The manuscript carries the “Nouvelles de la Révolution” header, like the sections in the expanded “Justice,” and we know that Proudhon intended it as a follow-up to the studies on “Love and Marriage.”
In a letter to Garnier Frères, December 12, 1860, Proudhon wrote:
“At this moment I am studying our young literature. I have read, for example, all the novels of Mr. [Edmonde] About: you can be sure that I do not intend to have wasted my time. But I cannot thus leap from one order of ideas to another without transition; and the transitions for me are in the ideas themselves.
“I can, however, if that would suit you, send you an opuscule of forty-eight or one hundred pages. It is a response to Mmes Jenny d’Héricourt and Juliette Lamessine on Free Love. That response will appear after the eleventh volume of my book “De La Justice,” which, as you know, is being reprinted by Lebègue. If the subject of Free Love tempts you, you have only to speak: for the next fortnight I could, I presume, send you the proofs, with some hand-written notes that I would add.
“But that is all trifles. It is necessary to return to serious things, apart from which there is no salvation.”