A Short History of Adam Smith in Love
Econ Journal Watch, Vol. 18, No. 1 (March 2021), pp. 127-155.
39 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2021 Last revised: 1 Apr 2021
Date Written: March 30, 2021
Who were Adam Smith’s lost loves? I put Smith’s love life into historical context by briefly describing the strict ecclesiastical regulation of sex as well as the expansive jurisdiction of parish churches over people’s sex lives in the Scotland of his youth. Next, I reassemble all the available evidence, draw inferences, and present some conjectures. It is reasonable to conclude that Smith had at least two romantic relationships, possibly more, though we know very little about the women or the precise nature of these relationships.
Keywords: Abbé Colbert, James Currie, Janet Douglas, Lady Frances, David Hume, Henry Mackenzie, Madame Nicol, Madame Riccoboni, Dugald Stewart
JEL Classification: B31, K19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation