I spent some time looking at David Miller's, Popper Selections, section 23 - which is entitled Historicism (1936), and section 24 - which is entitled Piecemeal Social Engineering(1944) - , of Part IV Social Philosophy, pages 289-318. All of us know the circumstances of its publication through evidence provided by Popper, himself. But there remains some question regarding the date of "1936," given in brackets. As Miller, himself, writes on page 465 in the Editorial Note, Sources, and Acknowledgements: "'Historicism.' This consists of the Introduction, sections 12, 14-16 and 27 of The Poverty of Historicism; this was first read at a private meeting in Brussels in 1936. Two substantial cuts have been made in section 27;" and on page 466: "'Piecemeal Social Engineering.' This consists of the sections 20, 21, and 24 of The Poverty of Historicism, this was first published in Economica IX, 1944, and XII, 1945. Some cuts have been made at the beginnings and ends of sections," which makes us think that section 23 contains pieces taken from the text read in Brussels. This would have been of great interest in order to find out exactly what sort of conception Popper had of Historicism, before becoming familiar with Hayek and his essay Scientism and the Study of Society, which appeared in Economica IX, 1942, X, 1943, XI, 1944. And to understand also what he really owed to Hayek, as far as his methodology on 'theoretical social sciences' was concerned (which can be seen, nevertheless, trying to read The Poverty without the references to Hayek). I agree on the fact that we are dealing with a merely scholarly interest, perhaps even just a personal curiosity. But when you are dealing with the Classics, even this kind of problem is relevant in its own way, and perhaps even a general interest.
Such a curiosity of mine, however, has not been satisfied. On the contrary it has become even stronger. In fact, not only in section 23 of the edited by Miller are there paragraphs taken from the edition of The Poverty of Historicism, 1957 (whose text is different to the one published in Economica). But the same paragraphs published in section 24 are not taken from the text published in Economica, but are also from the 1957 edition. Such a comparison, even if it is rather a superficial one, between the three texts allows us to see that the essays published by Miller are those of the 1957 edition and not those published in Economica. It's true that most of the time it's a matter of modifications of a formal kind, or added pieces (which are more or less consistent) in the 1957 edition (for example, here the Introduction is longer, and is different from the initial paragraph of Economica). What we can't work out is why Miller, who made an exemplary choice of essays, accompanied them with misleading editorial indications.
I've not the slightest intention to support the substantiality of the modifications, nor do I want to exaggerate the importance of them, inasmuch as I think that we are dealing with philological matters. Nevertheless, I would have liked to and i would be very interested in reading the 1936 text. And I hope that one day it might be published, if it still exists. But the realization of such hopes does not depend on scholars like us. We, if anything, even on the basis of these brief indications, can wonder if a philological comparison between the text of Economica and the text of the 1957 edition, is nothing but a kind of pastime for scholars. Don't you think that we should find out if these modifications are simply stylistic improvements and clarification of concepts, or if, on the other hand, they are something different and more interesting?