Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Fri Jul 05, 2019 3:23 am

Rabindranath Tagore: In Conversation with H. G. Wells
Excerpted from: A Tagore Reader, edited by Amiya Chakravarty.
January, 1961



Tagore and H.G. Wells met in Geneva in early June, 1930. Their conversation is reported here.

TAGORE: The tendency in modern civilization is to make the world uniform. Calcutta, Bombay, Hong Kong, and other cities are more or less alike, wearing big masks which represent no country in particular.

WELLS: Yet don't you think that this very fact is an indication that we are reaching out for a new world-wide human order which refuses to be localized?

TAGORE: Our individual physiognomy need not be the same. Let the mind be universal. The individual should not be sacrificed.

WELLS: We are gradually thinking now of one human civilization on the foundation of which individualities will have great chance of fulfillment. The individual, as we take him, has suffered from the fact that civilization has been split up into separate units, instead of being merged into a universal whole, which seems to be the natural destiny of mankind.

TAGORE: I believe the unity of human civilization can be better maintained by linking up in fellowship and cooperation of the different civilizations of the world. Do you think there is a tendency to have one common language for humanity?

WELLS: One common language will probably be forced upon mankind whether we like it or not. Previously, a community of fine minds created a new dialect. Now it is necessity that will compel us to adopt a universal language.

TAGORE: I quite agree. The time for five-mile dialects is fast vanishing. Rapid communication makes for a common language. Yet, this common language would probably not exclude national languages. There is again the curious fact that just now, along with the growing unities of the human mind, the development of national self-consciousness is leading to the formation or rather the revival of national languages everywhere. Don't you think that in America, in spite of constant touch between America and England, the English language is tending toward a definite modification and change?

WELLS: I wonder if that is the case now. Forty or fifty years ago this would have been the case, but now in literature and in common speech it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish between English and American. There seems to be much more repercussion in the other direction. Today we are elaborating and perfecting physical methods of transmitting words. Translation is a bother. Take your poems - do they not lose much by that process? If you had a method of making them intelligible to all people at the same time, it would be really wonderful.

TAGORE: Music of different nations has a common psychological foundation, and yet that does not mean that national music should not exist. The same thing is, in my opinion, probably true for literature.

WELLS: Modern music is going from one country to another without loss - from Purcell to Bach, then Brahms, then Russian music, then oriental. Music is of all things in the world most international.

TAGORE: May I add something? I have composed more than three hundred pieces of music. They are all sealed from the West because they cannot properly be given to you in your own notation. Perhaps they would not be intelligible to your people even if I could get them written down in European notation.

WELLS: The West may get used to your music.

TAGORE: Certain forms of tunes and melodies which move us profoundly seem to baffle Western listeners; yet, as you say, perhaps closer acquaintance with them may gradually lead to their appreciation in the West.

WELLS: Artistic expression in the future will probably be quite different from what it is today; the medium will be the same and comprehensible to all. Take radio, which links together the world. And we cannot prevent further invention. Perhaps in the future, when the present clamor for national languages and dialects in broadcasting subsides, and new discoveries in science are made, we shall be conversing with one another through a common medium of speech yet undreamed of.

TAGORE: We have to create the new psychology needed for this age. We have to adjust ourselves to the new necessities and conditions of civilization.

WELLS: Adjustments, terrible adjustments!

TAGORE: Do you think there are any fundamental racial difficulties?

WELLS: No. New races are appearing and reappearing, perpetual fluctuations. There have been race mixtures from the earliest times; India is the supreme example of this. In Bengal, for instance, there has been an amazing mixture of races in spite of caste and other barriers.

TAGORE: Then there is the question of racial pride. Can the West fully acknowledge the East? If mutual acceptance is not possible, then I shall be very sorry for that country which rejects another's culture. Study can bring no harm, though men like Dr. Haas and Henri Matisse seem to think that the eastern mind should not go outside eastern countries, and then everything will be all right.

WELLS: I hope you disagree. So do I!

TAGORE: It is regrettable that any race or nation should claim divine favoritism and assume inherent superiority to all others in the scheme of creation.

WELLS: The supremacy of the West is only a question of probably the past hundred years. Before the battle of Lepanto the Turks were dominating the West; the voyage of Columbus was undertaken to avoid the Turks. Elizabethan writers and even their successors were struck by the wealth and the high material standards of the East. The history of western ascendancy is very brief indeed.

TAGORE: Physical science of the nineteenth century probably has created this spirit of race superiority in the West. When the East assimilates this physical science, the tide may turn and take a normal course.

WELLS: Modern science is not exactly European. A series of accidents and peculiar circumstances prevented some of the eastern countries from applying the discoveries made by humanists in other parts of the world. They themselves had once originated and developed a great many of the sciences that were later taken up by the West and given greater perfection. Today,

Japanese, Chinese and Indian names in the world of science are gaining due recognition.

TAGORE: India has been in a bad situation.

WELLS: When Macaulay imposed a third-rate literature and a poor system of education on India, Indians naturally resented it. No human being can live on Scott's poetry. I believe that things are now changing. But, remain assured, we English were not better off. We were no less badly educated than the average Indian, probably even worse.

TAGORE: Our difficulty is that our contact with the great civilizations of the West has not been a natural one. Japan has absorbed more of the western culture because she has been free to accept or reject according to her needs.

WELLS: It is a very bad story indeed, because there have been such great opportunities for knowing each other.

TAGORE: And then, the channels of education have become dry river beds, the current of our resources having been systematically been diverted along other directions.

WELLS: I am also a member of a subject race. I am taxed enormously. I have to send my check - so much for military aviation, so much for the diplomatic machinery of the government! You see, we suffer from the same evils. In India, the tradition of officialdom is, of course, more unnatural and has been going on for a long time. The Moguls, before the English came, seem to have been as indiscriminate as our own people.

TAGORE: And yet, there is a difference! The Mogul government was not scientifically efficient and mechanical to a degree. The Moguls wanted money, and so long as they could live in luxury they did not wish to interfere with the progressive village communities in India. The Muslim emperors did not dictate terms and force the hands of Indian educators and villagers. Now, for

instance, the ancient educational systems of India are completely disorganized, and all indigenous educational effort has to depend on official recognition.

WELLS: "Recognition" by the state, and good-bye to education!

TAGORE: I have often been asked what my plans are. My reply is that I have no scheme. My country, like every other, will evolve its own constitution; it will pass through its experimental phase and settle down into something quite different from what you or I expect.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Fri Jul 05, 2019 3:50 am

Part 1 of 3

George Bernard Shaw
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 7/4/19

When the playwright George Bernard Shaw came to address the October Club, Sajjad Zaheer recalled, there were fears of an attempt to stop him speaking. 'So we decided to defend that meeting and among the chief defenders of the meeting was my dear friend, B.P.L. Bedi, who was at that time physically the strongest man at Oxford.' [41]

-- 2: The Gates of the World. The Lives of Freda: The Political, Spiritual and Personal Journeys of Freda Bedi -- EXCERPT, by Andrew Whitehead

George Bernard Shaw
Middle-aged man with greying hair and full beard
Shaw in 1911, by Alvin Langdon Coburn
Born 26 July 1856
Portobello, Dublin, Ireland
Died 2 November 1950 (aged 94)
Ayot St Lawrence, Hertfordshire, England
Resting place Shaw's Corner, Ayot St Lawrence
Occupation Playwright, critic, polemicist, political activist
Nationality British (1856–1950)
Irish (dual nationality 1934–50)
Spouse Charlotte Payne-Townshend
(m. 1898; died 1943)

George Bernard Shaw (26 July 1856 – 2 November 1950), known at his insistence simply as Bernard Shaw, was an Irish playwright, critic, polemicist and political activist. His influence on Western theatre, culture and politics extended from the 1880s to his death and beyond. He wrote more than sixty plays, including major works such as Man and Superman (1902), Pygmalion (1912) and Saint Joan (1923). With a range incorporating both contemporary satire and historical allegory, Shaw became the leading dramatist of his generation, and in 1925 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Born in Dublin, Shaw moved to London in 1876, where he struggled to establish himself as a writer and novelist, and embarked on a rigorous process of self-education. By the mid-1880s he had become a respected theatre and music critic. Following a political awakening, he joined the gradualist Fabian Society and became its most prominent pamphleteer.

At the present time we have, instead of the Utilitarians, the Fabian Society, with its peaceful, constitutional, moral, economical policy of Socialism, which needs nothing for its bloodless and benevolent realization except that the English people shall understand it and approve of it. But why are the Fabians well spoken of in circles where thirty years ago the word Socialist was understood as equivalent to cut-throat and incendiary? Not because the English have the smallest intention of studying or adopting the Fabian policy, but because they believe that the Fabians, by eliminating the element of intimidation from the Socialist agitation, have drawn the teeth of insurgent poverty and saved the existing order from the only method of attack it really fears. Of course, if the nation adopted the Fabian policy, it would be carried out by brute force exactly as our present property system is. It would become the law; and those who resisted it would be fined, sold up, knocked on the head by policemen, thrown into prison, and in the last resort “executed” just as they are when they break the present law. But as our proprietary class has no fear of that conversion taking place, whereas it does fear sporadic cut-throats and gunpowder plots, and strives with all its might to hide the fact that there is no moral difference whatever between the methods by which it enforces its proprietary rights and the method by which the dynamitard asserts his conception of natural human rights, the Fabian Society is patted on the back just as the Christian Social Union is, whilst the Socialist who says bluntly that a Social revolution can be made only as all other revolutions have been made, by the people who want it killing, coercing, and intimidating the people who don't want it, is denounced as a misleader of the people, and imprisoned with hard labor to shew him how much sincerity there is in the objection of his captors to physical force.

-- Man and Superman: A Comedy and a Philosophy, by George Bernard Shaw

Shaw had been writing plays for years before his first public success, Arms and the Man in 1894. Influenced by Henrik Ibsen, he sought to introduce a new realism into English-language drama, using his plays as vehicles to disseminate his political, social and religious ideas. By the early twentieth century his reputation as a dramatist was secured with a series of critical and popular successes that included Major Barbara, The Doctor's Dilemma and Caesar and Cleopatra.

Shaw's expressed views were often contentious; he promoted eugenics and alphabet reform, and opposed vaccination and organised religion. He courted unpopularity by denouncing both sides in the First World War as equally culpable, and although not a republican, castigated British policy on Ireland in the postwar period. These stances had no lasting effect on his standing or productivity as a dramatist; the inter-war years saw a series of often ambitious plays, which achieved varying degrees of popular success. In 1938 he provided the screenplay for a filmed version of Pygmalion for which he received an Academy Award. His appetite for politics and controversy remained undiminished; by the late 1920s he had largely renounced Fabian Society gradualism and often wrote and spoke favourably of dictatorships of the right and left—he expressed admiration for both Mussolini and Stalin. In the final decade of his life he made fewer public statements, but continued to write prolifically until shortly before his death, aged ninety-four, having refused all state honours, including the Order of Merit in 1946.

Since Shaw's death scholarly and critical opinion about his works has varied, but he has regularly been rated among British dramatists as second only to Shakespeare; analysts recognise his extensive influence on generations of English-language playwrights. The word Shavian has entered the language as encapsulating Shaw's ideas and his means of expressing them.


Early years

Shaw's birthplace (2012 photograph). The plaque reads "Bernard Shaw, author of many plays, was born in this house, 26 July 1856".

Shaw was born at 3 Upper Synge Street[n 1] in Portobello, a lower-middle-class part of Dublin.[2] He was the youngest child and only son of George Carr Shaw (1814–1885) and Lucinda Elizabeth (Bessie) Shaw (née Gurly; 1830–1913). His elder siblings were Lucinda (Lucy) Frances (1853–1920) and Elinor Agnes (1855–1876). The Shaw family was of English descent and belonged to the dominant Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland;[n 2] George Carr Shaw, an ineffectual alcoholic, was among the family's less successful members.[3] His relatives secured him a sinecure in the civil service, from which he was pensioned off in the early 1850s; thereafter he worked irregularly as a corn merchant.[2] In 1852 he married Bessie Gurly; in the view of Shaw's biographer Michael Holroyd she married to escape a tyrannical great-aunt.[4] If, as Holroyd and others surmise, George's motives were mercenary, then he was disappointed, as Bessie brought him little of her family's money.[5] She came to despise her ineffectual and often drunken husband, with whom she shared what their son later described as a life of "shabby-genteel poverty".[4]

By the time of Shaw's birth, his mother had become close to George John Lee, a flamboyant figure well known in Dublin's musical circles. Shaw retained a lifelong obsession that Lee might have been his biological father;[6] there is no consensus among Shavian scholars on the likelihood of this.[7][8][9][10] The young Shaw suffered no harshness from his mother, but he later recalled that her indifference and lack of affection hurt him deeply.[11] He found solace in the music that abounded in the house. Lee was a conductor and teacher of singing; Bessie had a fine mezzo-soprano voice and was much influenced by Lee's unorthodox method of vocal production. The Shaws' house was often filled with music, with frequent gatherings of singers and players.[2]

In 1862, Lee and the Shaws agreed to share a house, No. 1 Hatch Street, in an affluent part of Dublin, and a country cottage on Dalkey Hill, overlooking Killiney Bay.[12] Shaw, a sensitive boy, found the less salubrious parts of Dublin shocking and distressing, and was happier at the cottage. Lee's students often gave him books, which the young Shaw read avidly;[13] thus, as well as gaining a thorough musical knowledge of choral and operatic works, he became familiar with a wide spectrum of literature.[14]

Between 1865 and 1871, Shaw attended four schools, all of which he hated.[15][n 3] His experiences as a schoolboy left him disillusioned with formal education: "Schools and schoolmasters", he later wrote, were "prisons and turnkeys in which children are kept to prevent them disturbing and chaperoning their parents."[16] In October 1871 he left school to become a junior clerk in a Dublin firm of land agents, where he worked hard, and quickly rose to become head cashier.[6] During this period, Shaw was known as "George Shaw"; after 1876, he dropped the "George" and styled himself "Bernard Shaw".[n 4]

In June 1873, Lee left Dublin for London and never returned. A fortnight later, Bessie followed him; the two girls joined her.[6][n 5] Shaw's explanation of why his mother followed Lee was that without the latter's financial contribution the joint household had to be broken up.[20] Left in Dublin with his father, Shaw compensated for the absence of music in the house by teaching himself to play the piano.[6]


Early in 1876 Shaw learned from his mother that Agnes was dying of tuberculosis. He resigned from the land agents, and in March travelled to England to join his mother and Lucy at Agnes's funeral. He never again lived in Ireland, and did not visit it for twenty-nine years.[2]

Shaw in 1879

Initially, Shaw refused to seek clerical employment in London. His mother allowed him to live free of charge in her house in South Kensington, but he nevertheless needed an income. He had abandoned a teenage ambition to become a painter, and had no thought yet of writing for a living, but Lee found a little work for him, ghost-writing a musical column printed under Lee's name in a satirical weekly, The Hornet.[2] Lee's relations with Bessie deteriorated after their move to London.[n 6] Shaw maintained contact with Lee, who found him work as a rehearsal pianist and occasional singer.[21][n 7]

Eventually Shaw was driven to applying for office jobs. In the interim he secured a reader's pass for the British Museum Reading Room (the forerunner of the British Library) and spent most weekdays there, reading and writing.[25] His first attempt at drama, begun in 1878, was a blank-verse satirical piece on a religious theme. It was abandoned unfinished, as was his first try at a novel. His first completed novel, Immaturity (1879), was too grim to appeal to publishers and did not appear until the 1930s.[6] He was employed briefly by the newly formed Edison Telephone Company in 1879–80, and as in Dublin achieved rapid promotion. Nonetheless, when the Edison firm merged with the rival Bell Telephone Company, Shaw chose not to seek a place in the new organisation.[26] Thereafter he pursued a full-time career as an author.[27]

For the next four years Shaw made a negligible income from writing, and was subsidised by his mother.[28] In 1881, for the sake of economy, and increasingly as a matter of principle, he became a vegetarian.[6] He grew a beard to hide a facial scar left by smallpox.[29][n 8] In rapid succession he wrote two more novels: The Irrational Knot (1880) and Love Among the Artists (1881), but neither found a publisher; each was serialised a few years later in the socialist magazine Our Corner.[32][n 9]

In 1880 Shaw began attending meetings of the Zetetical Society, whose objective was to "search for truth in all matters affecting the interests of the human race".[35] Here he met Sidney Webb, a junior civil servant who, like Shaw, was busy educating himself. Despite difference of style and temperament, the two quickly recognised qualities in each other and developed a lifelong friendship. Shaw later reflected: "You knew everything that I didn't know and I knew everything you didn't know ... We had everything to learn from one another and brains enough to do it".[36]

William Archer, colleague and benefactor of Shaw

Shaw's next attempt at drama was a one-act playlet in French, Un Petit Drame, written in 1884 but not published in his lifetime.[37] In the same year the critic William Archer suggested a collaboration, with a plot by Archer and dialogue by Shaw.[38] The project foundered, but Shaw returned to the draft as the basis of Widowers' Houses in 1892,[39] and the connection with Archer proved of immense value to Shaw's career.[40]

Political awakening: Marxism, socialism, Fabian Society

On 5 September 1882 Shaw attended a meeting at the Memorial Hall, Farringdon, addressed by the political economist Henry George.[41] Shaw then read George's book Progress and Poverty, which awakened his interest in economics.[42] He began attending meetings of the Social Democratic Federation (SDF), where he discovered the writings of Karl Marx, and thereafter spent much of 1883 reading Das Kapital. He was not impressed by the SDF's founder, H. M. Hyndman, whom he found autocratic, ill-tempered and lacking leadership qualities. Shaw doubted the ability of the SDF to harness the working classes into an effective radical movement and did not join it—he preferred, he said, to work with his intellectual equals.[43]

After reading a tract, Why Are The Many Poor?, issued by the recently formed Fabian Society,[n 10] Shaw went to the society's next advertised meeting, on 16 May 1884.[45] He became a member in September,[45] and before the year's end had provided the society with its first manifesto, published as Fabian Tract No. 2.[46] He joined the society's executive committee in January 1885, and later that year recruited Webb and also Annie Besant, a fine orator.[45]

"The most striking result of our present system of farming out the national Land and capital to private individuals has been the division of society into hostile classes, with large appetites and no dinners at one extreme, and large dinners and no appetites at the other"

-- Shaw, Fabian Tract No. 2: A Manifesto (1884).[47]

From 1885 to 1889 Shaw attended the fortnightly meetings of the British Economic Association; it was, Holroyd observes, "the closest Shaw had ever come to university education." This experience changed his political ideas; he moved away from Marxism and became an apostle of gradualism.[48] When in 1886–87 the Fabians debated whether to embrace anarchism, as advocated by Charlotte Wilson, Besant and others, Shaw joined the majority in rejecting this approach.[48] After a rally in Trafalgar Square addressed by Besant was violently broken up by the authorities on 13 November 1887 ("Bloody Sunday"), Shaw became convinced of the folly of attempting to challenge police power.[49] Thereafter he largely accepted the principle of "permeation" as advocated by Webb: the notion whereby socialism could best be achieved by infiltration of people and ideas into existing political parties.[50]

Throughout the 1880s the Fabian Society remained small, its message of moderation frequently unheard among more strident voices.[51] Its profile was raised in 1889 with the publication of Fabian Essays in Socialism, edited by Shaw who also provided two of the essays. The second of these, "Transition", details the case for gradualism and permeation, asserting that "the necessity for cautious and gradual change must be obvious to everyone".[52] In 1890 Shaw produced Tract No. 13, What Socialism Is,[46] a revision of an earlier tract in which Charlotte Wilson had defined socialism in anarchistic terms.[53] In Shaw's new version, readers were assured that "socialism can be brought about in a perfectly constitutional manner by democratic institutions".[54]

Novelist and critic

The mid-1880s marked a turning point in Shaw's life, both personally and professionally: he lost his virginity, had two novels published, and began a career as a critic.[55] He had been celibate until his twenty-ninth birthday, when his shyness was overcome by Jane (Jenny) Patterson, a widow some years his senior.[56] Their affair continued, not always smoothly, for eight years. Shaw's sex life has caused much speculation and debate among his biographers, but there is a consensus that the relationship with Patterson was one of his few non-platonic romantic liaisons.[n 11]

The published novels, neither commercially successful, were his two final efforts in this genre: Cashel Byron's Profession written in 1882–83, and An Unsocial Socialist, begun and finished in 1883. The latter was published as a serial in ToDay magazine in 1884, although it did not appear in book form until 1887. Cashel Byron appeared in magazine and book form in 1886.[6]

William Morris, important influence on Shaw's aesthetic views

John Ruskin, important influence on Shaw's aesthetic views

In 1884 and 1885, through the influence of Archer, Shaw was engaged to write book and music criticism for London papers. When Archer resigned as art critic of The World in 1886 he secured the succession for Shaw.[61] The two figures in the contemporary art world whose views Shaw most admired were William Morris and John Ruskin, and he sought to follow their precepts in his criticisms.[61] Their emphasis on morality appealed to Shaw, who rejected the idea of art for art's sake, and insisted that all great art must be didactic.[62]

Of Shaw's various reviewing activities in the 1880s and 1890s it was as a music critic that he was best known.[63] After serving as deputy in 1888, he became musical critic of The Star in February 1889, writing under the pen-name Corno di Bassetto.[64][n 12] In May 1890 he moved back to The World, where he wrote a weekly column as "G.B.S." for more than four years. In the 2016 version of the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Robert Anderson writes, "Shaw's collected writings on music stand alone in their mastery of English and compulsive readability."[66] Shaw ceased to be a salaried music critic in August 1894, but published occasional articles on the subject throughout his career, his last in 1950.[67]

From 1895 to 1898, Shaw was the theatre critic for The Saturday Review, edited by his friend Frank Harris. As at The World, he used the by-line "G.B.S." He campaigned against the artificial conventions and hypocrisies of the Victorian theatre and called for plays of real ideas and true characters. By this time he had embarked in earnest on a career as a playwright: "I had rashly taken up the case; and rather than let it collapse I manufactured the evidence".[6]

Playwright and politician: 1890s

After using the plot of the aborted 1884 collaboration with Archer to complete Widowers' Houses (it was staged twice in London, in December 1892), Shaw continued writing plays. At first he made slow progress; The Philanderer, written in 1893 but not published until 1898, had to wait until 1905 for a stage production. Similarly, Mrs Warren's Profession (1893) was written five years before publication and nine years before reaching the stage.[n 13]

Shaw in 1894 at the time of Arms and the Man

Shaw's first play to bring him financial success was Arms and the Man (1894), a mock-Ruritanian comedy satirising conventions of love, military honour and class.[6] The press found the play overlong, and accused Shaw of mediocrity,[69] sneering at heroism and patriotism,[70] heartless cleverness,[71] and copying W. S. Gilbert's style.[69][n 14] The public took a different view, and the management of the theatre staged extra matinée performances to meet the demand.[73] The play ran from April to July, toured the provinces and was staged in New York.[72] It earned him £341 in royalties in its first year, a sufficient sum to enable him to give up his salaried post as a music critic.[74] Among the cast of the London production was Florence Farr, with whom Shaw had a romantic relationship between 1890 and 1894, much resented by Jenny Patterson.[75]

The Fabians were a group of socialists whose strategy differed from that of Karl Marx in that they sought world domination through what they called the “doctrine of inevitability of gradualism.” This meant their goals would be achieved “without breach of continuity or abrupt change of the entire social issue,” by infiltrating educational institutions, government agencies, and political parties. Prominent Fabian and writer, George Bernard Shaw, revealed that their goal was to be achieved by “stealth, intrigue, subversion, and the deception of never calling socialism by its right name.” [1]

George Bernard Shaw’s mistress, Florence Farr, was a witch in the Order of the Golden Dawn, and the Fabian society was also an integral partner with the Golden Dawn, itself basically an extension of the Theosophical society. [2] When Blavatsky passed away in 1891, leadership of the worldwide theosophical movement passed to Annie Besant. Through her membership in the Fabian socialists, she became close friends with its leading members, which included men like H.G. Wells, Aldous and Julian Huxley, and Bertrand Russell.

-- Terrorism and the Illuminati: A Three Thousand Year History, by David Livingston

The success of Arms and the Man was not immediately replicated. Candida, which presented a young woman making a conventional romantic choice for unconventional reasons, received a single performance in South Shields in 1895;[76] in 1897 a playlet about Napoleon called The Man of Destiny had a single staging at Croydon.[77] In the 1890s Shaw's plays were better known in print than on the West End stage; his biggest success of the decade was in New York in 1897, when Richard Mansfield's production of the historical melodrama The Devil's Disciple earned the author more than £2,000 in royalties.[2]

In January 1893, as a Fabian delegate, Shaw attended the Bradford conference which led to the foundation of the Independent Labour Party.[78] He was sceptical about the new party,[79] and scorned the likelihood that it could switch the allegiance of the working class from sport to politics.[80] He persuaded the conference to adopt resolutions abolishing indirect taxation, and taxing unearned income "to extinction".[81] Back in London, Shaw produced what Margaret Cole, in her Fabian history, terms a "grand philippic" against the minority Liberal administration that had taken power in 1892. To Your Tents, O Israel excoriated the government for ignoring social issues and concentrating solely on Irish Home Rule, a matter Shaw declared of no relevance to socialism.[80][82][n 15] In 1894 the Fabian Society received a substantial bequest from a sympathiser, Henry Hunt Hutchinson—Holroyd mentions £10,000. Webb, who chaired the board of trustees appointed to supervise the legacy, proposed to use most of it to found a school of economics and politics. Shaw demurred; he thought such a venture was contrary to the specified purpose of the legacy. He was eventually persuaded to support the proposal, and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) opened in the summer of 1895.[83]

By the later 1890s Shaw's political activities lessened as he concentrated on making his name as a dramatist.[84] In 1897 he was persuaded to fill an uncontested vacancy for a "vestryman" (parish councillor) in London's St Pancras district. At least initially, Shaw took to his municipal responsibilities seriously;[n 16] when London government was reformed in 1899 and the St Pancras vestry became the Metropolitan Borough of St Pancras, he was elected to the newly formed borough council.[86]

In 1898, as a result of overwork, Shaw's health broke down. He was nursed by Charlotte Payne-Townshend, a rich Anglo-Irish woman whom he had met through the Webbs. The previous year she had proposed that she and Shaw should marry.[87] He had declined, but when she insisted on nursing him in a house in the country, Shaw, concerned that this might cause scandal, agreed to their marriage.[2] The ceremony took place on 1 June 1898, in the register office in Covent Garden.[88] The bride and bridegroom were both aged forty-one. In the view of the biographer and critic St John Ervine, "their life together was entirely felicitous".[2] There were no children of the marriage, which it is generally believed was never consummated; whether this was wholly at Charlotte's wish, as Shaw liked to suggest, is less widely credited.[89][90][91][92][93] In the early weeks of the marriage Shaw was much occupied writing his Marxist analysis of Wagner's Ring cycle, published as The Perfect Wagnerite late in 1898.[94] In 1906 the Shaws found a country home in Ayot St Lawrence, Hertfordshire; they renamed the house "Shaw's Corner", and lived there for the rest of their lives. They retained a London flat in the Adelphi and later at Whitehall Court.[95]

Stage success: 1900–1914

Stage photograph showing actor as Julius Caesar and actress as Cleopatra in Egyptian setting
Gertrude Elliott and Johnston Forbes-Robertson in Caesar and Cleopatra, New York, 1906

During the first decade of the twentieth century, Shaw secured a firm reputation as a playwright. In 1904 J. E. Vedrenne and Harley Granville-Barker established a company at the Royal Court Theatre in Sloane Square, Chelsea to present modern drama. Over the next five years they staged fourteen of Shaw's plays.[96][n 17] The first, John Bull's Other Island, a comedy about an Englishman in Ireland, attracted leading politicians and was seen by Edward VII, who laughed so much that he broke his chair.[97] The play was withheld from Dublin's Abbey Theatre, for fear of the affront it might provoke,[6] although it was shown at the city's Royal Theatre in November 1907.[98] Shaw later wrote that William Butler Yeats, who had requested the play, "got rather more than he bargained for ... It was uncongenial to the whole spirit of the neo-Gaelic movement, which is bent on creating a new Ireland after its own ideal, whereas my play is a very uncompromising presentment of the real old Ireland."[99][n 18] Nonetheless, Shaw and Yeats were close friends; Yeats and Lady Gregory tried unsuccessfully to persuade Shaw to take up the vacant co-directorship of the Abbey Theatre after J. M. Synge's death in 1909.[102] Shaw admired other figures in the Irish Literary Revival, including George Russell[103] and James Joyce,[104] and was a close friend of Seán O'Casey, who was inspired to become a playwright after reading John Bull's Other Island.[105]

Man and Superman, completed in 1902, was a success both at the Royal Court in 1905 and in Robert Loraine's New York production in the same year. Among the other Shaw works presented by Vedrenne and Granville-Barker were Major Barbara (1905), depicting the contrasting morality of arms manufacturers and the Salvation Army;[106] The Doctor's Dilemma (1906), a mostly serious piece about professional ethics;[107] and Caesar and Cleopatra, Shaw's counterblast to Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra, seen in New York in 1906 and in London the following year.[108]

Now prosperous and established, Shaw experimented with unorthodox theatrical forms described by his biographer Stanley Weintraub as "discussion drama" and "serious farce".[6] These plays included Getting Married (premiered 1908), The Shewing-Up of Blanco Posnet (1909), Misalliance (1910), and Fanny's First Play (1911). Blanco Posnet was banned on religious grounds by the Lord Chamberlain (the official theatre censor in England), and was produced instead in Dublin; it filled the Abbey Theatre to capacity.[109] Fanny's First Play, a comedy about suffragettes, had the longest initial run of any Shaw play—622 performances.[110]

Androcles and the Lion (1912), a less heretical study of true and false religious attitudes than Blanco Posnet, ran for eight weeks in September and October 1913.[111] It was followed by one of Shaw's most successful plays, Pygmalion, written in 1912 and staged in Vienna the following year, and in Berlin shortly afterwards.[112] Shaw commented, "It is the custom of the English press when a play of mine is produced, to inform the world that it is not a play—that it is dull, blasphemous, unpopular, and financially unsuccessful. ... Hence arose an urgent demand on the part of the managers of Vienna and Berlin that I should have my plays performed by them first."[113] The British production opened in April 1914, starring Sir Herbert Tree and Mrs Patrick Campbell as, respectively, a professor of phonetics and a cockney flower-girl. There had earlier been a romantic liaison between Shaw and Campbell that caused Charlotte Shaw considerable concern, but by the time of the London premiere it had ended.[114] The play attracted capacity audiences until July, when Tree insisted on going on holiday, and the production closed. His co-star then toured with the piece in the US.[115][116][n 19]

Fabian years: 1900–1913

Shaw in 1914, aged 57

In 1899, when the Boer War began, Shaw wished the Fabians to take a neutral stance on what he deemed, like Home Rule, to be a "non-Socialist" issue. Others, including the future Labour prime minister Ramsay MacDonald, wanted unequivocal opposition, and resigned from the society when it followed Shaw.[118] In the Fabians' war manifesto, Fabianism and the Empire (1900), Shaw declared that "until the Federation of the World becomes an accomplished fact we must accept the most responsible Imperial federations available as a substitute for it".[119]

As the new century began, Shaw became increasingly disillusioned by the limited impact of the Fabians on national politics.[120] Thus, although a nominated Fabian delegate, he did not attend the London conference at the Memorial Hall, Farringdon Street in February 1900, that created the Labour Representation Committee—precursor of the modern Labour Party.[121] By 1903, when his term as borough councillor expired, he had lost his earlier enthusiasm, writing: "After six years of Borough Councilling I am convinced that the borough councils should be abolished".[122] Nevertheless, in 1904 he stood in the London County Council elections. After an eccentric campaign, which Holroyd characterises as "[making] absolutely certain of not getting in", he was duly defeated. It was Shaw's final foray into electoral politics.[122] Nationally, the 1906 general election produced a huge Liberal majority and an intake of 29 Labour members. Shaw viewed this outcome with scepticism; he had a low opinion of the new prime minister, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, and saw the Labour members as inconsequential: "I apologise to the Universe for my connection with such a body".[123]

In the years after the 1906 election, Shaw felt that the Fabians needed fresh leadership, and saw this in the form of his fellow-writer H. G. Wells, who had joined the society in February 1903.[124] Wells's ideas for reform—particularly his proposals for closer cooperation with the Independent Labour Party—placed him at odds with the society's "Old Gang", led by Shaw.[125] According to Cole, Wells "had minimal capacity for putting [his ideas] across in public meetings against Shaw's trained and practised virtuosity".[126] In Shaw's view, "the Old Gang did not extinguish Mr Wells, he annihilated himself".[126] Wells resigned from the society in September 1908;[127] Shaw remained a member, but left the executive in April 1911. He later wondered whether the Old Gang should have given way to Wells some years earlier: "God only knows whether the Society had not better have done it".[128][129] Although less active—he blamed his advancing years—Shaw remained a Fabian.[130]

In 1912 Shaw invested £1,000 for a one-fifth share in the Webbs' new publishing venture, a socialist weekly magazine called The New Statesman, which appeared in April 1913. He became a founding director, publicist, and in due course a contributor, mostly anonymously.[131] He was soon at odds with the magazine's editor, Clifford Sharp, who by 1916 was rejecting his contributions—"the only paper in the world that refuses to print anything by me", according to Shaw.[132]

First World War

"I see the Junkers and Militarists of England and Germany jumping at the chance they have longed for in vain for many years of smashing one another and establishing their own oligarchy as the dominant military power of the world."

-- Shaw: Common Sense About the War (1914).[133]

After the First World War began in August 1914, Shaw produced his tract Common Sense About the War, which argued that the warring nations were equally culpable.[6] Such a view was anathema in an atmosphere of fervent patriotism, and offended many of Shaw's friends; Ervine records that "[h]is appearance at any public function caused the instant departure of many of those present."[134]

Despite his errant reputation, Shaw's propagandist skills were recognised by the British authorities, and early in 1917 he was invited by Field Marshal Haig to visit the Western Front battlefields. Shaw's 10,000-word report, which emphasised the human aspects of the soldier's life, was well received, and he became less of a lone voice. In April 1917 he joined the national consensus in welcoming America's entry into the war: "a first class moral asset to the common cause against junkerism".[135]

Three short plays by Shaw were premiered during the war. The Inca of Perusalem, written in 1915, encountered problems with the censor for burlesquing not only the enemy but the British military command; it was performed in 1916 at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre.[136] O'Flaherty V.C., satirising the government's attitude to Irish recruits, was banned in the UK and was presented at a Royal Flying Corps base in Belgium in 1917. Augustus Does His Bit, a genial farce, was granted a licence; it opened at the Royal Court in January 1917.[137]


Dublin city centre in ruins after the Easter Rising, April 1916

Shaw had long supported the principle of Irish Home Rule within the British Empire (which he thought should become the British Commonwealth).[138] In April 1916 he wrote scathingly in The New York Times about militant Irish nationalism: "In point of learning nothing and forgetting nothing these fellow-patriots of mine leave the Bourbons nowhere."[139] Total independence, he asserted, was impractical; alliance with a bigger power (preferably England) was essential.[139] The Dublin Easter Rising later that month took him by surprise. After its suppression by British forces, he expressed horror at the summary execution of the rebel leaders, but continued to believe in some form of Anglo-Irish union. In How to Settle the Irish Question (1917), he envisaged a federal arrangement, with national and imperial parliaments. Holroyd records that by this time the separatist party Sinn Féin was in the ascendency, and Shaw's and other moderate schemes were forgotten.[140]

In the postwar period, Shaw despaired of the British government's coercive policies towards Ireland,[141] and joined his fellow-writers Hilaire Belloc and G. K. Chesterton in publicly condemning these actions.[142] The Anglo-Irish Treaty of December 1921 led to the partition of Ireland between north and south, a provision that dismayed Shaw.[141] In 1922 civil war broke out in the south between its pro-treaty and anti-treaty factions, the former of whom had established the Irish Free State.[143] Shaw visited Dublin in August, and met Michael Collins, then head of the Free State's Provisional Government.[144] Shaw was much impressed by Collins, and was saddened when, three days later, the Irish leader was ambushed and killed by anti-treaty forces.[145] In a letter to Collins's sister, Shaw wrote: "I met Michael for the first and last time on Saturday last, and am very glad I did. I rejoice in his memory, and will not be so disloyal to it as to snivel over his valiant death".[146] Shaw remained a British subject all his life, but took dual British-Irish nationality in 1934.[147]


The rotating hut in the garden of Shaw's Corner, Ayot St Lawrence, where Shaw wrote most of his works after 1906

Shaw's first major work to appear after the war was Heartbreak House, written in 1916–17 and performed in 1920. It was produced on Broadway in November, and was coolly received; according to The Times: "Mr Shaw on this occasion has more than usual to say and takes twice as long as usual to say it".[148] After the London premiere in October 1921 The Times concurred with the American critics: "As usual with Mr Shaw, the play is about an hour too long", although containing "much entertainment and some profitable reflection".[149] Ervine in The Observer thought the play brilliant but ponderously acted, except for Edith Evans as Lady Utterword.[150]

Shaw's largest-scale theatrical work was Back to Methuselah, written in 1918–20 and staged in 1922. Weintraub describes it as "Shaw's attempt to fend off 'the bottomless pit of an utterly discouraging pessimism'".[6] This cycle of five interrelated plays depicts evolution, and the effects of longevity, from the Garden of Eden to the year 31,920 AD.[151] Critics found the five plays strikingly uneven in quality and invention.[152][153][154] The original run was brief, and the work has been revived infrequently.[155][156] Shaw felt he had exhausted his remaining creative powers in the huge span of this "Metabiological Pentateuch". He was now sixty-seven, and expected to write no more plays.[6]

This mood was short-lived. In 1920 Joan of Arc was proclaimed a saint by Pope Benedict XV; Shaw had long found Joan an interesting historical character, and his view of her veered between "half-witted genius" and someone of "exceptional sanity".[157] He had considered writing a play about her in 1913, and the canonisation prompted him to return to the subject.[6] He wrote Saint Joan in the middle months of 1923, and the play was premiered on Broadway in December. It was enthusiastically received there,[158] and at its London premiere the following March.[159] In Weintraub's phrase, "even the Nobel prize committee could no longer ignore Shaw after Saint Joan". The citation for the literature prize for 1925 praised his work as "... marked by both idealism and humanity, its stimulating satire often being infused with a singular poetic beauty".[160] He accepted the award, but rejected the monetary prize that went with it, on the grounds that "My readers and my audiences provide me with more than sufficient money for my needs".[161][n 20]

After Saint Joan, it was five years before Shaw wrote a play. From 1924, he spent four years writing what he described as his "magnum opus", a political treatise entitled The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Socialism and Capitalism.[163] The book was published in 1928 and sold well.[2][n 21] At the end of the decade Shaw produced his final Fabian tract, a commentary on the League of Nations. He described the League as "a school for the new international statesmanship as against the old Foreign Office diplomacy", but thought that it had not yet become the "Federation of the World".[165]

Shaw returned to the theatre with what he called "a political extravaganza", The Apple Cart, written in late 1928. It was, in Ervine's view, unexpectedly popular, taking a conservative, monarchist, anti-democratic line that appealed to contemporary audiences. The premiere was in Warsaw in June 1928, and the first British production was two months later, at Sir Barry Jackson's inaugural Malvern Festival.[2] The other eminent creative artist most closely associated with the festival was Sir Edward Elgar, with whom Shaw enjoyed a deep friendship and mutual regard.[166] He described The Apple Cart to Elgar as "a scandalous Aristophanic burlesque of democratic politics, with a brief but shocking sex interlude".[167]

During the 1920s Shaw began to lose faith in the idea that society could be changed through Fabian gradualism, and became increasingly fascinated with dictatorial methods. In 1922 he had welcomed Mussolini's accession to power in Italy, observing that amid the "indiscipline and muddle and Parliamentary deadlock", Mussolini was "the right kind of tyrant".[168] Shaw was prepared to tolerate certain dictatorial excesses; Weintraub in his ODNB biographical sketch comments that Shaw's "flirtation with authoritarian inter-war regimes" took a long time to fade, and Beatrice Webb thought he was "obsessed" about Mussolini.[169]


"We the undersigned are recent visitors to the USSR ... We desire to record that we saw nowhere evidence of economic slavery, privation, unemployment and cynical despair of betterment. ... Everywhere we saw [a] hopeful and enthusiastic working-class ... setting an example of industry and conduct which would greatly enrich us if our systems supplied our workers with any incentive to follow it."

-- Letter to The Manchester Guardian, 2 March 1933, signed by Shaw and 20 others.[170]

Shaw's enthusiasm for the Soviet Union dated to the early 1920s when he had hailed Lenin as "the one really interesting statesman in Europe".[171] Having turned down several chances to visit, in 1931 he joined a party led by Nancy Astor.[172] The carefully managed trip culminated in a lengthy meeting with Stalin, whom Shaw later described as "a Georgian gentleman" with no malice in him.[173] At a dinner given in his honour, Shaw told the gathering: "I have seen all the 'terrors' and I was terribly pleased by them".[174] In March 1933 Shaw was a co-signatory to a letter in The Manchester Guardian protesting at the continuing misrepresentation of Soviet achievements: "No lie is too fantastic, no slander is too stale ... for employment by the more reckless elements of the British press."[170]

Shaw's admiration for Mussolini and Stalin demonstrated his growing belief that dictatorship was the only viable political arrangement. When the Nazi Party came to power in Germany in January 1933, Shaw described Hitler as "a very remarkable man, a very able man",[175] and professed himself proud to be the only writer in England who was "scrupulously polite and just to Hitler".[176][n 22] His principal admiration was for Stalin, whose regime he championed uncritically throughout the decade.[174] Shaw saw the 1939 Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact as a triumph for Stalin who, he said, now had Hitler under his thumb.[179]

Shaw's first play of the decade was Too True to be Good, written in 1931 and premiered in Boston in February 1932. The reception was unenthusiastic. Brooks Atkinson of The New York Times commenting that Shaw had "yielded to the impulse to write without having a subject", judged the play a "rambling and indifferently tedious conversation". The correspondent of The New York Herald Tribune said that most of the play was "discourse, unbelievably long lectures" and that although the audience enjoyed the play it was bewildered by it.[180]

Shaw in 1936, aged 80

During the decade Shaw travelled widely and frequently. Most of his journeys were with Charlotte; she enjoyed voyages on ocean liners, and he found peace to write during the long spells at sea.[181] Shaw met an enthusiastic welcome in South Africa in 1932, despite his strong remarks about the racial divisions of the country.[182] In December 1932 the couple embarked on a round-the-world cruise. In March 1933 they arrived at San Francisco, to begin Shaw's first visit to the US. He had earlier refused to go to "that awful country, that uncivilized place", "unfit to govern itself ... illiberal, superstitious, crude, violent, anarchic and arbitrary".[181] He visited Hollywood, with which he was unimpressed, and New York, where he lectured to a capacity audience in the Metropolitan Opera House.[183] Harried by the intrusive attentions of the press, Shaw was glad when his ship sailed from New York harbour.[184] New Zealand, which he and Charlotte visited the following year, struck him as "the best country I've been in"; he urged its people to be more confident and loosen their dependence on trade with Britain.[185] He used the weeks at sea to complete two plays—The Simpleton of the Unexpected Isles and The Six of Calais—and begin work on a third, The Millionairess.[186]

Despite his contempt for Hollywood and its aesthetic values, Shaw was enthusiastic about cinema, and in the middle of the decade wrote screenplays for prospective film versions of Pygmalion and Saint Joan.[187][188] The latter was never made, but Shaw entrusted the rights to the former to the unknown Gabriel Pascal, who produced it at Pinewood Studios in 1938. Shaw was determined that Hollywood should have nothing to do with the film, but was powerless to prevent it from winning one Academy Award ("Oscar"); he described his award for "best-written screenplay" as an insult, coming from such a source.[189][n 23] He became the first person to have been awarded both a Nobel Prize and an Oscar.[192] In a 1993 study of the Oscars, Anthony Holden observes that Pygmalion was soon spoken of as having "lifted movie-making from illiteracy to literacy".[193]

Shaw's final plays of the 1930s were Cymbeline Refinished (1936), Geneva (1936) and In Good King Charles's Golden Days (1939). The first, a fantasy reworking of Shakespeare, made little impression, but the second, a satire on European dictators, attracted more notice, much of it unfavourable.[194] In particular, Shaw's parody of Hitler as "Herr Battler" was considered mild, almost sympathetic.[177][179] The third play, an historical conversation piece first seen at Malvern, ran briefly in London in May 1940.[195] James Agate commented that the play contained nothing to which even the most conservative audiences could take exception, and though it was long and lacking in dramatic action only "witless and idle" theatregoers would object.[195] After their first runs none of the three plays were seen again in the West End during Shaw's lifetime.[196]

Towards the end of the decade, both Shaws began to suffer ill health. Charlotte was increasingly incapacitated by Paget's disease of bone, and he developed pernicious anaemia. His treatment, involving injections of concentrated animal liver, was successful, but this breach of his vegetarian creed distressed him and brought down condemnation from militant vegetarians.[197]

Second World War and final years

Although Shaw's works since The Apple Cart had been received without great enthusiasm, his earlier plays were revived in the West End throughout the Second World War, starring such actors as Edith Evans, John Gielgud, Deborah Kerr and Robert Donat.[198] In 1944 nine Shaw plays were staged in London, including Arms and the Man with Ralph Richardson, Laurence Olivier, Sybil Thorndike and Margaret Leighton in the leading roles. Two touring companies took his plays all round Britain.[199] The revival in his popularity did not tempt Shaw to write a new play, and he concentrated on prolific journalism.[200] A second Shaw film produced by Pascal, Major Barbara (1941), was less successful both artistically and commercially than Pygmalion, partly because of Pascal's insistence on directing, to which he was unsuited.[201]

"The rest of Shaw's life was quiet and solitary. The loss of his wife was more profoundly felt than he had ever imagined any loss could be: for he prided himself on a stoical fortitude in all loss and misfortune."

-- St John Ervine on Shaw, 1959[2]

Following the outbreak of war on 3 September 1939 and the rapid conquest of Poland, Shaw was accused of defeatism when, in a New Statesman article, he declared the war over and demanded a peace conference.[202] Nevertheless, when he became convinced that a negotiated peace was impossible, he publicly urged the neutral United States to join the fight.[201] The London blitz of 1940–41 led the Shaws, both in their mid-eighties, to live full-time at Ayot St Lawrence. Even there they were not immune from enemy air raids, and stayed on occasion with Nancy Astor at her country house, Cliveden.[203] In 1943, the worst of the London bombing over, the Shaws moved back to Whitehall Court, where medical help for Charlotte was more easily arranged. Her condition deteriorated, and she died in September.[203]

Shaw's final political treatise, Everybody's Political What's What, was published in 1944. Holroyd describes this as "a rambling narrative ... that repeats ideas he had given better elsewhere and then repeats itself".[204] The book sold well—85,000 copies by the end of the year.[204] After Hitler's suicide in May 1945, Shaw approved of the formal condolences offered by the Irish Taoiseach, Éamon de Valera, at the German embassy in Dublin.[205] Shaw disapproved of the postwar trials of the defeated German leaders, as an act of self-righteousness: "We are all potential criminals".[206]

Pascal was given a third opportunity to film Shaw's work with Caesar and Cleopatra (1945). It cost three times its original budget and was rated "the biggest financial failure in the history of British cinema".[207] The film was poorly received by British critics, although American reviews were friendlier. Shaw thought its lavishness nullified the drama, and he considered the film "a poor imitation of Cecil B. de Mille".[208]

Garden of Shaw's Corner

In 1946, the year of Shaw's ninetieth birthday, he accepted the freedom of Dublin and became the first honorary freeman of the borough of St Pancras, London.[2] In the same year the government asked Shaw informally whether he would accept the Order of Merit. He declined, believing that an author's merit could only be determined by the posthumous verdict of history.[209][n 24] 1946 saw the publication, as The Crime of Imprisonment, of the preface Shaw had written 20 years previously to a study of prison conditions. It was widely praised; a reviewer in the American Journal of Public Health considered it essential reading for any student of the American criminal justice system.[210]

Shaw continued to write into his nineties. His last plays were Buoyant Billions (1947), his final full-length work; Farfetched Fables (1948) a set of six short plays revisiting several of his earlier themes such as evolution; a comic play for puppets, Shakes versus Shav (1949), a ten-minute piece in which Shakespeare and Shaw trade insults;[211] and Why She Would Not (1950), which Shaw described as "a little comedy", written in one week shortly before his ninety-fourth birthday.[212]

During his later years, Shaw enjoyed tending the gardens at Shaw's Corner. He died at the age of ninety-four of renal failure precipitated by injuries incurred when falling while pruning a tree.[212] He was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium on 6 November 1950. His ashes, mixed with those of Charlotte, were scattered along footpaths and around the statue of Saint Joan in their garden.[213][214]
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Part 2 of 3


See also: List of works by George Bernard Shaw


Shaw published a collected edition of his plays in 1934, comprising forty-two works.[215] He wrote a further twelve in the remaining sixteen years of his life, mostly one-act pieces. Including eight earlier plays that he chose to omit from his published works, the total is sixty-two.[n 25]

Early works

Full-length plays
• Widowers' Houses
• The Philanderer
• Mrs Warren's Profession
• Arms and the Man
• Candida
• You Never Can Tell
• The Devil's Disciple
• Caesar and Cleopatra
• Captain Brassbound's Conversion
• The Gadfly
Short play
• The Man of Destiny

Shaw's first three full-length plays dealt with social issues. He later grouped them as "Plays Unpleasant".[216] Widower's Houses (1892) concerns the landlords of slum properties, and introduces the first of Shaw's New Women—a recurring feature of later plays.[217] The Philanderer (1893) develops the theme of the New Woman, draws on Ibsen, and has elements of Shaw's personal relationships, the character of Julia being based on Jenny Patterson.[218] In a 2003 study Judith Evans describes Mrs Warren's Profession (1893) as "undoubtedly the most challenging" of the three Plays Unpleasant, taking Mrs Warren's profession—prostitute and, later, brothel-owner—as a metaphor for a prostituted society.[219]

Shaw followed the first trilogy with a second, published as "Plays Pleasant".[216] Arms and the Man (1894) conceals beneath a mock-Ruritanian comic romance a Fabian parable contrasting impractical idealism with pragmatic socialism.[220] The central theme of Candida (1894) is a woman's choice between two men; the play contrasts the outlook and aspirations of a Christian Socialist and a poetic idealist.[221] The third of the Pleasant group, You Never Can Tell (1896), portrays social mobility, and the gap between generations, particularly in how they approach social relations in general and mating in particular.[222]

The "Three Plays for Puritans"—comprising The Devil's Disciple (1896), Caesar and Cleopatra (1898) and Captain Brassbound's Conversion (1899)—all centre on questions of empire and imperialism, a major topic of political discourse in the 1890s.[223] The three are set, respectively, in 1770s America, Ancient Egypt, and 1890s Morocco.[224] The Gadfly, an adaptation of the popular novel by Ethel Voynich, was unfinished and unperformed.[225] The Man of Destiny (1895) is a short curtain raiser about Napoleon.[226]


Full-length plays
• Man and Superman
• John Bull's Other Island
• Major Barbara
• The Doctor's Dilemma
• Getting Married
• Misalliance
Short plays
• The Admirable Bashville
• How He Lied to Her Husband
• Passion, Poison, and Petrifaction
• The Shewing-Up of Blanco Posnet
• Press Cuttings
• The Fascinating Foundling
• The Glimpse of Reality

Shaw's major plays of the first decade of the twentieth century address individual social, political or ethical issues. Man and Superman (1902) stands apart from the others in both its subject and its treatment, giving Shaw's interpretation of creative evolution in a combination of drama and associated printed text.[227] The Admirable Bashville (1901), a blank verse dramatisation of Shaw's novel Cashel Byron's Profession, focuses on the imperial relationship between Britain and Africa.[228] John Bull's Other Island (1904), comically depicting the prevailing relationship between Britain and Ireland, was popular at the time but fell out of the general repertoire in later years.[229] Major Barbara (1905) presents ethical questions in an unconventional way, confounding expectations that in the depiction of an armaments manufacturer on the one hand and the Salvation Army on the other the moral high ground must invariably be held by the latter.[230] The Doctor's Dilemma (1906), a play about medical ethics and moral choices in allocating scarce treatment, was described by Shaw as a tragedy.[231] With a reputation for presenting characters who did not resemble real flesh and blood,[232] he was challenged by Archer to present an on-stage death, and here did so, with a deathbed scene for the anti-hero.[233][234]

Getting Married (1908) and Misalliance (1909)—the latter seen by Judith Evans as a companion piece to the former—are both in what Shaw called his "disquisitionary" vein, with the emphasis on discussion of ideas rather than on dramatic events or vivid characterisation.[235] Shaw wrote seven short plays during the decade; they are all comedies, ranging from the deliberately absurd Passion, Poison, and Petrifaction (1905) to the satirical Press Cuttings (1909).[236]


Full–length plays
• Fanny's First Play
• Androcles and the Lion
• Pygmalion
• Heartbreak House
Short plays
• The Dark Lady of the Sonnets
• Overruled
• The Music Cure
• Great Catherine
• The Inca of Perusalem
• O'Flaherty V.C.
• Augustus Does His Bit
• Annajanska, the Bolshevik Empress

In the decade from 1910 to the aftermath of the First World War Shaw wrote four full-length plays, the third and fourth of which are among his most frequently staged works.[237] Fanny's First Play (1911) continues his earlier examinations of middle-class British society from a Fabian viewpoint, with additional touches of melodrama and an epilogue in which theatre critics discuss the play.[77] Androcles and the Lion (1912), which Shaw began writing as a play for children, became a study of the nature of religion and how to put Christian precepts into practice.[238] Pygmalion (1912) is a Shavian study of language and speech and their importance in society and in personal relationships. To correct the impression left by the original performers that the play portrayed a romantic relationship between the two main characters Shaw rewrote the ending to make it clear that the heroine will marry another, minor character.[239][n 26] Shaw's only full-length play from the war years is Heartbreak House (1917), which in his words depicts "cultured, leisured Europe before the war" drifting towards disaster.[241] Shaw named Shakespeare (King Lear) and Chekhov (The Cherry Orchard) as important influences on the piece, and critics have found elements drawing on Congreve (The Way of the World) and Ibsen (The Master Builder).[241][242]

The short plays range from genial historical drama in The Dark Lady of the Sonnets and Great Catherine (1910 and 1913) to a study of polygamy in Overruled; three satirical works about the war (The Inca of Perusalem, O'Flaherty V.C. and Augustus Does His Bit, 1915–16); a piece that Shaw called "utter nonsense" (The Music Cure, 1914) and a brief sketch about a "Bolshevik empress" (Annajanska, 1917).[243]


Full length plays
• Back to Methuselah
• Saint Joan
• The Apple Cart
• Too True to Be Good
• On the Rocks
• The Simpleton of the Unexpected Isles
• The Millionairess
• Geneva
• In Good King Charles's Golden Days
• Buoyant Billions
Short plays
• A Village Wooing
• The Six of Calais
• Cymbeline Refinished
• Farfetched Fables
• Shakes versus Shav
• Why She Would Not

Saint Joan (1923) drew widespread praise both for Shaw and for Sybil Thorndike, for whom he wrote the title role and who created the part in Britain.[244] In the view of the commentator Nicholas Grene, Shaw's Joan, a "no-nonsense mystic, Protestant and nationalist before her time" is among the 20th century's classic leading female roles.[240] The Apple Cart (1929) was Shaw's last popular success.[245] He gave both that play and its successor, Too True to Be Good (1931), the subtitle "A political extravaganza", although the two works differ greatly in their themes; the first presents the politics of a nation (with a brief royal love-scene as an interlude) and the second, in Judith Evans's words, "is concerned with the social mores of the individual, and is nebulous."[246] Shaw's plays of the 1930s were written in the shadow of worsening national and international political events. Once again, with On the Rocks (1933) and The Simpleton of the Unexpected Isles (1934), a political comedy with a clear plot was followed by an introspective drama. The first play portrays a British prime minister considering, but finally rejecting, the establishment of a dictatorship; the second is concerned with polygamy and eugenics and ends with the Day of Judgement.[247]

The Millionairess (1934) is a farcical depiction of the commercial and social affairs of a successful businesswoman. Geneva (1936) lampoons the feebleness of the League of Nations compared with the dictators of Europe. In Good King Charles's Golden Days (1939), described by Weintraub as a warm, discursive high comedy, also depicts authoritarianism, but less satirically than Geneva.[6] As in earlier decades, the shorter plays were generally comedies, some historical and others addressing various political and social preoccupations of the author. Ervine writes of Shaw's later work that although it was still "astonishingly vigorous and vivacious" it showed unmistakable signs of his age. "The best of his work in this period, however, was full of wisdom and the beauty of mind often displayed by old men who keep their wits about them."[2]

Music and drama reviews


Shaw's collected musical criticism, published in three volumes, runs to more than 2,700 pages.[248] It covers the British musical scene from 1876 to 1950, but the core of the collection dates from his six years as music critic of The Star and The World in the late 1880s and early 1890s. In his view music criticism should be interesting to everyone rather than just the musical élite, and he wrote for the non-specialist, avoiding technical jargon—"Mesopotamian words like 'the dominant of D major'".[n 27] He was fiercely partisan in his columns, promoting the music of Wagner and decrying that of Brahms and those British composers such as Stanford and Parry whom he saw as Brahmsian.[66][250] He campaigned against the prevailing fashion for performances of Handel oratorios with huge amateur choirs and inflated orchestration, calling for "a chorus of twenty capable artists".[251] He railed against opera productions unrealistically staged or sung in languages the audience did not speak.[252]


In Shaw's view, the London theatres of the 1890s presented too many revivals of old plays and not enough new work. He campaigned against "melodrama, sentimentality, stereotypes and worn-out conventions".[253] As a music critic he had frequently been able to concentrate on analysing new works, but in the theatre he was often obliged to fall back on discussing how various performers tackled well-known plays. In a study of Shaw's work as a theatre critic, E. J. West writes that Shaw "ceaselessly compared and contrasted artists in interpretation and in technique". Shaw contributed more than 150 articles as theatre critic for The Saturday Review, in which he assessed more than 212 productions.[254] He championed Ibsen's plays when many theatregoers regarded them as outrageous, and his 1891 book Quintessence of Ibsenism remained a classic throughout the twentieth century.[255] Of contemporary dramatists writing for the West End stage he rated Oscar Wilde above the rest: "... our only thorough playwright. He plays with everything: with wit, with philosophy, with drama, with actors and audience, with the whole theatre".[256] Shaw's collected criticisms were published as Our Theatres in the Nineties in 1932.[257]

Shaw maintained a provocative and frequently self-contradictory attitude to Shakespeare (whose name he insisted on spelling "Shakespear").[258] Many found him difficult to take seriously on the subject; Duff Cooper observed that by attacking Shakespeare, "it is Shaw who appears a ridiculous pigmy shaking his fist at a mountain."[259] Shaw was, nevertheless, a knowledgeable Shakespearian, and in an article in which he wrote, "With the single exception of Homer, there is no eminent writer, not even Sir Walter Scott, whom I can despise so entirely as I despise Shakespear when I measure my mind against his," he also said, "But I am bound to add that I pity the man who cannot enjoy Shakespear. He has outlasted thousands of abler thinkers, and will outlast a thousand more".[258] Shaw had two regular targets for his more extreme comments about Shakespeare: undiscriminating "Bardolaters", and actors and directors who presented insensitively cut texts in over-elaborate productions.[260][n 28] He was continually drawn back to Shakespeare, and wrote three plays with Shakespearean themes: The Dark Lady of the Sonnets, Cymbeline Refinished and Shakes versus Shav.[264] In a 2001 analysis of Shaw's Shakespearian criticisms, Robert Pierce concludes that Shaw, who was no academic, saw Shakespeare's plays—like all theatre—from an author's practical point of view: "Shaw helps us to get away from the Romantics' picture of Shakespeare as a titanic genius, one whose art cannot be analyzed or connected with the mundane considerations of theatrical conditions and profit and loss, or with a specific staging and cast of actors."[265]

Political and social writings

Shaw's political and social commentaries were published variously in Fabian tracts, in essays, in two full-length books, in innumerable newspaper and journal articles and in prefaces to his plays. The majority of Shaw's Fabian tracts were published anonymously, representing the voice of the society rather than of Shaw, although the society's secretary Edward Pease later confirmed Shaw's authorship.[46] According to Holroyd, the business of the early Fabians, mainly under the influence of Shaw, was to "alter history by rewriting it".[266] Shaw's talent as a pamphleteer was put to immediate use in the production of the society's manifesto—after which, says Holroyd, he was never again so succinct.[266]


[George Bernard Shaw] I never know exactly how to make my opinion clear because I object to all punishment whatsoever. I don’t want to punish anybody. But there are an extraordinary number of people who want to kill. Not in any unkind or [inaudible]. But it must be evident to all of you -- you all must know half a dozen people at least -- who are no use in this world, who are more trouble than they are worth. And I think it would be a good thing to make everyone come before a properly appointed board -- just as you might come before the Income Tax Commissioner, -- and say, every five years, or every seven years, just put them there and say, “Sarah,” or “Madame” – now will you be kind enough to justify your existence? If you can’t justify your existence, if you’re not pulling your weight in the social world, if you’re not producing as much as you consume, or perhaps a little more, then clearly, we cannot use the big organization of our society for the purpose of keeping you alive, because your life does not benefit us, and it can’t be of very much use to you.

Shaw speaking in the 1930s about what to do with the unproductive.

After the turn of the twentieth century, Shaw increasingly propagated his ideas through the medium of his plays. An early critic, writing in 1904, observed that Shaw's dramas provided "a pleasant means" of proselytising his socialism, adding that "Mr Shaw's views are to be sought especially in the prefaces to his plays".[267] After loosening his ties with the Fabian movement in 1911, Shaw's writings were more personal and often provocative; his response to the furore following the issue of Common Sense About the War in 1914, was to prepare a sequel, More Common Sense About the War. In this, he denounced the pacifist line espoused by Ramsay MacDonald and other socialist leaders, and proclaimed his readiness to shoot all pacifists rather than cede them power and influence.[268] On the advice of Beatrice Webb, this pamphlet remained unpublished.[269]

The Intelligent Woman's Guide, Shaw's main political treatise of the 1920s, attracted both admiration and criticism. MacDonald considered it the world's most important book since the Bible;[270] Harold Laski thought its arguments outdated and lacking in concern for individual freedoms.[163][n 29] Shaw's increasing flirtation with dictatorial methods is evident in many of his subsequent pronouncements. A New York Times report dated 10 December 1933 quoted a recent Fabian Society lecture in which Shaw had praised Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin: "[T]hey are trying to get something done, [and] are adopting methods by which it is possible to get something done".[271] As late as the Second World War, in Everybody's Political What's What, Shaw blamed the Allies' "abuse" of their 1918 victory for the rise of Hitler, and hoped that, after defeat, the Führer would escape retribution "to enjoy a comfortable retirement in Ireland or some other neutral country".[272] These sentiments, according to the Irish philosopher-poet Thomas Duddy, "rendered much of the Shavian outlook passé and contemptible".[273]

"Creative evolution", Shaw's version of the new science of eugenics, became an increasing theme in his political writing after 1900. He introduced his theories in The Revolutionist's Handbook (1903), an appendix to Man and Superman, and developed them further during the 1920s in Back to Methuselah. A 1946 Life magazine article observed that Shaw had "always tended to look at people more as a biologist than as an artist".[274] By 1933, in the preface to On the Rocks, he was writing that "if we desire a certain type of civilization and culture we must exterminate the sort of people who do not fit into it";[275] critical opinion is divided on whether this was intended as irony.[174][n 30] In an article in the American magazine Liberty in September 1938, Shaw included the statement: "There are many people in the world who ought to be liquidated".[274] Many commentators assumed that such comments were intended as a joke, although in the worst possible taste.[277] Otherwise, Life magazine concluded, "this silliness can be classed with his more innocent bad guesses".[274][n 31]


Shaw's fiction-writing was largely confined to the five unsuccessful novels written in the period 1879–1885. Immaturity (1879) is a semi-autobiographical portrayal of mid-Victorian England, Shaw's "own David Copperfield" according to Weintraub.[6] The Irrational Knot (1880) is a critique of conventional marriage, in which Weintraub finds the characterisations lifeless, "hardly more than animated theories".[6] Shaw was pleased with his third novel, Love Among the Artists (1881), feeling that it marked a turning point in his development as a thinker, although he had no more success with it than with its predecessors.[278] Cashel Byron's Profession (1882) is, says Weintraub, an indictment of society which anticipates Shaw's first full-length play, Mrs Warren's Profession.[6] Shaw later explained that he had intended An Unsocial Socialist as the first section of a monumental depiction of the downfall of capitalism. Gareth Griffith, in a study of Shaw's political thought, sees the novel as an interesting record of conditions, both in society at large and in the nascent socialist movement of the 1880s.[279]

Shaw's only subsequent fiction of any substance was his 1932 novella The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her Search for God, written during a visit to South Africa in 1932. The eponymous girl, intelligent, inquisitive, and converted to Christianity by insubstantial missionary teaching, sets out to find God, on a journey that after many adventures and encounters, leads her to a secular conclusion.[280] The story, on publication, offended some Christians and was banned in Ireland by the Board of Censors.[281]

Letters and diaries

"The strenuous literary life—George Bernard Shaw at work": 1904 caricature by Max Beerbohm

Shaw was a prolific correspondent throughout his life. His letters, edited by Dan H. Laurence, were published between 1965 and 1988.[282] Shaw once estimated his letters would occupy twenty volumes; Laurence commented that, unedited, they would fill many more.[283] Shaw wrote more than a quarter of a million letters, of which about ten per cent have survived; 2,653 letters are printed in Laurence's four volumes.[284] Among Shaw's many regular correspondents were his childhood friend Edward McNulty; his theatrical colleagues (and amitiés amoureuses) Mrs Patrick Campbell and Ellen Terry; writers including Lord Alfred Douglas, H. G. Wells and G. K. Chesterton; the boxer Gene Tunney; the nun Laurentia McLachlan; and the art expert Sydney Cockerell.[285][n 32] In 2007 a 316-page volume consisting entirely of Shaw's letters to The Times was published.[286]

Shaw's diaries for 1885–1897, edited by Weintraub, were published in two volumes, with a total of 1,241 pages, in 1986. Reviewing them, the Shaw scholar Fred Crawford wrote: "Although the primary interest for Shavians is the material that supplements what we already know about Shaw's life and work, the diaries are also valuable as a historical and sociological document of English life at the end of the Victorian age." After 1897, pressure of other writing led Shaw to give up keeping a diary.[287]

Miscellaneous and autobiographical

Through his journalism, pamphlets and occasional longer works, Shaw wrote on many subjects. His range of interest and enquiry included vivisection, vegetarianism, religion, language, cinema and photography,[n 33] on all of which he wrote and spoke copiously. Collections of his writings on these and other subjects were published, mainly after his death, together with volumes of "wit and wisdom" and general journalism.[286]

Despite the many books written about him (Holroyd counts 80 by 1939)[290] Shaw's autobiographical output, apart from his diaries, was relatively slight. He gave interviews to newspapers—"GBS Confesses", to The Daily Mail in 1904 is an example[291]—and provided sketches to would-be biographers whose work was rejected by Shaw and never published.[292] In 1939 Shaw drew on these materials to produce Shaw Gives Himself Away, a miscellany which, a year before his death, he revised and republished as Sixteen Self Sketches (there were seventeen). He made it clear to his publishers that this slim book was in no sense a full autobiography.[293]

Beliefs and opinions

Shaw was a poseur and a puritan; he was similarly a bourgeois and an antibourgeois writer, working for Hearst and posterity; his didacticism is entertaining and his pranks are purposeful; he supports socialism and is tempted by fascism.

—Leonard Feinberg, The Satirist (2006)[294]

Throughout his lifetime Shaw professed many beliefs, often contradictory. This inconsistency was partly an intentional provocation—the Spanish scholar-statesman Salvador de Madariaga describes Shaw as "a pole of negative electricity set in a people of positive electricity".[295] In one area at least Shaw was constant: in his lifelong refusal to follow normal English forms of spelling and punctuation. He favoured archaic spellings such as "shew" for "show"; he dropped the "u" in words like "honour" and "favour"; and wherever possible he rejected the apostrophe in contractions such as "won't" or "that's".[296] In his will, Shaw ordered that, after some specified legacies, his remaining assets were to form a trust to pay for fundamental reform of the English alphabet into a phonetic version of forty letters.[6] Though Shaw's intentions were clear, his drafting was flawed, and the courts initially ruled the intended trust void. A later out-of-court agreement provided a sum of £8,300 for spelling reform; the bulk of his fortune went to the residuary legatees—the British Museum, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and the National Gallery of Ireland.[297][n 34] Most of the £8,300 went on a special phonetic edition of Androcles and the Lion in the Shavian alphabet, published in 1962 to a largely indifferent reception.[300]

Shaw in 1905

Shaw's views on religion and Christianity were less consistent. Having in his youth proclaimed himself an atheist, in middle age he explained this as a reaction against the Old Testament image of a vengeful Jehovah. By the early twentieth century, he termed himself a "mystic", although Gary Sloan, in an essay on Shaw's beliefs, disputes his credentials as such.[301] In 1913 Shaw declared that he was not religious "in the sectarian sense", aligning himself with Jesus as "a person of no religion".[302] In the preface (1915) to Androcles and the Lion, Shaw asks "Why not give Christianity a chance?" contending that Britain's social order resulted from the continuing choice of Barabbas over Christ.[302] In a broadcast just before the Second World War, Shaw invoked the Sermon on the Mount, "a very moving exhortation, and it gives you one first-rate tip, which is to do good to those who despitefully use you and persecute you".[301] In his will, Shaw stated that his "religious convictions and scientific views cannot at present be more specifically defined than as those of a believer in creative revolution".[303] He requested that no one should imply that he accepted the beliefs of any specific religious organisation, and that no memorial to him should "take the form of a cross or any other instrument of torture or symbol of blood sacrifice".[303]

Shaw espoused racial equality, and inter-marriage between people of different races.[304] Despite his expressed wish to be fair to Hitler,[176] he called anti-Semitism "the hatred of the lazy, ignorant fat-headed Gentile for the pertinacious Jew who, schooled by adversity to use his brains to the utmost, outdoes him in business".[305] In The Jewish Chronicle he wrote in 1932, "In every country you can find rabid people who have a phobia against Jews, Jesuits, Armenians, Negroes, Freemasons, Irishmen, or simply foreigners as such. Political parties are not above exploiting these fears and jealousies."[306]

In 1903 Shaw joined in a controversy about vaccination against smallpox. He called vaccination "a peculiarly filthy piece of witchcraft";[307] in his view immunisation campaigns were a cheap and inadequate substitute for a decent programme of housing for the poor, which would, he declared, be the means of eradicating smallpox and other infectious diseases.[29] Less contentiously, Shaw was keenly interested in transport; Laurence observed in 1992 a need for a published study of Shaw's interest in "bicycling, motorbikes, automobiles, and planes, climaxing in his joining the Interplanetary Society in his nineties".[308] Shaw published articles on travel, took photographs of his journeys, and submitted notes to the Royal Automobile Club.[308]

Shaw strove throughout his adult life to be referred to as "Bernard Shaw" rather than "George Bernard Shaw", but confused matters by continuing to use his full initials—G.B.S.—as a by-line, and often signed himself "G. Bernard Shaw".[309] He left instructions in his will that his executor (the Public Trustee) was to license publication of his works only under the name Bernard Shaw.[6] Shaw scholars including Ervine, Judith Evans, Holroyd, Laurence and Weintraub, and many publishers have respected Shaw's preference, although the Cambridge University Press was among the exceptions with its 1988 Cambridge Companion to George Bernard Shaw.[257]

Legacy and influence


Shaw, arguably the most important English-language playwright after Shakespeare, produced an immense oeuvre, of which at least half a dozen plays remain part of the world repertoire. ... Academically unfashionable, of limited influence even in areas such as Irish drama and British political theatre where influence might be expected, Shaw's unique and unmistakable plays keep escaping from the safely dated category of period piece to which they have often been consigned.

-- Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre (2003)[240]

Shaw did not found a school of dramatists as such, but Crawford asserts that today "we recognise [him] as second only to Shakespeare in the British theatrical tradition ... the proponent of the theater of ideas" who struck a death-blow to 19th-century melodrama.[310] According to Laurence, Shaw pioneered "intelligent" theatre, in which the audience was required to think, thereby paving the way for the new breeds of twentieth-century playwrights from Galsworthy to Pinter.[311]

Crawford lists numerous playwrights whose work owes something to that of Shaw. Among those active in Shaw's lifetime he includes Noël Coward, who based his early comedy The Young Idea on You Never Can Tell and continued to draw on the older man's works in later plays.[312][313] T. S. Eliot, by no means an admirer of Shaw, admitted that the epilogue of Murder in the Cathedral, in which Becket's slayers explain their actions to the audience, might have been influenced by Saint Joan.[314] The critic Eric Bentley comments that Eliot's later play The Confidential Clerk "had all the earmarks of Shavianism ... without the merits of the real Bernard Shaw".[315] Among more recent British dramatists, Crawford marks Tom Stoppard as "the most Shavian of contemporary playwrights";[316] Shaw's "serious farce" is continued in the works of Stoppard's contemporaries Alan Ayckbourn, Henry Livings and Peter Nichols.[317]

Shaw's complete plays

Shaw's influence crossed the Atlantic at an early stage. Bernard Dukore notes that he was successful as a dramatist in America ten years before achieving comparable success in Britain.[318] Among many American writers professing a direct debt to Shaw, Eugene O'Neill became an admirer at the age of seventeen, after reading The Quintessence of Ibsenism.[319] Other Shaw-influenced American playwrights mentioned by Dukore are Elmer Rice, for whom Shaw "opened doors, turned on lights, and expanded horizons";[320] William Saroyan, who empathised with Shaw as "the embattled individualist against the philistines";[321] and S. N. Behrman, who was inspired to write for the theatre after attending a performance of Caesar and Cleopatra: "I thought it would be agreeable to write plays like that".[322]

Assessing Shaw's reputation in a 1976 critical study, T. F. Evans described Shaw as unchallenged in his lifetime and since as the leading English-language dramatist of the (twentieth) century, and as a master of prose style.[323] The following year, in a contrary assessment, the playwright John Osborne castigated The Guardian's theatre critic Michael Billington for referring to Shaw as "the greatest British dramatist since Shakespeare". Osborne responded that Shaw "is the most fraudulent, inept writer of Victorian melodramas ever to gull a timid critic or fool a dull public".[324] Despite this hostility, Crawford sees the influence of Shaw in some of Osborne's plays, and concludes that though the latter's work is neither imitative nor derivative, these affinities are sufficient to classify Osborne as an inheritor of Shaw.[316]

In a 1983 study, R. J. Kaufmann suggests that Shaw was a key forerunner—"godfather, if not actually finicky paterfamilias"—of the Theatre of the Absurd.[325] Two further aspects of Shaw's theatrical legacy are noted by Crawford: his opposition to stage censorship, which was finally ended in 1968, and his efforts which extended over many years to establish a National Theatre.[317] Shaw's short 1910 play The Dark Lady of the Sonnets, in which Shakespeare pleads with Queen Elizabeth I for the endowment of a state theatre, was part of this campaign.[326]

Writing in The New Statesman in 2012 Daniel Janes commented that Shaw's reputation had declined by the time of his 150th anniversary in 2006 but had recovered considerably. In Janes's view, the many current revivals of Shaw's major works showed the playwright's "almost unlimited relevance to our times".[327] In the same year, Mark Lawson wrote in The Guardian that Shaw's moral concerns engaged present-day audiences, and made him—like his model, Ibsen—one of the most popular playwrights in contemporary British theatre.[328]

The Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada is the second largest repertory theatre company in North America. It produces plays by or written during the lifetime of Shaw as well as some contemporary works.[329] The Gingold Theatrical Group, founded in 2006, presents works by Shaw and others in New York City that feature the humanitarian ideals that his work promoted.[330] It became the first theatre group to present all of Shaw's stage work through its monthly concert series Project Shaw.[331]


In the 1940s the author Harold Nicolson advised the National Trust not to accept the bequest of Shaw's Corner, predicting that Shaw would be totally forgotten within fifty years.[332] In the event, Shaw's broad cultural legacy, embodied in the widely used term "Shavian", has endured and is nurtured by Shaw Societies in various parts of the world. The original society was founded in London in 1941 and survives; it organises meetings and events, and publishes a regular bulletin The Shavian. The Shaw Society of America began in June 1950; it foundered in the 1970s but its journal, adopted by Penn State University Press, continued to be published as Shaw: The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies until 2004. A second American organisation, founded in 1951 as "The Bernard Shaw Society", remains active as of 2016. More recent societies have been established in Japan and India.[333]

Besides his collected music criticism, Shaw has left a varied musical legacy, not all of it of his choosing. Despite his dislike of having his work adapted for the musical theatre ("my plays set themselves to a verbal music of their own")[334] two of his plays were turned into musical comedies: Arms and the Man was the basis of The Chocolate Soldier in 1908, with music by Oscar Straus, and Pygmalion was adapted in 1956 as My Fair Lady with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe.[66] Although he had a high regard for Elgar, Shaw turned down the composer's request for an opera libretto, but played a major part in persuading the BBC to commission Elgar's Third Symphony, and was the dedicatee of The Severn Suite (1930).[66][335]

The substance of Shaw's political legacy is uncertain. In 1921 Shaw's erstwhile collaborator William Archer, in a letter to the playwright, wrote: "I doubt if there is any case of a man so widely read, heard, seen, and known as yourself, who has produced so little effect on his generation."[336] Margaret Cole, who considered Shaw the greatest writer of his age, professed never to have understood him. She thought he worked "immensely hard" at politics, but essentially, she surmises, it was for fun—"the fun of a brilliant artist".[337] After Shaw's death, Pearson wrote: "No one since the time of Tom Paine has had so definite an influence on the social and political life of his time and country as Bernard Shaw."[336]

In its obituary tribute to Shaw, The Times Literary Supplement concluded:

He was no originator of ideas. He was an insatiable adopter and adapter, an incomparable prestidigitator with the thoughts of the forerunners. Nietzsche, Samuel Butler (Erewhon), Marx, Shelley, Blake, Dickens, William Morris, Ruskin, Beethoven and Wagner all had their applications and misapplications. By bending to their service all the faculties of a powerful mind, by inextinguishable wit, and by every artifice of argument, he carried their thoughts as far as they would reach—so far beyond their sources that they came to us with the vitality of the newly created.[338]


1. Now (2016) known as 33 Synge Street.[1]
2. Shaw's biographer Michael Holroyd records that in 1689 Captain William Shaw fought for William III at the Battle of the Boyne, for which service he was granted a substantial estate in Kilkenny.[3]
3. The four schools were the Wesleyan Connexional School, run by the Methodist Church in Ireland; a private school near Dalkey; Dublin Central Model Boys' School; and the Dublin English Scientific and Commercial Day School.[15]
4. Shaw's loathing of the name George began in his childhood.[17] He never succeeded in persuading his mother and sister to stop calling him by the name, but he made it known that everyone else who had any respect for his wishes should refrain from using it—"I hate being George-d".[18]
5. By Shaw's account, Lee left Ireland because he had outgrown the musical possibilities of Dublin; in fact, Lee had overreached himself by trying to oust Sir Robert Stewart as the city's leading conductor. Stewart, professor of music at Trinity College, denounced him as a charlatan, and succeeded in driving him out.[19]
6. Shaw attributed the breach to Bessie's disillusion when Lee abandoned his distinctive teaching methods to pursue a cynically commercial exploitation of gullible pupils; others, including Holroyd, have suggested that Bessie was resentful that Lee's affections were turning elsewhere, not least to her daughter Lucy.[20][21]
7. Shaw had a passable baritone voice,[22] though he admitted that he was far outclassed as a singer by his sister Lucy, who had a career as a soprano with the Carl Rosa and D'Oyly Carte opera companies.[23][24]
8. Vegetarianism and the luxuriant beard were among the things with which Shaw became associated by the general public. He was also a teetotaller and non-smoker, and was known for his habitual costume of unfashionable woollen clothes, made for him by Jaeger.[6][30][31]
9. The Irrational Knot was eventually published in book form by Constable, in 1905;[33] Love Among the Artists was first published as a book in 1900, by H. S. Stone of Chicago.[34]
10. The Fabian Society was founded in January 1884 as a splinter group from the Fellowship of the New Life, a society of ethical socialistsfounded in 1883 by Thomas Davidson.[44]
11. Some writers, including Lisbeth J. Sachs, Bernard Stern and Sally Peters, believe Shaw was a repressed homosexual, and that after Jenny Patterson all his relationships with women, including his marriage, were platonic.[57] Others, such as Maurice Valency, suggest that at least one other of Shaw's relationships—that with Florence Farr—was consummated.[58] Evidence came to light in 2004 that a well-documented relationship between the septuagenarian Shaw and the young actress Molly Tompkins was not, as had been generally supposed, platonic.[59]Shaw himself stressed his own heterosexuality to St John Ervine ("I am the normal heterosexual man") and Frank Harris ("I was not impotent: I was not sterile; I was not homosexual; and I was extremely, though not promiscuously, susceptible").[60]
12. A corno di bassetto is the Italian name for an obsolete musical instrument, the basset horn. Shaw chose it as his pen name because he thought it seemed dashing: "it sounded like a foreign title and nobody knew what a corno di bassetto was". Only later did he hear one played, after which he declared it "a wretched instrument [of] peculiar watery melancholy. ... The devil himself could not make a basset horn sparkle".[65]
13. The first British production was at a private theatre club in 1902; the play was not licensed for public performance until 1925.[68]
14. Shaw was sensitive to the charge of emulating Gilbert. He insisted that it was Gilbert who was heartless, while he himself was constructive.[72]
15. With another election looming in 1895, the text of To Your Tents was modified, to become Fabian Tract No. 49, A Plan of Campaign For Labor.[46][80]
16. Shaw served on the vestry's Health Committee, the Officers Committee and the Committee for Public Lighting.[85]
17. At the Royal Court and then at the Savoy, the Shaw plays presented by the partnership between 1905 and 1908 were You Never Can Tell (177 performances), Man and Superman (176), John Bull's Other Island (121), Captain Brassbound's Conversion (89), Arms and the Man (77), Major Barbara (52), The Doctor's Dilemma (50), The Devil's Disciple (42), Candida (31), Caesar and Cleopatra (28), How He Lied to Her Husband(9), The Philanderer (8), Don Juan in Hell (8) and The Man of Destiny(8).[96]
18. Shaw often mocked the pretensions of the Gaelic League to represent modern-day Ireland—the League had, he said, been "invented in Bedford Park, London."[100] In a 1950 study of the Abbey Theatre, Peter Kavanagh wrote: "Yeats and Synge did not feel that Shaw belonged to the real Irish tradition. His plays would thus have no place in the Irish theatre movement". Kavanagh added, "an important part of Shaw's plays was political argument, and Yeats detested this quality in dramatic writing."[101]
19. In Tree's absence from the American production, his role, Professor Higgins, was successfully taken by Philip Merivale, who had played Colonel Pickering in London.[117] Campbell continued to romanticise the piece, contrary to Shaw's wishes.[115]
20. Shaw had been considered and rejected for a Nobel Prize four or five times before this.[162] He arranged for the prize money to be used to sponsor a new Anglo-Swedish Literary Foundation, for the translation into English of Swedish literature, including August Strindberg's plays.[2]
21. In 1937 the book was reissued, with additional chapters and an extended title, The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Socialism, Capitalism, Sovietism and Fascism, and was published by Penguin Books as the first in the new paperback series called Pelicans.[164]
22. Shaw was not alone in being initially deceived by Hitler. The former British prime minister David Lloyd George described the Führer in 1936 as "unquestionably a great leader".[177] A year later the former Labour Party leader George Lansbury recorded that Hitler "could listen to reason", and that "Christianity in its purest sense might have a chance with him".[178]
23. This did not prevent him from putting the award—a golden figurine—on his mantelpiece.[190] Shaw was one of four to receive the award, along with Ian Dalrymple, Cecil Lewis and W. P. Lipscomb, who had also worked on adapting Shaw's text.[191]
24. In the early 1920s Lloyd George had considered putting Shaw's name forward for the award, but concluded that it would be more prudent to offer it to J. M. Barrie, who accepted it. Shaw later said he would have refused it if offered, just as he refused the offer of a knighthood.[209]
25. The works Shaw omitted from his Complete Plays were Passion Play; Un Petit Drame; The Interlude at the Playhouse; Beauty's Duty; an untitled parody of Macbeth; A Glimpse of the Domesticity of Franklyn Barnabas and How These Doctors Love One Another!.[215]
26. In a 2003 encyclopaedia article on Shaw, Nicholas Grene writes, "The Cinderella story of the flower-girl turned into a lady by a professor of phonetics resulted in a lifelong struggle by Shaw, first with ... Tree and then with film producers, to prevent it being returned to stock with a 'happy' ending. This was a battle Shaw was to lose posthumously when the sugar-coated musical comedy adaptation, Lerner and Loewe's My Fair Lady (1956), went on to make more money for the Shaw estate than all his plays put together."[240]
27. In 1893 Shaw's column included his parody of music critics' idiom in a mock-academic analysis of Hamlet's "To be or not to be" soliloquy: "Shakespear, dispensing with the customary exordium, announces his subject at once in the infinitive, in which mood it is presently repeated after a short connecting passage in which, brief as it is, we recognize the alternative and negative forms on which so much of the significance of repetition depends. Here we reach a colon; and a pointed pository phrase, in which the accent falls decisively on the relative pronoun, brings us to the first full stop."[249]
28. In a 1969 study, John F. Matthews credits Shaw with a successful campaign against the two-hundred-year-old tradition of editing Shakespeare into "acting versions", often designed to give star actors greater prominence, to the detriment of the play as a whole.[261][262]Shaw was in favour of cuts intended to enhance the drama by omitting what he saw as Shakespearean rhetoric.[263]
29. In 1937 the book was reissued, with additional chapters and an extended title, The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Socialism, Capitalism, Sovietism and Fascism, and was published by Penguin Books as the first in the new paperback series called Pelicans.[164]
30. The science historian Daniel Kevles writes: "Shaw ... did not spare the eugenics movement his unpredictable mockery ... [he] acted the outrageous buffoon at times."[276]
31. In the 21st century Shaw's 1930s flirtations with fascism and his association with eugenics have been resurrected by American TV talk-show hosts to depict him as a "monster" and to similarly disparage the causes and institutions with which he was associated, most particularly the Fabian Society and socialism.[174]
32. Individual volumes have been published of the correspondence with Terry (issued 1931), Tunney (1951), Campbell (1952), Douglas (1982) and Wells (1995).[286]
33. Shaw was an enthusiastic amateur photographer from 1898 until his death, amassing about 10,000 prints and more than 10,000 negatives documenting his friends, travels, politics, plays, films and home life.[288]The collection is archived at the London School of Economics; an exhibition of his photography, "Man & Cameraman", opened in 2011 at the Fox Talbot Museum in conjunction with an online exhibition presented by the LSE.[289]
34. The estate was officially assessed as worth £367,233 at the time of Shaw's death. Although death duties severely reduced the residuary sum, royalties from My Fair Lady later boosted the income of the estate by several million pounds.[298][299]
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1. Peters 1996, p. 5.
2. Ervine 1959 DNB archive.
3. Holroyd 1997, p. 2.
4. Shaw 1969, p. 22.
5. Holroyd 1997, pp. 5–6.
6. Weintraub ODNB online 2013.
7. Holroyd 1997, pp. 13–14.
8. Rosset 1964, pp. 105 and 129.
9. Dervin 1975, p. 56.
10. O'Donovan 1965, p. 108.
11. Bosch 1984, pp. 115–117.
12. Holroyd 1990, pp. 27–28.
13. Holroyd 1997, pp. 23–24.
14. Holroyd 1997, pp. 24 (literature) and 25 (music).
15. Holroyd 1997, pp. 19–21.
16. Shaw 1949, pp. 89–90.
17. Nothorcot 1964, p. 3.
18. Nothorcot 1964, pp. 3–4 and 9.
19. O'Donovan 1965, p. 75.
20. Westrup 1966, p. 58.
21. Holroyd 1997, pp. 40–41.
22. Pharand 2000, p. 24.
23. Holroyd 1997, pp. 25 and 68.
24. Rollins and Witts 1962, pp. 54–55 and 58.
25. Laurence 1976, p. 8.
26. Peters 1996, pp. 56–57.
27. Holroyd 1997, p. 48.
28. Holroyd 1997, pp. 48–49.
29. Holroyd 1997, pp. 55–56.
30. Peters 1996, pp. 102–103.
31. Pearce 1997, p. 127.
32. Holroyd 1990, p. 120.
33. Rodenbeck 1969, p. 67.
34. Love Among the Artists: WorldCat.
35. Bevir 2011, p. 155.
36. Holroyd 1990, pp. 172–173.
37. Pharand 2000, p. 6.
38. Adams 1971, p. 64.
39. Yde 2013, p. 46.
40. Holroyd 1997, p. 79.
41. Pearson 1964, p. 68.
42. Holroyd 1990, pp. 127–128.
43. Holroyd 1990, pp. 129–131.
44. Diniejko 2013.
45. Cole 1961, pp. 7–8.
46. Fabian Tracts: 1884–1901.
47. Shaw: A Manifesto 1884.
48. Jump up to:a b Holroyd 1990, pp. 178–180.
49. Pelling 1965, p. 50.
50. Preece 2011, p. 53.
51. Holroyd 1990, pp. 182–183.
52. Shaw: Fabian Essays in Socialism 1889, pp. 182–183.
53. Holroyd 1990, p. 182.
54. Shaw: What Socialism Is 1890, p. 3.
55. Holroyd 1997, pp. 72, 81 and 94.
56. Holroyd 1997, pp. 92–94.
57. Peters 1996, p. 289.
58. Valency 1973, p. 89.
59. Owen 2004, p. 3.
60. Peters 1996, p. 171.
61. Holroyd 1997, pp. 81–83.
62. Crawford 1982, pp. 21 and 23.
63. Shaw and Laurence (Vol 1) 1981, p. 22.
64. Shaw and Laurence (Vol 1) 1981, pp. 16–17.
65. Shaw and Laurence (Vol 1) 1981, pp. 30–31.
66. Anderson: Grove Music Online.
67. Shaw and Laurence (Vol 3) 1981, p. 767.
68. The Times, 29 September 1925, p. 12.
69. The Standard, 23 April 1894, p. 2.
70. Fun, 1 May 1894, p. 179.
71. The Observer, 22 April 1894, p. 5.
72. Holroyd 1997, pp. 172–173.
73. The Sporting Times, 19 May 1894, p. 3.
74. Holroyd 1997, p. 173.
75. Peters 1998, pp. 138 and 210.
76. The Daily News, 1 April 1895, p. 2.
77. Evans 2003, pp. 75–78.
78. Pelling 1965, pp. 115–116.
79. Adelman 1996, p. 22.
80. Holroyd 1990, pp. 270–272.
81. Pelling 1965, pp. 119–120.
82. Cole 1961, pp. 46–48.
83. Holroyd 1990, pp. 409–411.
84. Pelling 1965, p. 184.
85. Holroyd 1990, p. 414.
86. Holroyd 1990, p. 416.
87. Holroyd 1997, p. 249.
88. Holroyd 1997, p. 263.
89. Adams 1971, p. 154.
90. Carr 1976, p. 10.
91. Peters 1996, p. 218.
92. Weintraub 1982, p. 4.
93. Crawford 1975, p. 93.
94. Holroyd 1989, pp. 11–13.
95. Holroyd 1997, pp. 261, 356 and 786.
96. The Observer, 8 March 1908, p. 8.
97. Holroyd 1997, p. 311.
98. Merriman 2010, pp. 219–20.
99. Broad and Broad 1929, p. 53.
100. Shaw 1998, p. 64.
101. Kavanagh 1950, p. 55.
102. Gahan 2010, pp. 10–11.
103. Gahan 2010, p. 8.
104. Gahan 2010, p. 14.
105. Gahan 2010, p. 1.
106. The Observer, 3 December 1905, p. 5.
107. The Manchester Guardian, 21 November 1906, p. 7.
108. Holroyd 1997, p. 217.
109. Laurence 1955, p. 8.
110. Gaye 1967, p. 1531.
111. Wearing 1982, p. 379.
112. Holroyd 1997, p. 440.
113. The New York Times, 23 November 1913, p. X6.
114. Holroyd 1997, pp. 426–430.
115. Holroyd 1997, pp. 443–444.
116. The New York Times, 10 October 1914.
117. The New York Times, 13 October 1914.
118. Pelling 1965, pp. 187–188.
119. Shaw: Fabianism and the Empire 1900, p. 24.
120. McBriar 1962, p. 83.
121. Cole 1961, p. 90.
122. Jump up to:a b Holroyd 1989, pp. 46–47.
123. Holroyd 1989, pp. 125–126.
124. Holroyd 1989, pp. 129–133.
125. Holroyd 1989, pp. 142–145.
126. Jump up to:a b Cole 1961, p. 123.
127. Holroyd 1989, p. 259.
128. Cole 1961, p. 144.
129. Holroyd 1989, pp. 267–268.
130. Holroyd 1989, p. 318.
131. Smith 2013, pp. 38–42.
132. Holroyd 1989, pp. 319–321.
133. Shaw: Common Sense About the War 1914, p. 12.
134. Ervine 1956, p. 464.
135. Holroyd 1989, pp. 371–374.
136. Evans 2003, p. 110.
137. Evans 2003, pp. 112–113.
138. Clare 2016, p. 176.
139. Shaw: "Irish Nonsense About Ireland" 1916.
140. Holroyd 1989, pp. 390–391.
141. Holroyd 1993, p. 60.
142. Bennett 2010, p. 60.
143. Mackay 1997, pp. 251–254.
144. Mackay 1997, p. 280.
145. Holroyd 1993, p. 62.
146. Mackay 1997, pp. 296–297.
147. Holroyd 1989, p. 384.
148. The Times, 12 November 1920, p. 11.
149. The Times, 19 October 1921, p. 8.
150. Ervine 1921, p. 11.
151. Shaw 1934, pp. 855, 869, 891, 910–911, and 938.
152. Ervine 1923, p. 11.
153. The Times, 15 October 1923, p. 11.
154. Rhodes 1923, p. 8.
155. Gaye 1967, p. 1357.
156. Drabble et al. 2007 "Back to Methuselah: A Metabiological Pentateuch".
157. Holroyd 1997, p. 520.
158. The Times, 9 December 1923, p. 8.
159. The Times, 27 March 1924, p. 12.
160. The Nobel Prize in Literature 1925.
161. Quoted in Kamm 1999, p. 74.
162. Holroyd 1997, p. 530.
163. Holroyd 1993, pp. 128–131.
164. Holroyd 1993, p. 373.
165. Shaw: The League of Nations 1929, pp. 6 and 11.
166. Young 1973, p. 240.
167. Weintraub 2002, p. 7.
168. Holroyd 1993, p. 143.
169. Holroyd 1993, p. 146.
170. Shaw et al.: "Social Conditions in Russia", 2 March 1933.
171. Holroyd 1993, p. 226.
172. Holroyd 1993, pp. 233–234.
173. Weintraub: "GBS and the Despots", 22 August 2011.
174. Nestruck 2011.
175. Geduld 1961, pp. 11–12.
176. Holroyd 1993, p. 421.
177. Holroyd 1993, p. 404.
178. Shepherd 2002, p. 341.
179. Geduld 1961, pp. 15–16.
180. The Manchester Guardian, 2 March 1932, p. 12.
181. Laurence 1985, pp. 279–282.
182. Holroyd 1997, pp. 640–642.
183. Laurence 1985, p. 288.
184. Laurence 1985, p. 292.
185. Holroyd 1997, pp. 668 and 670.
186. Holroyd 1997, p. 667.
187. Laurence 1985, p. 285.
188. Weales 1969, p. 80.
189. Holroyd 1997, p. 715.
190. Pascal 1971, p. 86.
191. Burton and Chibnall 2013, p. 715.
192. Peters 1998, p. 257.
193. Holden 1993, p. 141.
194. Holroyd 1997, pp. 718 and 724.
195. Evans 1976, p. 360.
196. Gaye 1967, pp. 1391 and 1406.
197. Holroyd 1997, pp. 698 and 747.
198. Holroyd 1997, p. 737.
199. Holroyd 1997, pp. 737–738.
200. Holroyd 1997, p. 738.
201. Holroyd 1997, pp. 742–743.
202. Holroyd 1993, p. 427.
203. Holroyd 1997, pp. 744–747.
204. Holroyd 1993, pp. 480–481.
205. Geduld 1961, p. 18.
206. Holroyd 1993, p. 483.
207. Holroyd 1993, p. 477.
208. Holroyd 1997, p. 768.
209. Martin 2007, p. 484.
210. Broughton 1946, p. 808.
211. Holroyd 1993, pp. 486–488.
212. Holroyd 1993, pp. 508–511.
213. Holroyd 1993, p. 515.
214. Tyson 1982, p. 116.
215. Shaw 1934, pp. vii–viii.
216. Holroyd 1990, pp. 400–405.
217. Powell 1998, pp. 74–78.
218. Evans 2003, pp. 28–30.
219. Evans 2003, p. 31.
220. Evans 2003, pp. 34–35.
221. Peters 1998, p. 18.
222. Evans 2003, pp. 38–39.
223. Evans 2003, p. 41.
224. Shaw 1934, pp. 218, 250 and 297.
225. Innes 1998, p. xxi.
226. Wikander 1998, p. 196.
227. Evans 2003, p. 49.
228. Evans 2003, pp. 46–47.
229. Gaye 1967, p. 1410.
230. Evans 2003, pp. 62–65.
231. Shaw 1934, p. 503.
232. Beerbohm 1962, p. 8.
233. Shaw 1934, p. 540.
234. Holroyd 2012.
235. Sharp 1959, pp. 103 and 105.
236. Evans 2003, pp. 80 and 82.
237. Gaye 1967, pp. 1366 and 1466.
238. Evans 2003, pp. 99–101.
239. Evans 2003, pp. 101 and 104.
240. Grene 2003 Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre.
241. Dervin 1975, p. 286.
242. Holroyd 1993, p. 10.
243. Evans 2003, pp. 106–114.
244. Croall 2008, pp. 166 and 169.
245. Holroyd 1993, p. 161.
246. Evans 2003, p. 154.
247. Evans 2003, pp. 163–168.
248. Shaw and Laurence (Vol 3) 1981, pp. 805–925.
249. Shaw and Laurence (Vol 2) 1981, p. 898.
250. Shaw and Laurence (Vol 2) 1981, p. 429.
251. Shaw and Laurence (Vol 2) 1981, pp. 245–246.
252. Shaw and Laurence (Vol 1) 1981, p. 14.
253. Berst 1998, p. 71.
254. West 1952, p. 204.
255. Berst 1998, p. 56.
256. Berst 1998, pp. 67–68.
257. Evans 2003, pp. 210–211.
258. Pierce 2011, pp. 118–119.
259. Cooper 1953, p. 40.
260. Pierce 2011, pp. 121 and 129.
261. Matthews 1969, pp. 16–17.
262. Pierce 2011, pp. 120–121.
263. Pierce 2011, p. 127.
264. Pierce 2011, p. 131.
265. Pierce 2011, p. 129.
266. Holroyd 1989, p. 132.
267. Hoffsten 1904, p. 219.
268. Griffith 1993, p. 228.
269. Holroyd 1989, p. 361.
270. Wallis 1991, p. 185.
271. The New York Times, 10 December 1933.
272. Shaw: Everybody's Political What's What 1944, pp. 137 and 249.
273. Merriman 2010, pp. 219–220.
274. Life editorial: "All honor to his genius ...", 12 August 1946, p. 26.
275. Shaw: Preface, On the Rocks (Section: "Previous Attempts miss the Point") 1933.
276. Kevles 1995, p. 86.
277. Searle 1976, p. 92.
278. Holroyd 1989, pp. 96–97.
279. Griffith 1993, p. 26.
280. Kent 2008, pp. 278–279.
281. Kent 2008, p. 291.
282. Wisenthal 1998, p. 305.
283. Weales, p. 520.
284. Crawford 1990, p. 148.
285. Holroyd 1997, pp. 94–95 (McNulty); 197–198 (Terry); 534 (Chesterton); 545–547 (Campbell); 604–606 (Tunney); 606–610 (Cockerell and McLachlan); and 833 (Wells).
286. Pharand: Shaw chronology 2015.
287. Crawford 1988, pp. 142–143.
288. Daily Mail, 8 September 2010.
289. Kennedy, The Guardian, 5 July 2011.
290. Holroyd 1993, p. 367.
291. Hugo 1999, pp. 22–23.
292. Leary 1971, pp. 3–11.
293. Holroyd 1993, p. 495.
294. Feinberg 2006, p. 164.
295. Evans 1976, p. 365.
296. Conolly 2005, pp. 80–81.
297. Holroyd 1992, pp. 16–21.
298. The Times, 24 March 1951, p. 8.
299. The Times, 7 April 1992, p. 1(S).
300. Holroyd 1997, pp. 800–804.
301. Sloan: The religion of George Bernard Shaw 2004.
302. Holroyd 1989, p. 287.
303. Religion: Creative Revolutionary: Time, December 1950.
304. Holroyd 1997, pp. 643–647.
305. Holroyd 1997, p. 543.
306. Holroyd 1997, p. 733.
307. Shaw and Laurence 1965, p. 448.
308. Dukore et al. 1994, p. 268.
309. Nothorcot 1964, pp. 3–5.
310. Crawford 1993, p. 103.
311. Crawford 1993, p. 103 (Crawford quotes Laurence, but does not state the source).
312. Crawford 1993, pp. 104–105.
313. Coward 2004, pp. 114–115.
314. Crawford 1993, p. 107.
315. Bentley 1968, p. 144.
316. Crawford 1993, p. 108.
317. Crawford 1993, p. 109.
318. Dukore 1992, p. 128.
319. Alexander 1959, p. 307.
320. Dukore 1992, p. 132.
321. Dukore 1992, p. 133.
322. Dukore 1992, p. 134.
323. Evans 1976, p. 1.
324. Osborne 1977, p. 12.
325. Kaufmann 1965, p. 11.
326. Holroyd 1989, pp. 270–71.
327. Janes, New Statesman, 20 July 2012.
328. Lawson, The Guardian, 11 July 2012.
329. Walker, Craig S.; Wise, Jennifer (9 July 2003). The Broadview Anthology of Drama, Volume 2: The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Broadview Press. p. 205.
330. Smith, Wendy. "The Shaw Must Go On: David Staller Makes the Case for the Writer’s Many Facets", American Theatre, November 2014, accessed 3 June 2018
331. Keddy, Genevieve Rafter. "Project Shaw Presents Super Shaw Women, 18 July 2017, accessed 3 June 2018
332. Dukore et al. 1994, p. 266.
333. Weintraub: Shaw Societies Once and Now.
334. Reed 1939, p. 142.
335. Reed 1939, pp. 138 and 142.
336. Jump up to:a b Morgan 1951, p. 100.
337. Cole 1949, p. 148.
338. Tomlinson 1950, p. 709.



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• Weintraub, Stanley (1982). The Unexpected Shaw. New York: Ungar. ISBN 978-0-8044-2974-0.
• Wikander, Martin (1998). "Reinventing the history play". In Christopher Innes (ed.). The Cambridge Companion to George Bernard Shaw. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-56237-9.
• Wisenthal, J. L. (1998). "Shaw's plays as music-drama". In Christopher Innes (ed.). The Cambridge Companion to George Bernard Shaw. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-56237-9.
• Yde, Matthew (2013). Bernard Shaw and Totalitarianism: Longing for Utopia. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-137-33020-8.
• Young, Percy (1973). Elgar O.M. London: White Lion. ISBN 978-0-85617-333-2.
Shaw's writings[edit]
• Shaw, Bernard (1884). A Manifesto (Fabian Tract No. 2). London: Grant Richards. OCLC 4674581.
• Shaw, Bernard, ed. (1889). Fabian Essays in Socialism. London: The Fabian Society. OCLC 867941203.
• Shaw, Bernard (1890). What Socialism Is (Fabian Tract No. 13). London: Grant Richards. OCLC 4674562.
• Shaw, Bernard (1900). Fabianism and the Empire. London: Grant Richards. OCLC 2688559.
• Shaw, Bernard (December 1914). "Common Sense About the War". Current History of the European War. 1 (1). The New York Times.
• Shaw, G. Bernard (9 April 1916). "Irish Nonsense About Ireland" (PDF). The New York Times.
• Shaw, Bernard (1929). The League of Nations Fabian Tract No. 226. London: The Fabian Society. OCLC 612985.
• Shaw, Bernard (1934). The Complete Plays of Bernard Shaw. London: Odhams. OCLC 492566054.
• Shaw, Bernard (1944). Everybody's Political What's What. London: Constable. OCLC 892140394.
• Shaw, Bernard (1949). "Biographers' Blunders Corrected". Sixteen Self Sketches. London: Constable. OCLC 185519922.
• Shaw, Bernard (1965). Dan Laurence (ed.). Collected Letters, Volume 1: 1874–1897. London: Reinhardt. OCLC 185512253.
• Shaw, Bernard (1969). Stanley Weintraub (ed.). Shaw: An Autobiography, 1856–1898. London: Reinhardt. ISBN 978-0-370-01328-2.
• Shaw, Bernard (1981). Dan Laurence (ed.). Shaw's Music: The Complete Music Criticism of Bernard Shaw, Volume 1 (1876–1890). London: The Bodley Head. ISBN 978-0-370-30247-8.
• Shaw, Bernard (1981). Dan Laurence (ed.). Shaw's Music: The Complete Music Criticism of Bernard Shaw, Volume 2 (1890–1893). London: The Bodley Head. ISBN 978-0-370-30249-2.
• Shaw, Bernard (1981). Dan Laurence (ed.). Shaw's Music: The Complete Music Criticism of Bernard Shaw, Volume 3 (1893–1950). London: The Bodley Head. ISBN 978-0-370-30248-5.
• Shaw, Bernard (1998). "Shaw's advice to Irishmen". In Crawford, Fred D. (ed.). Shaw: The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies, Volume 18. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press. pp. 63–66. ISBN 978-0-271-01779-2. JSTOR 40681536.
• Shaw, Bernard (2003). "On the Rocks (ebook)". Project Gutenberg Australia. Retrieved 13 February 2016.


• Alexander, Doris M. (April 1959). "Captain Brant and Captain Brassbound: The Origin of an O'Neill Character". Modern Language Notes. 74 (4): 306–310. JSTOR 3040068.
• Beerbohm, Max (January 1962). "Mr Shaw's Profession". The Shaw Review. 5 (1): 5–9. JSTOR 40681959. (subscription required)
• Bosch, Marianne (1984). "Mother, Sister, and Wife in The Millionairess". Shaw: The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies. 4: 113–127. JSTOR 40681122. (subscription required)
• Broughton, Philip S. (July 1946). "Book Review: The Crime of Imprisonment". American Journal of Public Health. 36 (7): 808. doi:10.2105/AJPH.36.7.808-a. PMC 1625829.
• Crawford, Fred D. (September 1975). "Journals to Stella". The Shaw Review. 18 (3): 93–109. JSTOR 40682408. (subscription required)
• Crawford, Fred D. (Spring 1982). "Bernard Shaw's Theory of Literary Art". The Journal of General Education. 34 (1): 20.
• Crawford, Fred D. (1988). "The Shaw Diaries". Shaw: The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies. 8: 139–143. JSTOR 40681240. (subscription required)
• Crawford, Fred D. (1990). "Ways Pleasant and Unpleasant: Collected Letters Four". Shaw: The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies. 10: 148–154. JSTOR 40681299. (subscription required)
• Dukore, Bernard; et al. (1994). "From Symposium: What May Lie Ahead for Shaw After the First Hundred Years?". Shaw: The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies. 14: 265–276. JSTOR 40655127. (subscription required)
• Gahan, Peter (2010). "Bernard Shaw and the Irish Literary Tradition". Shaw: The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies. 30: 1–26. doi:10.5325/shaw.30.1.0001. JSTOR 10.5325/shaw.30.1.0001.(subscription required)
• Geduld, H. M. (January 1961). "Bernard Shaw and Adolf Hitler". The Shaw Review. 4 (1): 11–20. JSTOR 40682385. (subscription required)
• Hoffsten, Ernest (2 April 1904). "The Plays of Bernard Shaw". The Sewanee Review. 12 (2): 217–222. JSTOR 27530625. (subscription required)
• Kent, Brad (Autumn 2008). "The Banning of George Bernard Shaw's 'The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her Search for God' and the Decline of the Irish Academy of Letters". Irish University Review. 38 (2): 274–291. JSTOR 40344299. (subscription required)
• Laurence, Dan, ed. (January 1955). "The Blanco Posnet Controversy". Shaw Society of America Bulletin: 1–9. JSTOR 40681313. (subscription required)
• Laurence, Dan (1985). "'That Awful Country': Shaw in America". Shaw: The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies. 5: 279–297. JSTOR 40681161.(subscription required)
• Leary, Daniel J. (November 1971). "How Shaw Destroyed his Irish Biographer" (PDF). Columbia Library Columns. 21 (2): 3–11.
• Inc, Time (12 August 1946). "All Honor to his Genius; But his Message is Irrelevant to our Problems Today". Life: 26.
• Merriman, Victor (2010). "Shaw in Contemporary Irish Studies: Passé or Contemptible?". Shaw. 30: 216–235. doi:10.5325/shaw.30.1.0216. JSTOR 10.5325/shaw.30.1.0216. (subscription required)
• Morgan, L. N. (Spring 1951). "Bernard Shaw the Playwright". Books Abroad. 25 (2): 100–104. JSTOR 40089890. (subscription required)
• Nothorcot, Arthur (January 1964). "A Plea for Bernard Shaw". The Shaw Review. 7 (1): 2–9. JSTOR 40682015. (subscription required)
• Pierce, Robert B. (2011). "Bernard Shaw as Shakespeare Critic". Shaw: The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies. 31 (1): 118–132. doi:10.5325/shaw.31.1.0118. JSTOR 10.5325/shaw.31.1.0118.(subscription required)
• "Religion: Creative Revolutionary". Time. 4 December 1950.
• Rodenbeck, John (May 1969). "The Irrational Knot: Shaw and The Uses of Ibsen". The Shaw Review. 12 (2). JSTOR 40682171. (subscription required)
• Sharp, William (May 1959). "'Getting Married' New Dramaturgy in Comedy". Educational Theatre Journal. 11 (2): 103–109. JSTOR 3204732.(subscription required)
• Sloan, Gary (Autumn 2004). "The Religion of George Bernard Shaw: When is an Atheist?". American Atheist. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
• Wallis, Eric (1991). "The Intelligent Woman's Guide: Some Contemporary Opinions". Shaw: the Journal of Bernard Shaw Studies. 11: 185–193. JSTOR 40681331.
• Weales, Gerald. "A Hand at Shaw's Curtain". The Hudson Review. 19(Autumn 1966): 518–522. JSTOR 3849269. (subscription required)
• Weales, Gerald (May 1969). "Shaw as Screenwriter". The Shaw Review. 12(2): 80–82. JSTOR 40682173. (subscription required)
• Weintraub, Stanley (2002). "Shaw's Musician: Edward Elgar". Shaw: The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies. 22: 1–88. (subscription required)
• Weintraub, Stanley (22 August 2011). "GBS and the Despots". The Times Literary Supplement. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
• West, E. J. (October 1952). "The Critic as Analyst: Bernard Shaw as Example". Educational Theatre Journal. 4 (3): 200–205. JSTOR 3203744.(subscription required)
• Westrup, Sir Jack (January 1966). "Shaw and the Charlatan Genius". Music & Letters. 47 (1): 57–58. JSTOR 732134. (subscription required)


• "At the Play: Mr Shaw's Major Barbara". The Observer. 3 December 1905. p. 5. (subscription required)
• "Avenue Theatre". The Standard. London. 29 April 1894. p. 2.
• Ervine, St John (23 October 1921). "At the Play: Mr Shaw In Despair". The Observer. p. 11. (subscription required)
• Ervine, St John (14 October 1923). "At the Play: Back To Methuselah". The Observer. p. 11. (subscription required)
• "Heartbreak House". The Times. 19 October 1921. p. 8.
• "Heartbreak House in New York". The Times. 12 November 1920. p. 11.
• Holroyd, Michael (7 April 1992). "Abuse of Shaw's literary legacy". The Times. p. 1.
• Holroyd, Michael (13 July 2012). "Bernard Shaw and his lethally absurd doctor's dilemma". The Guardian.
• Janes, Daniel (20 July 2012). "The Shavian Moment". New Statesman.
• Kennedy, Maev (5 July 2011). "George Bernard Shaw photographs uncover man behind myth". The Guardian.
• Lawson, Mark (11 July 2012). "Timing is everything: how plays find their moments". The Guardian.
• "Mr Bernard Shaw's £367,000 Estate". The Times. 24 March 1951. p. 8.
• "Mr Shaw's Play". The Times. 15 October 1923. p. 10.
• "Mr Shaw's Saint Joan". The Times. 29 December 1923. p. 8.
• "Mrs Warren's Profession". The Times. 29 September 1925. p. 12.
• "Mrs Pat Campbell Here" (PDF). The New York Times. 10 October 1914.(subscription required)
• Nestruck, J. Kelly (1 July 2011). "Was George Bernard Shaw a Monster?". The Globe and Mail. Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.
• "News Report". The New York Times. 10 December 1933. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
• "New Theatre". The Times. 27 March 1924. p. 12.
• Osborne, John (23 June 1977). "Superman? A look lack in anguish". The Guardian. p. 12. (subscription required)
• Owen, Richard (14 June 2004). "Shaw's secret fair lady revealed at last". The Times. p. 3.
• "Playwright, Novelist, Critic ... Snapper? George Bernard Shaw's collection of photos go on show for first time". The Daily Mail. 8 September 2010.
• Rhodes, Crompton (16 October 1923). "Back To Methuselah at Birmingham". The Manchester Guardian. p. 8. (subscription required)
• "Shaw's Pygmalion Has Come to Town". The New York Times. 13 October 1914. p. 11. (subscription required)
• "Social Conditions in Russia: Recent Visitor's Tribute". The Manchester Guardian. 2 March 1933. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
• "The Avenue Theatre: Arms and the Man". The Observer. 22 April 1894. p. 5. (subscription required)
• "The Doctor's Dilemma: Mr Bernard Shaw's New Play". The Manchester Guardian. 21 November 1906. p. 7. (subscription required)
• "The Modest Shaw Again". The New York Times. 23 November 1913. p. X6. (subscription required)
• "The Drama". The Daily News. 1 April 1895. p. 2.
• "Things Theatrical". The Sporting Times. 19 May 1894. p. 3.
• Tomlinson, Philip (10 November 1950). "Bernard Shaw: Obituary". The Times Literary Supplement. London. pp. 709–710.
• "Too True to be Good – Mr G. B. Shaw's New Play – America Sees it First". The Manchester Guardian. 2 March 1932. p. 9. (subscription required)
• "Vedrenne-Barker Plays: Famous Partnership Dissolved". The Observer. 8 March 1908. p. 8. (subscription required)
• "Waftings from the Wings". Fun. London. 1 May 1894. p. 179.


• Anderson, Robert. "Shaw, Bernard". Grove Music Online. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
• Diniejko, Andrzej (September 2013). "The Fabian Society in Late Victorian Britain". The Victorian Web. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
• Ervine, St John (1959). "Shaw, George Bernard (1856–1950)". Dictionary of National Biography Archive. doi:10.1093/odnb/9780192683120.013.36047. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
• "Fabian Tracts: 1884–1901". LSE Digital Library. Retrieved 24 January2016.
• Grene, Nicholas (2003). "Shaw, George Bernard". Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance. doi:10.1093/acref/9780198601746.001.0001. ISBN 9780198601746.
• Shaw, Bernard. Love Among the Artists. H.S. Stone and Company. OCLC 489748.
• "The Nobel Prize in Literature 1925". Nobel Media AB. 2014. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
• Pharand, Michael (2015). "A Chronology of Works By and About Bernard Shaw" (PDF). Bernard Shaw. Shaw Society. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
• "The 79th Academy Awards: 2007". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
• Weintraub, Stanley. "Shaw, George Bernard (1856–1950)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/36047.
• Weintraub, Stanley. "Shaw Societies: Once and Now". The Shaw Society. Retrieved 18 February 2016.

External links

• Works by Bernard Shaw at Project Gutenberg (About 50 ebooks of Shaw's works and some additional Shaw-related material)
• Works by (George) Bernard Shaw at Faded Page (Canada)
• Works by or about George Bernard Shaw at Internet Archive (More links to Shaw-related material)
• Works by George Bernard Shaw at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks) (19 downloads for audiobooks)
• George Bernard Shaw at (Information on Broadway productions, 1894 to present)
• George Bernard Shaw on IMDb (Lists all film and TV versions of Shaw's works since 1921)
• Bernard Shaw photographs held at LSE Library
• 1928 film made in Movietone at SilentEra
• International Shaw Society
• The Shaw Society, UK, established in 1941
• The Bernard Shaw Society, New York
• The Nobel Prize Biography on Shaw, From Nobel Lectures, Literature 1901–1967, Editor Horst Frenz, Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam, (1969).
• George Bernard Shaw's collection at the Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin
• Audio recordings of keynote lectures at the GB Shaw: Back in Town Conference, Dublin 2012.
• George Bernard Shaw, Maxims for Revolutionists (1903)
• Newspaper clippings about George Bernard Shaw in the 20th Century Press Archives of the German National Library of Economics (ZBW)
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Nehru on Communism: An Awakening
Approved for Release 8/24/1999



In July 1958 Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru of India set down for confidential circulation to a number of friends his views on the international situation and on certain problems facing India and the world. Some of those receiving his letter feeling that Nehru's observations on many of the important problems of the day deserved a wider circulation than they were receiving, prevailed on Nehru to agree to its publication. Subsequently the letter was published under the title "The Basic Approach" in the 15 August issue of the A.I.C.C. Economic Review, an official organ of India's ruling Congress Party.

As leader of the world's second, most populous country (one-seventh of the world's population) and of the neutralist, uncommitted states, Nehru is a man whose words always command attention. In the present instance, his remarks are of especial interest and significance, for they reveal that his thinking on Communism has undergone a basic change, that at last he sees Communism as it really is. In this article he publicly condemns Communism for the first time, citing specifically its addiction to violence, its corruption of ends, its suppression of human freedoms, and its contempt for all spiritual and moral values.

Nehru has long been the world's most vigorous exponent of neutralism and its most prominent opponent of blocs and alliances. To much of the West, however, this neutralist stand has appeared more often than not as an apology for the Communist world. In the past he has censored the actions of the West and questioned its sincerity while excusing or justifying measures taken by the Soviet Bloc countries.

In late 1956, especially, the Free World was profoundly shocked, and even his warmest supporters in India were perturbed, by the attitude which India adopted in the Hungarian affair. Frank Moraes, well-known Indian journalist and Nehru's biographer and long-time friend, was later moved to write that "I must confess to a sense of acute embarrassment when India abstained in the General Assembly in November on the vote condemning Russia's action in Hungary, and to discomfiture and dismay when we actually opposed the proposal that the Soviet troops should be asked to withdraw from Hungary."

This dismay was considerably deepened when Nehru, speaking to the Indian Parliament on 19 November 1956, suggested that the Hungarian situation had been grossly exaggerated by the West to divert attention from its own acts in Egypt, and said that in any case the Soviet troop intervention in Hungary was justified under the terms of the Warsaw Pact. Although Soviet deportation of young men from Hungary to the USSR had been authenticated, he indicated he accepted completely Soviet and Hungarian denials, remarking that young men or workers were probably simply being sent on an inspection tour. The West understandably found such naivete -- one might say gullibility -- difficult to fathom.

Nehru also has disturbed western sensibilities -- and delighted the hearts of the Communists -- by his unceasing attacks on the West for its " colonialism" and "imperialism." Ignoring the fact that Western democracies have since the end of the war granted independence to his own country as well as to a host of others (Pakistan, Burma, Ceylon, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Sudan, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Ghana, etc.), he continues to refuse to believe that the West can act toward Asia without ulterior designs. At the same time he rejects any contention that Soviet domination of Eastern Europe can be classified as an act of imperialism or that Soviet control of vast non-Russian areas of Central Asia in any way resembles colonialism. A particularly striking statement of this warped view of Soviet actions and policies was contained in the address which Nehru made to the West German Foreign Policy Association in Bonn on 15 July 1956.

In fact, in every field, Nehru has amassed a record of partiality towards the Soviet Bloc that belies his expressed policy of neutralism -- a record which has led Moraes to write that 'The one criticism which can be made against our policy of non-alignment is not that it is unsuited to the needs of our country or unrealistic, but that in implementing it we have often laid ourselves open to the charge that we are inclined more in favor of the totalitarian countries such as Russia and China than of the democracies. The complaint is often heard -- and I personally feel it is legitimate -- that in cases where we might have given the benefit of the doubt to the democracies, we have chosen to give it to the totalitarian countries."

With respect to Communist ideology, Nehru has been described as a "Marxist by intellectual conviction," and has not infrequently voiced his admiration for Communist doctrine and alleged objectives. Speaking at Muzzafarpur on 3 April 1949 and at Bilaspur on 18 December 1951, for example, he asserted that he had "no quarrel with the fundamental principles of Communism." In his autobiography Nehru wrote that "Soviet Russia's success or failure ... did not affect the soundness of the theory of Communism. The Bolsheviks may blunder or even fail because of national or international reasons, and yet the Communist theory may be correct."

This expressed admiration for Communist theory and objectives might, at first glance, appear to be at variance with the harsh treatment which Nehru has habitually directed towards the Communist Party of India (CPI). However, closer investigation reveals that in criticizing the CPI, Nehru has, without exception, been careful to disassociate the Party from international Communism, implying that the CPI would be welcomed if only it would conform to true Communism. A few quotes from various Nehru speeches will suffice to illustrate this point: "The Communism of the Indian variety is completely at variance with the fundamental principles of Communism." "The policy of the CPI is not in accord with the principles of Communism." "I have no hesitation in declaring that the greatest enemy of Communism is the CPI." "Indian Communists are reactionaries whose only revolution consists of copying other countries, regardless of local conditions."

It is in the light of this past record that Nehru1s recent article gains significance, for it is the first time that he has unequivocally attacked the validity of Communism or directed criticism at the Soviet Union. The fact that the article also has unkind words for Western capitalism is not particularly noteworthy since this represents no change in Nehru's thinking. His statements on Communism, however, definitely reflect a radical reappraisal.

Nehru, the one-time "Marxist by intellectual conviction," has apparently awakened to the fact that Marxism-Communism is not the inevitable culmination of man's hope for a better world, conceived in terms of economics. "Marxist economics," he writes, "... are in many ways out of date." He also observes that "Communism comes in the wake of ... disillusionment and offers some kind of faith and some kind of discipline.

To some extent it fills a vacuum. It succeeds in some measure by giving a content to man's life. But in spite of its apparent success, it fails, partly because of its rigidity, but, even more so, because it ignores certain essential needs of human nature / italics added/."

Above all, as a disciple of Gandhi, and thus committed to the peaceful approach to problems, and as a democrat, and thus opposed to the stifling of all political freedom -- an inevitable concommitant of Communism -- Nehru appears to have awakened at last to the basic evils of Communism. Where once he was willing to justify or overlook Communist methods, he is now repelled by those methods. "Communism," he writes, "has definitely allied itself to the approach of violence. Even if it does not indulge normally in physical violence, its language is of violence, its thought is violent, and it does not seek change by persuasion or peaceful democratic pressures, but by coercion and indeed by destruction and extermination." In his autobiography Nehru had linked fascism and imperialism as "the two faces of ... now decaying capitalism," but now he proceeds from his condemnation of Communist violence to say that "fascism has all these evil aspects of violence and extermination." It should be gratifying to all democrats, whatever their nationality, to learn that Nehru has at last realized the truth of their assertions that there is little difference between fascism and Communism except a name.

Nehru returns several times to this identification of Communism with violence. Speaking of the Communist suppression of political freedoms, Nehru comments that "Its suppression of individual freedom brings about powerful reactions. Its contempt for what might be called the moral and spiritual side of life not only ignores something that is basic in man, but also deprives human behavior of standards and values. Its unfortunate association with violence encourages a certain evil tendency in human beings."

This is remarkably like the observations expressed by Milovan Djilas in The New Class. These sentiments suggest that Nehru has been profoundly shocked by the most recent Soviet suppression of individual freedom in forcing Boris Pasternak, the world renowned author of Dr. Zhivago, to reject the Nobel Prize for Literature because that work, instead of praising the Soviet system in the slavish manner required by the Soviet regime of its writers, undertakes to expose some of the same defects of Communism that Nehru himself touches on in his article.

It is also noteworthy that Nehru no longer justifies the Soviet repression in Hungary or accepts the Kremlin explanation that the revolt was the work of "fascists" in the pay of "Western imperialists." "What happened in Hungary," Nehru now says, "demonstrated that the desire for national freedom is stronger than any ideology and cannot ultimately be suppressed. What happened in Hungary was not essentially a conflict between Communism and anti-Communism. It represented nationalism striving for freedom from foreign control."

Communist theory holds that the contradictions in capitalist society will inevitably lead to class conflict which will result in the triumph of the best of all possible systems, i.e., Communism. Nehru now decisively rejects this view with the remark that "it is absurd to imagine that out of conflict the social progressive forces [this is what the Communists allege themselves to be] are bound to win." He further observes that "We see the growing contradictions within the rigid framework of Communism ...." In expressing continued admiration for some of the material achievements of the Soviet Union, especially its system of education and health, which he describes as "probably the best in the world" (in this age of sputniks even the most confirmed anti-Communist will admit the excellence of Soviet education), Nehru nevertheless observes: "But it is said, and rightly, that there is suppression of individual freedom there. And yet the spread of education in all its forms is itself a tremendous liberating force which ultimately will not tolerate that suppression. This again is another contradiction."  

In a passage, again strongly reminiscent of Djilas, Nehru writes that "Communism became too closely associated with the necessity for violence and thus the idea which it placed before the world became a tainted one. Means distorted ends. We see here the powerful influence of wrong means and ends." Returning again to the role of the individual in society, Nehru observes that "Democracy and socialism are means to an end, not the end itself. We talk of the good of society. Is this something apart from and transcending the good of the individuals composing it? If the individual is ignored and sacrificed for what is considered the good of society, is that the right objective to have?"

The Communists would of course answer these questions in the affirmative, but it is clear that Nehru feels that the answer to both questions is an unqualified "No!" As he puts it, "... we should not forget the basic human element and the fact that our objective is individual improvement and the lessening of inequalities; and we must not forget the ethical and spiritual aspects of life which are ultimately the basis of culture and civilization and which have given some meaning to life." Inasmuch as Communism and the Soviet system recognize neither ethical nor spiritual values and, in fact, emphatically reject them; inasmuch as the Soviet system rejects the value of the individual and recognizes the importance and rights only of the Communist Party, these observations appear to leave no doubt that Nehru, after long years of evincing a partiality towards the Soviet system, has now unequivocally ranged himself on the side of the Free World in the East-West ideological struggle even though he still refrains from aligning his country with it politically.

These statements from Nehru's article constitute in their entirety a strong indictment of Communism and the Soviet system. Such a significant departure by Nehru from his past statements raises the question, what led Nehru to revise his views? Aside from the fact that Nehru is an intelligent man whom the Soviets could not possibly mislead forever, the most logical answer seems to lie in the political situation in the south Indian state of Kerala, where the Communists have been in power for the past 20 months. Previously, Nehru had known Communism only theoretically or on the international plane where other factors intervened which tended to arouse in him sympathy for the Soviet experiment and to make him close his eyes to its evil manifestations. The terrorism, subversion and other illegal activities carried out by the CPI he could, and did, excuse as the misapplication of Communist principles by a small unimportant party overly eager to gain power, which that party would not necessarily follow if and when it should ever gain power. The actions of the present regime in Kerala, however, have been such that Nehru can no longer deceive himself.

Kerala, the smallest state in the Indian Union, is a backward, predominantly agricultural area on India's southwestern coast, with an area of 15,035 square miles and a population of 13.6 million. Created on 1 November 1956, in the reorganization of Indian states along linguistic lines, it combines the former princely states of Travancore and Cochin (except for the latter's Tamil-speaking southern tip, which was ceded to Madras) and the Malabar, a coastal area of Madras where Malayalam is spoken.

Aside from small groups of Brahmins, Jews and Parsees, comprising together only four percent of the population, Kerala's population falls into five distinct communal groups. The Ezhavas, who are economically and educationally backward Hindus, form the largest group, with 3.6 million. Christians -- about 50 percent Roman Catholics and the rest communicants of various Protestant and Orthodox denominations -- are second with 3.3 million. Muslims, who live chiefly in the northern part of the state, number 2.8 million. Next, with 2.3 million, are the Nairs, who are influential middle-class Hindus. The fifth and smallest community -- about one million in numbers -- is composed of another Hindu class, whose members were formerly untouchables and are proverbially poor.

In the March 1957 elections, the Communists, to the surprise and consternation of the ruling Congress Party as well as of democrats everywhere, emerged as the strongest party in the state winning 60 of the 126 seats in the state legislature and 34.68 percent of the total votes cast. The support of five of the six independents elected gave them a slight but working majority and permitted them to form, on 5 April 1957, the first Communist state government in the history of India. Consigned to the opposition were the Congress Party (42 seats, 37.45 percent of the votes), the Muslim League (8 seats, 13.32 percent of the votes), and the Praja Socialist Party (9 seats, 11.3 percent of the votes.) The Revolutionary Socialists, who were in close association with the CPI, polled 3.22 percent of the votes but failed to win any seats.

The Communist victory resulted from a variety of causes. The CPI in Kerala is led by Nairs and therefore had the support of that community. The Ezhavas, too, are notorious as a community for their Communist leanings, and the depressed classes follow suit, both believing they have everything to gain and nothing to lose from Communism. Equally important was the role of the Congress Party itself. Confident that Nehru's popularity would ensure it victory, the Congress Party made few campaign efforts, while the CPI, in contrast, conducted a vigorous drive, promising solutions to many problems which the incumbent Congress administration had failed to solve. Adding to the Congress Party's disadvantage was its reputation for corruption, which led many businessmen and Catholics, normally Congress supporters, to abstain from voting as a sign of disapproval of Congress policies. The highly literate Kerala population (53 percent literate as compared to a national average of 18 percent), avid for books but too poor to buy them, eagerly accepted the mass of books and magazines printed in local languages which the Communists distributed, all of them depicting in glowing terms the advantages accruing to the populace in all countries under Communist rule.

Nehru, who is popular with all Indians whether Congress Party members or not, must personally share in the responsibility for the Communist victory. His failure in the past to condemn Communism and to link Indian Communists with such evils as Russian and Chinese slave labor camps and purges, his frequently stated belief that the Soviet Union was not so much responsible for world tensions as the US and its allies and their policies, the warm welcomes extended to Khrushchev, Bulganin and other Soviet and satellite leaders -- all these factors helped to give the Communists a respectability in the eyes of the people that they would otherwise have lacked.

The Communist campaign was based on promises to solve the food and unemployment problems, give shelter to the homeless, start new industries, and nationalize the British-owned rubber, tea, coffee and spice plantations lining Kerala's mountain slopes. These were all attractive to the voters of Kerala, for the existing low standards of living and economic hardships are as serious as anywhere in India. The new Communist regime under Chief Minister E. M. S. Namboodiripad, however, found that it was easier to make promises than to fulfill them. Recognizing that they were not going to be able to solve Kerala's problems, the Communists decided on a simple rule: they would do what they could inside the state but when they were faced with major problems, they would say, "That is for the Central Government. Until we have a Communist Central Government you cannot expect to get a solution."

This, for example, is what happened in the case of nationalization of the plantations. As the Communists well knew, nationalization is, under the Indian constitution, a matter for the Central Government to decide. The Constitution, moreover, requires immediate and proper compensation, which the Kerala treasury was of course unable to provide. Consequently, immediately upon assuming office, Namboodiripad dropped the idea with the explanation that his regime was being prevented by Delhi from taking action in the matter.

Similarly, the Red regime in Kerala charges that the state's continuing food problem is the result of discriminatory treatment by the Central Government. This charge was categorically denied by Union Food Minister A. P. Jain on 27 October 1958, who asserted that the responsibility lay entirely in the actions of the state government. The truth is that the Communists, indifferent to the suffering of the people, have been playing politics in the matter of food. It was recently revealed that in making rice purchases in the neighboring state of Madras, the Kerala government not only used its own hand-picked men instead of established dealers and commission agents but also paid higher than current market prices, which has led Indian observers to conclude that the transactions were used as a means of replenishing Party coffers from the state treasury.

The Red regime, in fact, has seemed to be primarily interested in intrenching itself permanently in power. To gain support of labor, Namboodiripad announced with much fanfare that henceforth the police would not be used in "an anti-people way" in labor-management disputes, while simultaneously the regime has strengthened its hold on labor unions. Landless agricultural laborers and plantation workers, disappointed in their hopes of taking over nationalized plantations, have been wooed by vigorous enforcement of anti-eviction laws coupled with orders to the police not to interfere with illegal seizures of property. The result has been a wave of violence and lawlessness and a breakdown of law and order. Communist-led union activity has degenerated into mutilation of management property and skull cracking between rival union gangs. Other lawless mobs have been set free to pillage landowners and to usurp lands and dwellings in the certainty that they have nothing to fear from the law.

Another aspect of the breakdown of law and order has been the establishment of local CPI committees in villages, which are usurping the duties of local law courts. Persons refusing to deal with these committees are soon brought into line by arbitrary arrest, discriminatory taxation, and the threat of violence. In an unknown number of cases, the threat of violence has become a reality as gangs of Communist-led thugs beat, knife and murder outspoken opponents of the regime.

The lawlessness unleashed by the Red regime has had the inevitable result of scaring off any possible new industries; and since the state itself possesses few natural resources to support local industries, unemployment remains as high as ever. The unemployment problem is particularly critical in Kerala because each year the network of schools which account for the state's high literacy rate turn out thousands of educated youths for whom jobs are lacking. Adding to the difficulty is the fact that agriculture has reached the point of saturation. Statistically, there are about 1,000 people to the square mile; but when forest land, arid land and water area are deducted it comes to about three times that figure, making the pressure on land in Kerala tighter than anywhere else in India. The population continues to grow but the land does not. Of the 1.9 million landowners in Travancore-Cochin, for example, 94.1 percent possess holdings of less than three acres, and 38.1 percent have less than one acre. The regime's land reform measures have resulted in the distribution of some land. While some types of landlordism are being ended, the very low ceiling put on the acreage a family may possess only tends to reduce the food production of the state, which already suffers from a heavy food deficit.

The rising opposition generated by all these Communist actions led the Kerala Communist Party recently to issue a call to "all those interested in the progress of Kerala" to organize "local citizens' committees" to prevent the opposition from "launching unnecessary agitations with the object of pulling down the Communist regime in the state." As Sadiq Ali, General Secretary of the Congress Party, pointed out in August 1958, "Communists outside the government have taken upon themselves the task of quelling the agitation," and the state government "has been withdrawing prosecution cases, mostly against members of the ruling party." According to Ali, this could only be interpreted to mean that the Kerala regime was "averse to the normal functioning of opposition parties and indeed of the democratic system." Ali charged that the Red regime had cancelled prosecution or commuted the sentences of 500 Party members and had transferred or suspended various police officers for arresting Communist law-breakers.

This Communist perversion of law and order was further highlighted by Praja Socialist leader Jai Prakash Narayan who, in an address in Madras on 22 October 1958, charged that Namboodiripad and his associates were trying to get state civil servants into their political machine and that even police officers were being persuaded secretly to join the CPl. Apparently aware of the pattern of events which reduced Eastern Europe to Communist servitude, Narayan warned his audience that it was easy to imagine what would happen to democracy in India if police officers, judges and magistrates were to become members of the CPI.

The intentions of the Communist regime have also been strikingly revealed by its attempts to bend the education system completely to its will. On 25 July 1957, only three months after taking office, Joseph Mundassery, the state Minister of Education, submitted to the legislature a bill designed to give the state complete control over any private school receiving state funds -- which includes virtually every private school in the state. Although the threat posed by the bill had the immediate effect of uniting the usually warring Christian sects and the Muslims in opposition to the bill, they were unable to prevent the regime from pushing the bill through the legislature with typical rough-shod Communist tactics. Despite the importance of the matter, the Communists allowed only 13 hours of debate in all stages; and of 1,400 persons who asked to testify, only 38 were heard.

While the legislature made some slight changes in the text, the bill as passed on 2 September 1957 was unchanged in its major provisions. These provide (1) that all teachers must be selected from Government-prepared lists, and (2) that the state is empowered to nationalize any government-aided private school on proof of "mismanagement." These provisions do not seem too objectionable until it is remembered that the government, meaning the CPI, will control the preparation of the lists of eligible teachers and that, according to the bill, the government is to be the sole judge of alleged "mismanagement," with no appeal to the courts permitted. It is not difficult to discern that the Communists' objective is to convert the entire school system into a Communist propaganda outlet and training center.

Fortunately for the bill's opponents, the bill had to be signed by Indian President Rajendra Prasad before becoming law, and he, upon receiving it, referred it to the Supreme Court to ascertain its constitutionality. The Court decided on 22 May 1958 that certain clauses did indeed violate minority rights guaranteed by the Constitution. The Union Government is now studying the verdict preparatory to advising the President on what course to take.

The tensions aroused by the school bill and the other regime actions, and the general lawlessness resulting from the stifling of police activity resulted in early August 1958 in state-wide disturbances. Trouble began in the coastal district of Alleppey when students protested cancellation of a student discount on ferryboat fares. In succeeding days hundreds of students, who were also protesting higher tuition rates and Communist textbooks in school, were jailed and some beaten senseless. Political demonstrators clashed in a melee of fists, stones, spears and daggers that left five dead and seven injured. The climax came outside the town of Quinlon, when police, acting on direct orders of Communist officials, fired into a crowd of strikers.

The firing on workers, whom they claimed to represent, was distinctly embarrassing to the Communists. The explanation that Namboodiripad gave was similar to the Khrushchev refrain on Hungary, namely, a charge that the strikers and students had been misled by agents provocateurs. The Central Secretariat of the CPI issued a 1,200-word resolution on the affair, which did little but offer the lame conclusion that the shooting had been "an unfortunate incident." Unhappily for the Communists, these explanations did not end the matter. The Kerala Congress Party and its Socialist allies called for a general strike as a sign of protest. Students stayed away from the schools, 10,000 dock workers left their jobs in the port of Cochin, bazars and factories throughout the state closed for a day, and strikes, demonstrations and picketing occurred everywhere. The regime's only answer to the situation was to reply with the repression and violence which Nehru has now realized is an integral part of Communism. On orders, the police charged demonstrators with steel-tipped lathis, injuring an unknown number. The Revolutionary Socialist Party, which had supported the Namboodiripad regime until that point, switched to the opposition and denounced the Communists for "organized totalitarianism."

It is this example of Communist administration which, more than any other factor, would appear to explain Nehru's change of attitude towards Communism. Several months after the Communists first took over in Kerala, Nehru spoke of the "extreme propriety" with which the regime was conducting itself. In August 1957, on the eve of the tenth anniversary of India's independence, President Prasad told a Kerala audience that "I am happy that this great experiment which is being made in your state is going to serve as a great lesson not only to other states, but to the country as a whole, as an example of co-existence, of living and working together, in spite of all differences, for the good of all."

Subsequent developments in Kerala, however, have shown the Indian leaders how mistaken their original opinions were. By June 1958 Nehru was expressing displeasure over the acts of political terrorism taking place there. At a news conference on 7 September 1958 he again voiced concern about the "political insecurity" in Kerala, and said his worries were being confirmed by reports reaching him. Rejecting the Communist charge of agents provocateurs, he asserted that the Communists themselves bore the main responsibility for the prevailing "psychology of insecurity" in the state.

That the Indian national leadership has lost the last traces of any illusions it might have had is indicated by the resolution adopted by the All India Congress Committee, the governing body of the Congress Party, on 27 October 1958 at the conclusion of a three-day meeting in Hyderabad. The resolution expressed concern at the continuing insecurity in Kerala, the prevalence of attacks and murderous assaults, and the policy of the state government, which was "often discriminatory and not in accordance with the law." Since the Committee is usually responsive to Nehru's views, it can be assumed that he fully agreed with the resolution.

It is probable that the situation in Kerala is going to get worse before it improves, for Namboodiripad has already threatened his opponents with more of the violence to which "Communism has definitely allied itself." In June 1958 he appealed to the opposition parties to cultivate "an attitude of mutual criticism and mutual struggle with a view to mutual correction in the interests of the nation as a whole." In the same breath, however, he warned that if the opposition parties persisted in their anti-Communism there would inevitably arise a situation in which the two contending groups would be forced to embark on a policy of mutual annihilation leading to a national tragedy like the protracted civil war in China. If Namboodiripad and the CPI should attempt to carry out this threat, Nehru, despite his reluctance to interfere with any state's sovereign rights, may feel compelled to suspend the state's constitution and impose President's rule, which the Union constitution permits in emergency situations. The possible necessity of such action has clearly occurred to Nehru, for at his 7 September press conference he admitted that in the long run peaceful coexistence between the Central Government and the Communist administration in Kerala may not be possible. Friends of Indian democracy, both at home and abroad, can only hope that Nehru will not wait too long before acting. His new realization of the true nature of Communism and its inherent evils gives grounds for hope.



Berkes, Ross N. and Bedi, Mohinder S., The Diplomacy of India. Stanford, 1958.

Moraes, Frank. Jawaharlal Nehru. New York, 1956.

Nehru, Jawaharlal. Toward Freedom. The Autobiography of Jawaharlal Nehru. New York, 1941.

Vinek (pseud.). India Without Illusions. Bombay, 1953.


Bhargava, G. S. "Nehru Faces a Trojan Horse," New Leader, 6 Feb 56, pp. 5-6.

Bonner, Arthur. "Communist by Choice," Saturday Evening Post CCXXX (31 May 58), p. 36.

Bozeman, Adda B. "India's Foreign Policy Today. Reflections Upon Its Sources," World Politics X (Jan 58), pp. 256-73.

Brown, Seyom. "Kerala -- An Indian Bear Walks the Tightrope," Reporter XIXC (7 Aug 58), pp. 30-33.

Clark, W. D. "The Asia Revolution," International Affairs (London) XXXIV (Jul 58), Pp. 273-79.

El Hashimi, Sayed. "India's Only Communist State," Contemporary Review CXCII (Nov 57), pp. 273-5.

"Kerala Experiment," New Statesman LV (8 Mar 58), p. 58.

Lecomte du Nouy, Mary. "Struggle Over Ideas in the Orient," America XCVIII (25 Jan 58), pp. 478-80.

"Mr. Nehru on Communism," Commonweal LXIII (13 Jan 56), p. 369.

Nehru, Jawaharlal. "The Basic Approach," A.I.C.C. Economic Review X, No. 8-9 (15 Aug 58), pp. 3-6.

_____. "Speech to Indian Parliament, 19 November," Vital Speeches XXXIII (15 Dec 56), pp. 139-44.

"Nehru on Communism", Commonweal LVIII (5 Sep 58), pp. 557-58.

Partridge, Elizabeth. "Mr. Nehru's New Thinking," New Commonwealth XXXII (26 Nov 56) pp. 525-26.

"The Pink Reds of Kerala," The Economist, 12 Jul 58, pp. 137-38.

Rosenthal, A.M. "Communism Tries a New Line in India," New York Times Magazine, 30 Mar 58, P. 7+.

_____. "Nehru Asks for Only One Flower," New York Times Magazine, 18 May 58" p. 13+.

Sen, Sushil. "Communist Strides in India," America XCVII (4 May 57), p. 157.

Shepherd, Gordon. "Where India Meets Red China High in the Himalayas," Reporter XIX (4 Sep 58), pp. 29-31.

Vadassery, Thomas. "Red Regime in Kerala," America XCIX (27 Sep 58), pp. 666-68.

Windmiller, Marshall. "Constitutional Communism in India," Pacific Affairs XXXI (Mar 58), pp. 22-29.

Zinkin, Taya. "Kerala -- India's Communist state," New Commonwealth XXXV (6 Jan 58), p. 34-35.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:21 pm

Harold Laski
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 7/7/19



Freda, along with many October Club stalwarts, had started out as a member of the Labour Club and then gravitated towards the breakaway group. 'The idealism of our generation was the idealism of helping the underprivileged,' she recalled. 'If the Labour Club to which I belonged ... had any meaning, it was showing that we cared if people hadn't got enough food when they took the government dole, and we did care if the hunger marchers went all the way from Reading to London, we cared if there were children in the slums with no shoes and that children hadn't got enough food.' Her years in Oxford, she said, were 'radical years ... we used to attend all the clubs like the Labour Club and later on the more extreme October Club ... The whole atmosphere was electric with social demands and social change. We were, as it were, the Depression generation.' [38] Both Freda and Bedi attended the socialist G.D.H. Cole's lectures and Harold Laski's seminars on Marx and -- in a joint activity which served to demonstrate both their intellectual and personal compatibility -- they scoured the British Library to track down Marx's journalism about India.

-- 2: The Gates of the World. The Lives of Freda: The Political, Spiritual and Personal Journeys of Freda Bedi -- EXCERPT, by Andrew Whitehead

Harold Laski
Born Harold Joseph Laski
30 June 1893
Manchester, England
Died 24 March 1950 (aged 56)
London, England
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Frida Kerry (m. 1911)
Academic background
Alma mater New College, Oxford
Influences: Neville Figgis[1] Otto von Gierke[1] Frederic William Maitland[1] John Lewis Paton[2]

Another visitor to South Africa during the period of the Kindergarten was H. A. L. Fisher. Fisher, a famous historian in his own right, can be regarded as one of the founders of the Kindergarten and was a member of the Milner Group from at least 1899. The chief recruiting for the Kindergarten, beyond that done by Milner himself, was done by Fisher and his close friend Sir William Anson. The relationships between these two, Goschen, and Milner were quite close (except that Milner and Anson were by no means close), and this quartet had a great deal to do with the formation of the Milner Group and with giving it a powerful hold on New College and All Souls. Fisher graduated from New College in 1888 and at once became fellow and tutor in the same college. These positions were held, with interruptions, until 1912, when Fisher left Oxford to become Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield University. He returned to New College as Warden for the last fifteen years of his life (1925-1940). Fisher originally expected to tutor in philosophy, but his appointment required him to teach history. His knowledge in this field was scanty, so it was amplified by vacation reading with A. L. Smith (the future Master of Balliol, an older contemporary of Milner's at Balliol, and a member of the Milner Group). Smith, in addition to teaching Fisher history, also taught him how to skate and to ride a bicycle and worked with him on the literary remains of Fisher's brother-in-law, Frederic W. Maitland, the great historian of the English law. As a result of this last activity, Fisher produced in 1911 a three-volume set of Maitland's Collected Works, and a biographical sketch of Maitland (1910), while Smith in 1908 published two lectures and a bibliography on Maitland. Smith's own biographical sketch in the Dictionary of National Biography was written by another member of the Milner Group, Kenneth Norman Bell (Fellow of All Souls, 1907-1914; Beit Lecturer in Colonial History, 1924-1927; and member of the family that controlled the publishing house of G. Bell and Sons). His son, Arthur Lionel Foster Smith, was a Fellow of All Souls under Anson (1904-1908) and later organized and supervised the educational system of Mesopotamia (1920-1931).

-- The Anglo-American Establishment: From Rhodes to Cliveden, by Carroll Quigley

Academic work
Economics history political science
Political economy political theory
School or tradition: Socialism
Institutions London School of Economics
Doctoral students
Ralph Miliband Franz Neumann
Notable students: Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Jawaharlal Nehru C. B. Macpherson V. K. Krishna Menon K. R. Narayanan Pierre Trudeau
Notable works A Grammar of Politics (1925)
Influenced: Robert Dahl Jawaharlal Nehru

Harold Joseph Laski (30 June 1893 – 24 March 1950) was an English political theorist and economist. He was active in politics and served as the chairman of the British Labour Party during 1945–1946, and was a professor at the London School of Economics from 1926 to 1950. He first promoted pluralism, emphasising the importance of local voluntary communities such as trade unions. After 1930 he shifted to a Marxist emphasis on class conflict and the need for a workers' revolution, which he hinted might be violent.[3] Laski's position angered Labour leaders who promised a nonviolent democratic transformation. Laski's position on democracy came under further attack from Winston Churchill in the 1945 general election and the Labour party had to disavow Laski, its chairman.[4]

Laski was one of Britain's most influential intellectual spokesmen for socialism in the interwar years. In particular, his teaching greatly inspired men (such as Jawaharlal Nehru) who later became leaders of new nations in Asia and Africa as the British Empire dissolved. He was perhaps the most prominent intellectual in the Labour Party, especially for those on the left who shared his trust and hope in Joseph Stalin's Soviet Union.[5] He was distrusted by the Labour politicians who were in charge, such as Prime Minister Clement Attlee, and was never given a major government position or a peerage.

Early life and education

Harold Laski was born in Manchester on 30 June 1893 to Nathan Laski and Sarah Laski (born Frankenstein). Nathan Laski was a Jewish cotton merchant from Brest, Belarus[6] and a leader of the Liberal Party, while his mother was born in Manchester to Polish Jewish parents.[7] He had a disabled sister named Mabel who was 1 year younger. His elder brother was Neville Laski, while a cousin (Neville Blond) was the founder of the Royal Court Theatre and father of the author and publisher Anthony Blond.[8]

Harold attended the Manchester Grammar School. In 1911, he studied eugenics under Karl Pearson for six months. The same year he met and married Frida Kerry, a lecturer of eugenics. His marriage to Frida, a gentile and eight years his senior, antagonised his family. He also repudiated his faith in Judaism, claiming that reason prevented him from believing in God.

Gobineau's [unlike Chamberlain's] was an honest Antisemitism, it was, like Nietzsche's, an historical Antisemitism: it had nothing whatever to do with modern Antisemitism, that movement born from fear, envy, and impotence ... [i]t is an upright, a genuine, a gentlemanly Antisemitism, it is the Antisemitism of the aristocrat, who sees his very blood threatened by revolutionary religions.

-- Oscar Levy, from "Breeding Superman: Nietzsche, Race and Eugenics in Edwardian and Interwar Britain", by Dan Stone

In 1914, he obtained a degree in history from New College, Oxford. He was awarded the Beit memorial prize during his time at New College.

The original members of the Milner Group came from well-to-do, upper-class, frequently titled families. At Oxford they demonstrated intellectual ability and laid the basis for the Group. In later years they added to their titles and financial resources, obtaining these partly by inheritance and partly by ability to tap new sources of titles and money. At first their family fortunes may have been adequate to their ambitions, but in time these were supplemented by access to the funds in the foundation of All Souls, the Rhodes Trust and the Beit Trust, the fortune of Sir Abe Bailey, the Astor fortune, certain powerful British banks (of which the chief was Lazard Brothers and Company), and, in recent years, the Nuffield money....

In the sixth (1893) and seventh (1899) wills, the personnel of the trustees shifted considerably, ending up, at Rhodes's death in 1902, with a board of seven trustees: Lord Milner, Lord Rosebery, Lord Grey, Alfred Beit, L. L. Michell, B. F. Hawksley, and Dr. Starr Jameson. This is the board to which the world looked to set up the Rhodes Scholarships....

[Lionel] Curtis was registered as an undergraduate at New College for fourteen years (1891-1905) because he was too busy to take time to get his degree. This is undoubtedly also the reason he was admitted to All Souls so belatedly, since an ordinary fellowship requires as a qualification the possession either of a university prize or of a first-class honours degree. By the time Curtis took his degree he had fought in the Boer War, been Town Clerk of Johannesburg, and been assistant secretary for local government in the Transvaal. In 1906 he resigned his official positions to organize "Closer Union Groups" agitating for a federation of South Africa. When this work was well started, he became a member of the Transvaal Legislative Council and wrote the Transvaal draft of a projected constitution for such a federation. In 1910-1912, and at various times subsequently, he traveled about the world, organizing Round Table Groups in the Dominions and India. In 1912 he was chosen Beit Lecturer in Colonial History at Oxford, but gave it up in 1913 to turn his attention for almost six years to the preparatory work for the Government of India Act of 1919. He was secretary to the Irish Conference of 1921 (arranged by General Smuts) and was adviser on Irish affairs to the Colonial Office for the next three years. In 1919 he was one of the chief — if not the chief, — founders of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, and during the 1920s divided his attention between this and the League of Nations — in neither case, however, in a fashion to attract public attention....

[Abe] Bailey was not only the chief financial support of the Kindergarten's activities for closer union in South Africa, but also the first financial contributor to The Round Table in 1910, and to the Royal Institute of International Affairs in 1919. He contributed to both during his life, and at his death in 1940 gave The Round Table £1000 a year for an indefinite period. He had given the Royal Institute £5000 a year in perpetuity in 1928. Like his close associates Rhodes and Beit, he left part of his immense fortune in the form of a trust fund to further imperial interests. In Bailey's case, the fund amounted to £250,000....

The Rhodes Trust was already in operation when Milner returned from Africa in 1905, with the actual management of the scholarships in the hands of George Parkin, who had been brought from his position as Principal of Upper Canada College by Milner.... The real control of the trust has rested with the Milner Group from 1902 to the present. Milner was the only really active trustee and he controlled the bureaucracy which handled the trust. As secretary to the trustees before 1929, we find, for example, George Parkin (1902-1920), Geoffrey Dawson (1921-1922), Edward Grigg (1922-1925), and Lord Lothian (1925-1940) — all of them clearly Milner's nominees. On the Board of Trustees itself, in the same period, we find Lord Rosebery, Lord Milner, Lord Grey, Dr. Jameson, Alfred Beit, Lewis Michell, B. F. Hawksley, Otto Beit, Rudyard Kipling, Leopold Amery, Stanley Baldwin, Geoffrey Dawson, H. A. L. Fisher, Sothern Holland, and Sir Edward Peacock....

A somewhat similar situation existed in respect to the Beit Railway Fund. Although of German birth, Alfred Beit became a British subject and embraced completely the ideas on the future role of the British Empire shared by Rhodes and Milner. An intimate friend of these and of Lord Rosebery, he was especially concerned with the necessity to link the British possessions in Africa together by improved transportation (including the Cape to Cairo Railway). Accordingly, he left £1,200,000 as the Beit Railway Trust, to be used for transportation and other improvements in Africa. The year before his death (1906), he was persuaded by the Milner Group to establish a Beit Professorship and a Beit Lecturership in Colonial History at Oxford. The money provided yielded an income far in excess of the needs of these two chairs, and the surplus has been used for other "imperialist" purposes. In addition, Beit gave money to the Bodleian Library at Oxford for books on colonial history. In 1929, when Rhodes House was opened, these and other books on the subject were moved from the Bodleian to Rhodes House, and the Beit Professor was given an office and lecture hall in Rhodes House.... There have been only two incumbents of the Beit Professorship since 1905: Hugh Edward Egerton in 1905- 1920, and Reginald (Sir Reginald since 1944) Coupland since 1920. Egerton, a member of the Cecil Bloc and the Round Table Group, was a contemporary of Milner's at Oxford whose father was a member of the House of Commons and Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs. He was originally private secretary to his cousin Edward Stanhope, Colonial Secretary and Secretary of War in Lord Salisbury's first government. In 1886, Egerton became a member of the managing committee of the newly created Emigrants Information Office. He held this job for twenty years, during which time he came into the sphere of the Milner Group, partly because of the efforts of South Africa, and especially the British South Africa Company, to encourage emigration to their territories, but also because of his Short History of British Colonial Policy, published in 1897. On the basis of this contact and this book, he was given the new Beit Chair in 1905 and with it a fellowship at All Souls. In his professional work he constantly supported the aims of the Milner Group, including the publication of Federations and Unions within the British Empire (1911) and British Colonial Policy in the Twentieth Century (1922). His book Canadian Constitutional Development, along with Sir Charles Lucas's edition of Lord Durham's reports, was the chief source of information for the process by which Canada was federated used by the Milner Group. He wrote the biography of Joseph Chamberlain in the Dictionary of National Biography, while his own biography in the same collection was written by Reginald Coupland. He remained a Fellow of All Souls and a member of the Milner Group until his death in 1927, although he yielded his academic post to Reginald Coupland in 1920. Coupland, who was a member of the Milner Group from his undergraduate days at New College (1903-1907), and who became one of the inner circle of the Milner Group as early as 1914, will be discussed later. He has been, since 1917, one of the most important persons in Britain in the formation of British imperial policy.

The Beit Railway Trust and the Beit chairs at Oxford have been controlled by the Milner Group from the beginning, through the board of trustees of the former and through the board of electors of the latter. Both of these have interlocking membership with the Rhodes Trust and the College of All Souls. For example, the board of electors of the Beit chair in 1910 consisted of the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford, the Regius Professor of Modern History, the Chichele Professor of Modern History, the Secretary of State for Colonies, Viscount Milner, H. A. L. Fisher, and Leopold Amery. By controlling All Souls and the two professorships (both ex-officio fellowships of All Souls), the Milner Group could control five out of seven electors to the Beit professorship. In recent years the board of electors has consistently had a majority of members of All Souls and/or the Milner Group. In 1940, for example, the board had, besides three ax-officio members, two members of All Souls, a Rhodes Trustee, and H. A. L. Fisher.

The Beit Lectureship in Colonial History was similarly controlled. In 1910 its board of electors had seven members, four ex-officio (The Vice-Chancellor, the Regius Professor of History, the Chichele Professor of History, the Beit Professor) and three others (A. L. Smith, H, A. L. Fisher, and Leopold Amery). In 1930 the board consisted of the Vice- Chancellor, the Beit Professor, H. A. L. Fisher, F. M. Powicke, and three fellows of All Souls. As a result, the lectureship has generally been held by persons close to the Milner Group

-- The Anglo-American Establishment: From Rhodes to Cliveden, by Carroll Quigley

He failed his medical eligibility tests and thus missed fighting in World War I. After graduation he worked briefly at the Daily Herald under George Lansbury. His daughter Diana was born in 1916.[9]

Academic career

In 1916, Laski was appointed as a lecturer of modern history at McGill University and also started lecturing at Harvard University. He also lectured at Yale in 1919–20. For his outspoken support of the Boston Police Strike of 1919, Laski received severe criticism. He was briefly involved with the founding of The New School for Social Research in 1919.[10]

Laski cultivated a large network of American friends centred at Harvard, whose law review he had edited. He was invited often to lecture in America and wrote for The New Republic. He became friends with Felix Frankfurter as well as Herbert Croly, Walter Lippmann, Edmund Wilson, and Charles A. Beard. His long friendship with Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes was cemented by weekly letters, which have been published.[11] He knew many powerful figures, and claimed to know many more. Critics have often commented on Laski's repeated exaggerations and self-promotion, which Holmes tolerated. His wife commented that he was "half-man, half-child, all his life."[12]

Laski returned to England in 1920 and began teaching government at the London School of Economics (LSE). In 1926, he was made professor of political science at the LSE. Laski was an executive member of the socialist Fabian Society during 1922–1936. In 1936, he co-founded the Left Book Club along with Victor Gollancz and John Strachey. He was a prolific writer, producing a number of books and essays throughout the 1920s and 1930s.[13]

While at the LSE in the 1930s, Laski developed a connection with scholars from the Institute for Social Research, more commonly known today as the Frankfurt School. In 1933, with almost all the institute's members now in exile, Laski was among a number of British socialists, including Sidney Webb and R. H. Tawney, to arrange for the establishment of a London office for the institute's use. After the institute's move to Columbia University in 1934, Laski was one of its sponsored guest lecturers invited to New York.[14] Laski also played a role in bringing Franz Neumann to join the institute. After fleeing Germany almost immediately after Hitler's takeover, Neumann did graduate work in political science under Laski and Karl Mannheim at the LSE, writing his dissertation on the rise and fall of the rule of law. It was on Laski's recommendation that Neumann was then invited to join the institute in 1936.[15]


As a lecturer, Laski was brilliant, but he would alienate his audience by humiliating people who asked questions. However, he was popular amongst his students, and was especially influential among Asian and African students who attended LSE.[12] Describing Laski's popularity, Kingsley Martin wrote in 1968:

He was still in his late twenties and looked like a schoolboy. His lectures on the history of political ideas were brilliant, eloquent, and delivered without a note; he often referred to current controversies, even when the subject was Hobbes's theory of sovereignty.[16]

Ralph Miliband, another student of Laski, praised his teaching as follows:

His lectures taught more, much more than political science. They taught a faith that ideas mattered, that knowledge was important and its pursuit exciting ... His seminars taught tolerance, the willingness to listen although one disagreed, the values of ideas being confronted. And it was all immense fun, an exciting game that had meaning, and it was also a sieve of ideas, a gymnastics of the mind carried on with vigour and directed unobtrusively with superb craftsmanship. I think I know now why he gave himself so freely. Partly it was because he was human and warm and that he was so interested in people. But mainly it was because he loved students, and he loved students because they were young. Because he had a glowing faith that youth was generous and alive, eager and enthusiastic and fresh. That by helping young people he was helping the future and bringing nearer that brave world in which he so passionately believed.[17]

Ideology and political convictions

Laski's early work promoted pluralism, especially in the essays collected in Studies in the Problem of Sovereignty (1917), Authority in the Modern State (1919), and The Foundations of Sovereignty (1921). He argued that the state should not be considered supreme, because people could and should have loyalties to local organisations, clubs, labour unions, and societies. The state should respect these allegiances and promote pluralism and decentralisation.[18]

Laski became a proponent of Marxism and believed in a planned economy based on the public ownership of the means of production. Instead of, as he saw it, a coercive state, Laski believed in the evolution of co-operative states that were internationally bound and stressed social welfare.[19] He also believed that, since the capitalist class would not acquiesce in its own liquidation, the cooperative commonwealth was not likely to be attained without violence. But he also had a commitment to civil liberties, free speech and association, and representative democracy.[20] Initially, he believed that the League of Nations would bring about an "international democratic system". However, from the late 1920s his political beliefs became radicalised and he believed that it was necessary to go beyond capitalism to "transcend the existing system of sovereign states". Laski was dismayed by the Hitler–Stalin pact of August 1939 and wrote a preface to the Left Book Club collection criticising it, Betrayal of the Left.[21] Between the beginning of World War II in 1939 and the attack on Pearl Harbor which drew the United States into the war in 1941, Laski was a prominent voice advocating American support for the allied powers, becoming a prolific author of articles in the American press, frequently undertaking lecture tours in the US, and influencing prominent American friends including Felix Frankfurter, Edward R. Murrow, Max Lerner, and Eric Sevareid.[22] In his last years he was disillusioned by the Cold War and the communist takeover of Czechoslovakia.[9][13][20] George Orwell described him as "A socialist by allegiance, and a liberal by temperament".[12]

Laski was always a Zionist at heart and always felt himself a part of the Jewish nation, although he viewed traditional Jewish religion as restrictive.[23] In 1946, Laski said in a radio address that the Catholic Church opposed democracy,[24] and he thinks that "it is impossible to make peace with the Roman Catholic Church. It is one of the permanent enemies of all that is decent in the human spirit."[25]

Laski tried to mobilise Britain's academics, teachers, and intellectuals behind the socialist cause; the Socialist League was one effort. He had some success but this element typically found itself marginalised in the Labour Party.[26]

Political career

Laski's main political role came as a writer and lecturer on every topic of concern to the left, including socialism, capitalism, working conditions, eugenics, woman suffrage, imperialism, decolonisation, disarmament, human rights, worker education, and Zionism. He was tireless in his speeches and pamphleteering, and was always on call to help a Labour candidate. In between he served on scores of committees and carried a full load as a professor and advisor to students.[27]

Laski plunged into Labour party politics on his return to London in 1920. In 1923, he turned down the offer of a parliament seat and cabinet position by Ramsay MacDonald, and also a seat in the Lords. He felt betrayed by MacDonald in the crisis of 1931, and decided that a peaceful, democratic transition to socialism would be blocked by the violence of the opposition. In 1932, Laski joined the Socialist League, a left-wing faction inside the Labour Party.[28] In 1937, he was involved in the failed attempt by Socialist League in co-operation with the Independent Labour Party and the Communist Party of Great Britain to form a Popular Front to bring down the Conservative government of Neville Chamberlain. During 1934–45, he served as an alderman in the Fulham Borough Council and also the chairman of the libraries committee.

In 1937, the Socialist League was rejected by the Labour Party and folded. He was elected as a member of the Labour Party's National Executive Committee, of which he remained a member until 1949. In 1944, he chaired the Labour party conference and served as the party's chair during 1945–46.[18]

Declining role

During the war, he supported Prime Minister Churchill's coalition government and gave countless speeches to encourage the battle against Germany. He suffered a nervous breakdown brought about by overwork. During the war he repeatedly feuded with other Labour leaders, and with Churchill, on matters great and small. He steadily lost his influence.[29]

In the 1945 general election campaign Churchill warned that Laski—as the Labour Party chairman—would be the power behind the throne in an Attlee government. While speaking for the Labour candidate in Nottinghamshire on 16 June 1945, Laski said, "If Labour did not obtain what it needed by general consent, we shall have to use violence even if it means revolution". He was replying to a question planted by Conservatives hoping to get exactly that response. The next day, accounts of Laski's speech appeared and the Conservatives attacked the Labour Party for its chairman's advocacy of violence. Laski filed a libel suit against the Conservative Daily Express newspaper. The defence showed that over the years Laski had often bandied about loose threats of "revolution". The jury found for the defendant within forty minutes of deliberations.[30]

Clement Attlee gave Laski no role in the new Labour government. Even before the libel trial, Laski's relationship with Attlee was a strained one. Laski had once called Attlee "uninteresting and uninspired" in the American press and even tried to remove him by asking for Attlee's resignation in an open letter. He tried to delay the Potsdam Conference until after Attlee's position was clarified. He tried to bypass Attlee by directly dealing with Winston Churchill.[13] Laski tried to preempt foreign policy decisions, laying down guidelines for the new Labour government. Attlee rebuked him:

You have no right whatever to speak on behalf of the Government. Foreign affairs are in the capable hands of Ernest Bevin. His task is quite sufficiently difficult without the irresponsible statements of the kind you are making ... I can assure you there is widespread resentment in the Party at your activities and a period of silence on your part would be welcome.[31]

Though he continued to work for the Labour party until his death, he never regained political influence. His pessimism deepened as he disagreed with the anti-Soviet policies of the Attlee government in the emerging Cold War, and he was profoundly disillusioned with the conservative direction of American policy.[18]

Laski contracted influenza and died in London on 24 March 1950, aged 56.[18]


Laski's biographer Michael Newman wrote:

Convinced that the problems of his time were too urgent for leisurely academic reflection, Laski wrote too much, overestimated his influence, and sometimes failed to distinguish between analysis and polemic. But he was a serious thinker and a charismatic personality whose views have been distorted because he refused to accept Cold War orthodoxies.[32]

Blue plaque, 5 Addison Bridge Place, West Kensington, London

Herbert A. Deane has identified five distinct phases of Laski's thought that he never integrated. The first three were pluralist (1914–1924), Fabian (1925–1931), and Marxian (1932–1939). There followed a 'popular-front' approach (1940–1945), and in the last years (1946–1950) near-incoherence and multiple contradictions.[33] Laski's long-term impact on Britain is hard to quantify. Newman notes that "It has been widely held that his early books were the most profound and that he subsequently wrote far too much, with polemics displacing serious analysis."[18]

However, Laski had a major long-term impact on support for socialism in India and other countries in Asia and Africa. He taught generations of future leaders at the LSE, most famously, his prize student, Jawaharlal Nehru. According to John Kenneth Galbraith, "the centre of Nehru's thinking was Laski" and "India the country most influenced by Laski's ideas".[20] It is mainly due to his influence that the LSE has a semi-mythological status in India. He was steady in his unremitting advocacy of the independence of India. He was a revered figure to Indian students at the LSE. One Indian Prime Minister of India said "in every meeting of the Indian Cabinet there is a chair reserved for the ghost of Professor Harold Laski".[34][35] His recommendation of K. R. Narayanan (later President of India) to Jawaharlal Nehru (then Prime Minister of India), resulted in Nehru appointing Narayanan to the Indian Foreign Service.[36] In his memory, the Indian government established The Harold Laski Institute of Political Science in 1954 at Ahmedabad.[18]

Speaking at a meeting organised in Laski's memory by the Indian League at London on 3 May 1950, Nehru praised him as follows:

It is difficult to realise that Professor Harold Laski is no more. Lovers of freedom all over the world pay tribute to the magnificent work that he did. We in India are particularly grateful for his staunch advocacy of India's freedom, and the great part he played in bringing it about. At no time did he falter or compromise on the principles he held dear, and a large number of persons drew splendid inspiration from him. Those who knew him personally counted that association as a rare privilege, and his passing away has come as a great sorrow and a shock.[37]

Laski also educated the outspoken Chinese intellectual and journalist Chu Anping at LSE. Anping was later prosecuted by the Chinese Communist regime of the 1960s.[38]

Laski was an inspiration for Ellsworth Toohey, the antagonist in Ayn Rand's novel The Fountainhead (1943).[39] The posthumously published Journals of Ayn Rand, edited by David Harriman, include a detailed description of Rand attending a New York lecture by Laski, as part of gathering material for her novel, following which she changed the physical appearance of the fictional Toohey to fit that of the actual Laski.[40]

Laski had a tortuous writing style. George Orwell, in his 1946 essay "Politics and the English Language" cited, as his first example of extremely bad writing, a 53-word sentence from Laski's "Essay in Freedom of Expression" that contains five negative phrases.

Partial bibliography

• Basis of Vicarious Liability 1916 26 Yale Law Journal 105
• Studies in the Problem of Sovereignty 1917
• Authority in the Modern State 1919, ISBN 1-58477-275-1
• Political Thought in England from Locke to Bentham 1920
• The Foundations of Sovereignty, and other essays 1921
• Karl Marx 1921
• The state in the new social order 1922
• The position of parties and the right of dissolution 1924
• A Grammar of Politics, 1925
• Socialism and freedom 1925
• The problem of a second chamber 1925
• Communism, 1927
• The British Cabinet : a study of its personnel, 1801-1924 1928
• Liberty in the Modern State, 1930
• "The Dangers of Obedience and Other Essays" 1930
• The limitations of the expert 1931
• Democracy in Crisis 1933
• The State in Theory and Practice, 1935, The Viking Press
• The Rise of Liberalism, 1936
• The American Presidency, 1940
• Where Do We Go From Here? A Proclamation of British Democracy 1940
• Reflections on the Revolution of our Time , 1943
• Faith, Reason, and Civilisation, 1944
• The American Democracy, 1948, The Viking Press
• The Rise of European Liberalism

See also

• American studies in the United Kingdom


1. Deane, Herbert A. (2008). "Laski, Harold J.". International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. Thomson Gale. Retrieved 4 May2019.
2. Lamb, Peter (2014). "Laski's Political Philosophy Today: Socialism for an Individualist Age" (PDF). Retrieved 4 May 2019.
3. Bill Jones (1977). The Russia Complex: The British Labour Party and the Soviet Union. Manchester University Press. p. 16.
4. Kenneth R. Hoover (2003). Economics As Ideology: Keynes, Laski, Hayek, and the Creation of Contemporary Politics. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 164.
5. Michael R. Gordon (1969). Conflict and Consensus in Labour's Foreign Policy, 1914–1965. Stanford UP. p. 157.
6. UK, Naturalisation Certificates and Declarations, 1870–1916
7. 1871 England Census
8. Obituary: Anthony Blond,, 1 March 2008
9. Lamb, Peter (April 1999). "Harold Laski (1893–1950): Political Theorist of a World in Crisis". Review of International Studies. 25 (2): 329–342. doi:10.1017/s0260210599003290. JSTOR 20097600.
11. M. de Wolfe, ed., Holmes–Laski letters: the correspondence of Mr. Justice Holmes and Harold J. Laski (2 vols. 1953)
12. Schlesinger, 1993
13. Mortimer, Molly (September 1993). "Harold Laski: A Political Biography. – book reviews". Contemporary Review.
14. Martin Jay The Dialectical Imagination, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972, p.30, 115
15. Franz Neumann Behemoth: The Structure and Practice of National Socialism, 1933–1944, Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2009, p. ix–x
16. Kingsley Martin (1968). Editor: a second volume of autobiography, 1931–45. Hutchinson. p. 94. Retrieved 22 April 2012.
17. Michael Newman (2002). Ralph Miliband and the politics of the New Left. Merlin Press. p. 22. ISBN 978-0-85036-513-9. Retrieved 22 April2012.
18. Newman, Michael. "Laski, Harold Joseph (1893–1950)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004) online edn, Jan 2011 accessed 11 June 2013doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/34412
19. Laski, The State in Theory and Practice (Transaction Publishers, 2009) p. 242
20. Schlesinger, Jr, Arthur. "Harold Laski: A Life on the Left". The Washington Monthly. Retrieved 16 January 2010.
21. Angus Calder, The People's War: Britain, 1939–1945 (Panther Books, 1969) p. 733.
22. O'Connell, Jeffrey; O'Connell, Thomas E. (1996). "The Rise and Fall (and Rise Again?) of Harold Laski". Maryland Law Review. 55 (4): 1387–1388. ISSN 0025-4282. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
23. Yosef Gorni, "The Jewishness and Zionism of Harold Laski," Midstream(1977) 23#9 pp 72–77.
24. "Catholic Church for Democracy, Foley Says in Reply to Laski", Poughkeepsie Journal, 7 February 1946, p. 9. (
25. "Walls Have Ears", Catholic Exchange, 13 April 2004
26. Robert Dare, "Instinct and Organization: Intellectuals and British Labour after 1931," Historical Journal, (1983) 26#3 pp. 677–697 in JSTOR
27. Isaac Kramnick and Barry Sheerman, Harold Laski: A Life on the Left(1993)
28. Ben Pimlott, "The Socialist League: Intellectuals and the Labour Left in the 1930s," Journal of Contemporary History (1971) 6#3 pp. 12–38 in JSTOR
29. T. D. Burridge, "A Postscript to Potsdam: The Churchill-Laski Electoral Clash, June 1945," Journal of Contemporary History (1977) 12#4 pp. 725–739 in JSTOR
30. Rubinstein, Michael (1972). Wicked, wicked libels. Taylor & Francis. pp. 167–168.
31. Martin Pugh (2010). Speak for Britain!: A New History of the Labour Party. Random House. p. 282.
32. Michael Newman, "Laski, Harold" in Fred M. Leventhal, ed., Twentieth-century Britain: an encyclopedia (Garland, 1995) p 441-42.
33. Deane, Herbert A. The Political Ideas of Harold Laski (1955)
34. Isaac Kramnick and Barry Sheerman Harold Laski: A Life on the Left, The Penguin Press, 1993
35. Guha, Ramachandra (23 November 2003). "The LSE and India". The Hindu.
36. Gandhi, Gopalakrishna (2 December 2005). "A remarkable life-story". Frontline. Archived from the original on 7 February 2010.
37. "Tributes to Harold Laski". The Hindu. 4 May 1950. Retrieved 16 January 2010.
38. Fung, Edmund S. K. (2000). In search of Chinese democracy: civil opposition in Nationalist China, 1929–1949. Cambridge University Press. p. 309. ISBN 978-0-521-77124-5.
39. Olson, Walter (1998). "The Writerly Rand",, October 1998
40. Rand, Ayn (1997). Harriman, David, ed. "Journals of Ayn Rand". New York: Dutton. ISBN 0-525-94370-6. OCLC 36566117.

Further reading

• Deane, H. The Political Ideas of Harold Laski (1955)
o The Viscount Hailsham (Quintin Hogg), "The Political Ideas of Harold J. Laski by Herbert A. Deane: Review," Yale Law Journal, (1955) 65#2 pp 281–88 in JSTOR
• Ekirch, Arthur. "Harold Laski: the Liberal Manqué or Lost Libertarian?" Journal of Libertarian Studies (1980) 4#2 pp 139–50.
• Elliott W. Y. "The Pragmatic Politics of Mr. H. J. Laski," American Political Science Review (1924) 18#2 pp. 251–275 in JSTOR
• Greenleaf, W. H. "Laski and British Socialism," History of Political Thought (1981) 2#3 pp 573–591.
• Hawkins, Carroll, "Harold J. Laski: A Preliminary Analysis," Political Science Quarterly (1950) 65#3 pp. 376–392 in JSTOR
• Hobsbawm, E.J., "The Left's Megaphone," London Review of Books (1993) 12#13 pp 12–13. ... -megaphone
• Kampelman, Max M. "Harold J. Laski: A Current Analysis," Journal of Politics (1948) 10#1 pp. 131–154 in JSTOR
• Kramnick, Isaac, and Barry Sheerman. Harold Laski: A Life on the Left' (1993) 669pp
• Lamb, Peter. "Laski on Sovereignty: Removing the Mask from Class Dominance," History of Political Thought (1997) 28#2 pp 327–42.
• Lamb, Peter. "Harold Laski (1893–1950): political theorist of a world in crisis," Review of International Studies (1999) 25#2 pp 329–342.
• Martin, Kingsley. Harold Laski (1893–1950) A Bibliographical Memoir (1953)
• Miliband, Ralph. "Harold Laski's Socialism" (1995 [written 1958/59]) Socialist Register 1995, p. 239–65 (on website)
• Morefield, Jeanne. "States Are Not People: Harold Laski on Unsettling Sovereignty, Rediscovering Democracy," Political Research Quarterly(2005) 58#4 pp. 659–669 in JSTOR
• Newman, Michael. Harold Laski: A Political Biography (1993), 438pp
• Newman, Michael. "Laski, Harold Joseph (1893–1950)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004) online edn, Jan 2011 accessed 11 June 2013 doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/34412
• Peretz, Martin. "Laski Redivivus," Journal of Contemporary History (1966) 1#2 pp. 87–101 in JSTOR
• Schlesinger, Jr., Arthur. "Harold Laski: A Life on the Left," Washington Monthly (1 November 1993) online

External links

• Works by Harold Joseph Laski at Project Gutenberg
• Works by Harold Joseph Laski at Faded Page (Canada)
• Works by or about Harold Laski at Internet Archive
• Works by Harold Laski at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
• Biography and various quotations regarding Laski
• Brief biographical sketch from the London School of Economics
• Neil Clark Harold Laski,the Man who influenced Ralph Miliband New Statesman, 3 January 2013.
• Newspaper clippings about Harold Laski in the 20th Century Press Archives of the German National Library of Economics
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St Antony's College, Oxford
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 7/7/19



In 1963, with the assistance of sympathetic Westerners, Trungpa received a Spalding sponsorship to study comparative religion at St Antony's College, Oxford University.[23][24]



23. Trungpa, Chogyam (2000). Born in Tibet (4 ed.). Boston: Shambhala Publications. p. 252. ISBN 1-57062-116-0.
24. The Buddhist Handbook: A Complete Guide to Buddhist Teaching and Practice at Google Books

-- Chögyam Trungpa, by Wikipedia

St Antony's College
St Antony's College, Oxford
Blazon: Or on a chevron between three tau crosses gules as many pierced mullets of the field.
Location Between Woodstock Road, Bevington Road and Winchester Road
Coordinates 51°45′47″N 1°15′46″WCoordinates: 51°45′47″N 1°15′46″W
Latin name Collegium Sancti Antonii
Motto Plus est en vous
Established 1950
Named for St Antony of Egypt
Sister college Wolfson College, Cambridge
Warden Roger Goodman
Undergraduates None
Postgraduates 400
Website Edit this at Wikidata
Boat club Boat Club
St Antony's College, Oxford
Location in Oxford city centre

St Antony's College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. Founded in 1950 as the result of the gift of French merchant Sir Antonin Besse of Aden, St Antony's specialises in international relations, economics, politics, and area studies relative to Europe, Russia, former Soviet states, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Japan, China, and South and South East Asia.[1] It is consecutively ranked in the top five worldwide.

The college is located in North Oxford, with Woodstock Road to the west, Bevington Road to the south and Winchester Road to the east. As of 2018, St Antony's had an estimated financial endowment of £43.8m.[2] Formerly a men's college, it has been coeducational since 1962.[3]


St Antony's was founded in 1950 as the result of the gift of Sir Antonin Besse of Aden, a merchant of French descent.

In 1947, Besse was considering giving around £2 million to the University of Oxford to found a new college. Ultimately, on the advice of his solicitor, R Clyde, who had attended New College, Besse decided to go ahead with the plan and permitted Clyde to approach the university with the offer. The university was initially unreceptive to the offer, and recommended that Besse instead devote his funds to improving the finances of some of the poorer existing colleges. Eventually Besse acquiesced, contributing a total of £250,000 in varied amounts to the following colleges: Keble, Worcester, St Peter's, Wadham, Exeter, Pembroke, Lincoln and St Edmund Hall. After this large contribution, the university decided to reconsider Besse's offer to help found a new college and, recognising the need to provide for the ever-growing number of postgraduate students coming to Oxford, gave the venture their blessing; and in 1948, Besse signed a deed of trust appointing the college's first trustees.

Sir Antonin Besse, whose gift enabled the college's foundation.

The attention of the university then turned to providing the new college, by then called St Antony's, with a permanent home. Ripon Hall was initially considered as a good option for a building in which to house the college, but its owners refused to sell, forcing the university to continue its search for premises. They looked at several properties in quick succession, including Youlbury, the Wytham Abbey estate, and Manchester College, which was known to be in financial difficulties and which might thus consider the sale of its 19th-century Mansfield Road buildings. None of these options proved tenable, and the college began to look elsewhere. It is said that Besse became very frustrated with the university and its apparent lack of interest in his project at this point, and almost gave up any hope of its completion. However the college finally acquired its current premises at 62 Woodstock Road in 1950.

The College first admitted students in Michaelmas Term 1950 and received its Royal Charter in 1953. A supplementary charter was granted in 1962 to allow the College to admit women as well as men, and in 1963 the College became a full member of the University of Oxford.[3] By 1952 the number of students at St Antony's had increased to 27 and by the end of the decade that number had risen to 260, amongst whom 34 different nationalities were represented. The college initially struggled due to a lack of funding, and in the late 1960s serious consideration was given to uniting St Antony's with All Souls College when All Souls announced its intention to take a more active role in the education of graduate students. The plan did not come to fruition; All Souls rejected the proposed federal nature of the combined institution, saying they would consider nothing less than a full merger, a proposal which St Antony's governing body did not support. St Antony's lack of funds was partly solved under the wardenship of William Deakin, who devoted himself to college fund-raising and secured a number of generous loans from the Ford and Volkswagen foundations. Since then, St Antony's has almost constantly been financially insecure. This led to the cancellation of a number of proposed physical developments at its site on Woodstock Road. Not until the 1990s was it feasible for the college to embark upon a new building programme; however, since then St Antony's has continued to expand and open new specialist centres for the pursuit of area studies. The college is now recognised as one of the world's foremost centres for such studies.[1] and houses centres for the study of Africa, Asia, Europe, Japan, Latin America, the Middle East and Russia and Eurasia.

Saint Anthony the Great, for whom the college is named.

From the beginning Besse had expressed his hope that the new college, which he intended to open to men "irrespective of origin, race or creed", would prove instrumental in improving international cooperation and intercultural understanding. The college soon announced its primary role as such: "to be a centre of advanced study and research in the fields of modern international history, philosophy, economics and politics and to provide an international centre within the University where graduate students from all over the world can live and work together in close contact with senior members of the University who are specialists in their fields". The college is still true to its founding principle, remaining one of the most international colleges of the university, and home to many of Oxford's region-specific study departments. This latter feature, combined with the wardenship of William Deakin and St Antony's reputation as a key centre for the study of Soviet affairs during the Cold War, led to rumours of links between the college and the British intelligence services; the author Leslie Woodhead wrote to this effect, describing the college as "a fitting gathering place for old spooks".[4]:220

Lord Dahrendorf presided over much of the college's expansion in the 1990s.

The official annals of the university state that St Antony's was one of four colleges, along with All Souls, Nuffield and Christ Church, which made a concerted effort to establish external links. In St Antony's case, the college established wide-ranging connections with diplomats and foreign visitors; this is further commented on as having made the college "perhaps more significant than any other single development in Oxford's adjustment to the contemporary international academic environment".[5]

The college's name alludes to its founder, whose name, Antonin Besse, is derived from the same linguistic root. For a long time it was not made clear whether Anthony the Great or Anthony of Padua was the intended namesake. The matter was finally settled in 1961, when the college finally deemed Anthony the Great to be more the appropriate choice, due to his links to one of the college's prime areas of specialisation - the Middle and Near East. Despite this, the college's banner is flown each year on both saints' days as a matter of tradition, and a statue of the "wrong" Anthony, Anthony of Padua (distinguished by his holding of the Christ child), stands in the college's Hilda Besse Building.

Buildings and grounds

Main building

The college's main building was built in the early Victorian era for the Society of the Holy and Undivided Trinity at the behest of Marian Rebecca Hughes, the first woman to take monastic vows within the Church of England since the reformation. The order commissioned Charles Buckeridge, a local architect of some renown, to design the convent buildings. After initially proposing a circular design based on the symbolism of the holy trinity, Buckeridge took to a more traditional approach and drew up the plans for what is now St Antony's main building some time before 1865. Whilst initially there were plans to enlarge the convent with a northerly extension, for which place was made in the building's design, further building never took place. The convent finally opened in November 1868.

The total cost of the initial build was eight thousand pounds, a considerable sum at that time. It is said that upon first seeing the convent's new premises, the architect William Butterfield commented that it was the 'best modern building in Oxford after my college', by which he meant Keble. St Antony's acquired the former convent in 1950 after it had been vacated by the convent and Halifax House, which had occupied the premises in the immediate post war period. The building's chapel, which was never consecrated and now houses the college library, was built in the years 1891–1894 to Buckeridge's original design. The main building's undercroft, now the Gulbenkian Reading Room, was initially used by the nuns as a refectory, a role it continued to play until the completion of the Hilda Besse building in 1970.[6]

1960s: The Hilda Besse Building

The college library is housed in the old main building.

After a number of ambitious schemes, one of which had been designed by Oscar Niemeyer, to enlarge the college in the 1960s fell through due to lack of funds, the college decided to concentrate its efforts in providing for the construction of a small extension and acquisition of neighbouring properties. The Hilda Besse Building (then known as New Building) was opened in 1970; this building still serves its original purpose in housing the college's dining hall and graduate common room as well as a great number of ancillary meeting rooms. The next major expansion of the college came in 1993 with the completion of a new building to house the Nissan Institute for Japanese Studies and the Bodleian Japanese Library, whilst additional accommodation was not supplied until the Founder's Building was opened to mark the millennium in the year 2000.

2000s: The Gateway Buildings

The Gateway Buildings were completed in 2013

In the early 21st century not much development took place until completion of the college's new Gateway Buildings in 2013, which greatly altered the estate and provided new world class facilities to staff and students alike.[7] The buildings provide a new main entrance to the college and form the east, and final, side of the college's first quadrangle. The funding for this was gained in part by Foulath Hadid who, for his outstanding services to the College, was elected to an Honorary Fellowship in 2004, and the Hadid Room, the College's meeting room, was named in his honour.[8]

The Investcorp Building

The Investcorp Building was one of Zaha Hadid's last designs

Furthermore, as part of its ongoing development programme, St Antony's commissioned the construction of a new centre for Middle Eastern Studies. The Middle East Centre, or Investcorp Building, was designed by the renowned Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid; it broke ground on January 30, 2013[9] and was opened as the Investcorp Building on May 26, 2015.[10][11]

Student life and study

The college's dining hall is located in the award-winning Hilda Besse building.

St Antony's College has some 450 students from over 66 nationalities; about half of the students have a first language other than English. Student interests are represented by an elected body, the Graduate Common Room (GCR) Executive,[12] which is elected on an annual basis at the end of Michaelmas Term.

Most college accommodation is located on site, with around 104 en-suite bedrooms provided in the Gateway and Founder's buildings. Further rooms are to be found in converted Victorian houses both on site or very close by. This expansion in the provision of rooms for students is a recent development at St Antony's, which until recently (up until the construction of the Founder's Building at the turn of the millennium) was one of the few Oxford colleges characterised by a chronic lack of student rooms. As a result of this development, the college is now able to provide some of the highest quality postgraduate accommodation in the city.

The college is host to the St Antony's Late Bar, located on the ground floor of the award-winning Hilda Besse building[13] and serving students throughout the academic year. In addition to operating as a regular bar, it hosts numerous themed bops, culture/region/country nights, live music events (guest concerts, open-mic nights, Battle of the Bands), welfare/charity functions, various tastings and launch parties, among others. Popular recurring events include Halloqueen, USA Night, Latin Bop, Balkan Night, and the thrice-annual Drink the Bar Dry.[14]

Libraries and publications

The Gateway Building, completed in 2013, provides around fifty en-suite study bedrooms.

The Old Main Building - the former Holy Trinity Convent[15] which was built in the 1860s - houses the College Library (including the Gulbenkian Reading Room) and the Russian and Eurasian Studies Centre Library. The College Library keeps general collections in modern history, politics, international relations and economics, collections on Europe, Asia, and the non-Slavonic collections on Russia and the former Soviet Union. It holds over 50,000 volumes and back issues of over 300 journal titles. It also houses some 20th-century archive collections, including the Wheeler-Bennett papers. St Antony's is associated with the Oxford Libraries Information System (OLIS), and has been a contributor to the university's online union library catalogue since 1990.

The main building and college library.

The other libraries on the College site are the Middle East Centre Library, the Bodleian Latin American Centre Library, the Bodleian Japanese Library and the Russian and Eurasian Studies Centre Library, the last of which was refurbished in 2008–2009 as part of the college's rolling construction and rejuvenation program. The College also holds an extensive collection of archival material relating to the Middle East at the Middle East Centre Archive,[16] the premises of which were greatly expanded with the completion of Zaha Hadid's Softbridge building in mid-2014. The area studies libraries on site are unique within the university and thus generally open to all its students, regardless of college affiliation; they typically hold a wide collection of primary language sources and further Anglophone texts - an abundance of specialist material and unique expertise which prompted Leslie Woodhead to comment as follows:[4]:221

“Generations of well-informed men with unusual backgrounds have passed through the college, excavating the remarkable library and sharing their knowledge of some of the world's more secretive places.”

The college's Graduate Common Room has, since 2005, published a biannual academic journal entitled the St Antony's International Review, which is more commonly known by its acronym - STAIR. The journal represents a medium through which aspiring young academics can publish their work alongside their established policy-makers and their peers. Furthermore, the college publishes a termly newsletter, the Antonian, and a college record - an annual report on college affairs.

Sports and societies

A women's eight. St Antony's Boat Club has seen much success in recent years.

This cosmopolitan cultural environment is further fostered by a communal dining hall and active sports clubs for football and rowing, in which sport the college club won the Nephthys and Christ Church Regattas in 2011.[17]


As a postgraduate only college, St Antony's does not appear in the university's annual Norrington Table.

Traditions and attributes

St Antony's is a largely informal college, mandating the wearing of academic dress (sub fusc) only for the university's matriculation and graduation ceremonies. The college does not maintain a permanent high table, instead choosing to serve high table meals on a number of occasions each week for the college's fellows and visiting academics. Students often attend high table at the invitation of their supervisors.

As a graduate college, St Antony's students play an important role in the day-to-day business of running the college through their elected body of representatives - the Graduate Common Room or GCR.

Coat of arms

The college's arms, granted in 1952, were designed in such a way so as to reflect the college's namesake - Anthony 'the Great' of Egypt. The red represents the Red Sea, whilst the gold was chosen to reflect desert sands. The mullets were borrowed from the founder's trade mark, whilst the T-shaped elements are traditional crosses of St Antony. The heraldic blazon for these arms is as follows:

Or on a chevron between three tau crosses gules as many pierced mullets of the field.

The college's motto 'plus est en vous' is sometimes added in complement to its arms. When this is the case, they are typically placed upon a scroll beneath the escutcheon (shield); this version of the arms is most commonly found on the cover of St Antony's Papers issues. The motto itself can be translated literally as 'there is more in you', although it is commonly taken to imply the following English expression: 'There is more to you than meets the eye'.


St Antony's is one of nine colleges at the university to employ the 'two-word' Latin grace. This is statistically the most popular form of grace said at hall in Oxford and also in Cambridge, where it is used by five colleges. The grace is read out in two parts at the college's formal meals, which take place thrice each term. The first half of the grace or ante cibum is said before the start of the meal and the second, the post cibum, once the meal has ended. It is read as follows:

Benedictus benedicat - "May the Blessed One give a blessing"

Benedicto benedicatur - "Let praise be given to the Blessed One"

The grace is said in keeping with tradition. However, unlike at most Oxford colleges, St Antony's does not require its students to stand and acknowledge the saying of grace. The second half of the grace or post cibum can also be translated as "Let a blessing be given by the Blessed One".

People associated with St Antony's


The first Warden of the College was Sir William Deakin (1950–1968), a young Oxford academic who in the Second World War became an adventurous soldier and aide to Winston Churchill. He won Antonin Besse's confidence and played the key role in turning his vision into the centre of excellence that St Antony's has become. Sir Raymond Carr (1968–1987), a distinguished historian of Spain, expanded the College and its regional coverage and opened its doors to visiting scholars from all over the world.

Sir Ralf Dahrendorf (later Lord Dahrendorf) (1987–1997) came to St Antony's after a distinguished career as a social theorist and politician in Germany, a European Commissioner and Director of the London School of Economics. He further enlarged the College and developed its role as a source of policy advice. The previous Warden, Sir Marrack Goulding (1997–2006), served in the British Diplomatic Service for 26 years before becoming an Under Secretary-General at the United Nations. His appointment underlined the international nature of the College and its links with government and business. Following the retirement of the fifth Warden of the College Margaret MacMillan in October 2017, social anthropologist Roger Goodman was elected Warden, having previously served in an acting capacity between 2006 and 2007.[18]

• Sir William Deakin, 1950–1968
• Sir Raymond Carr, 1968–87
• Sir Ralf Dahrendorf (1987–1993), later Lord Dahrendorf, 1987–97
• Sir Marrack Goulding, 1997–2006
• Roger Goodman, (acting), October 2006 - July 2007
• Margaret MacMillan, 2007–2017
• Roger Goodman, 2017–

Former students

Further information: Category:Alumni of St Antony's College, Oxford

Arnab Goswami
Álvaro Uribe
Aurelio Nuño Mayer
Chrystia Freeland
Gary Hart
Guðni Jóhannesson
Jaime Bermúdez
Nemat Shafik
Olli Rehn
Paul Collier
Paul Kennedy
Richard Evans
Thomas Friedman
Agnia Grigas

St Antony's alumni (Antonians) have achieved success in a wide variety of careers; these include writers, politicians, academics and a large number of civil servants, diplomats and representatives of international organisations.

Former students with careers as politicians and civil servants include Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, the 6th President of Iceland, Álvaro Uribe, who was President of Colombia from 2002 to 2010 and his Minister of Foreign Affairs Jaime Bermúdez, Yigal Allon, a deputy and acting Prime Minister of Israel, former Vice President of the European Commission and current Finnish Minister of Economic Affairs Olli Rehn, the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Sigrid Kaag, the former Secretary of State for Wales John Redwood, former EU Commissioner Jean Dondelinger, the Canadian politician John Godfrey, and Gary Hart, a former US Senator and presidential candidate. Diplomats Joseph A. Presel, Gustavo Bell and Shlomo Ben-Ami are also Antonians. Furthermore, Minouche Shafik, Deputy Governor of the Bank of England and former managing director of the International Monetary Fund, is an Antonian, as are three-time Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Thomas Friedman and Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondent Dexter Filkins.

Further Antonians include Anne Applebaum, former editor at The Economist, Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, Member of the European Parliament, book author Agnia Grigas, the Bulgarian communist Lyudmila Zhivkova, Indian journalist Sagarika Ghose and Rhodes scholar Chrystia Freeland, Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs and a former director at Thomson Reuters.

In academia, Sir Christopher Bayly is the current president of St Catharine's College, Cambridge, whilst William Roger Louis is Kerr Chair in English History and Culture at the University of Texas at Austin, Craig Calhoun, current president of the Berggruen Institute is the former director of the London School of Economics, where he remains Centennial Professor, Frances Lannon is the principal of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. Richard Evans is the Regis professor of Modern History at Cambridge, Anthony Venables holds Oxford's BP professorship in Economics and was Chief Economist at the UK's Department for International Development; Paul Kennedy is the Dilworth professor of British History at Yale, Rashid Khalidi a professor at Columbia and Michael T. Benson is the president of Southern Utah University.

The college also counts the Olympic gold medal winning swimmer Davis Tarwater, the talented screenwriter Julian Mitchell and the historian Margaret MacMillan amongst its alumni.


• Timothy Garton Ash, journalist and author on European matters
• Mats Berdal, Professor of Security and Development at the Department of War Studies, King's College London.
• Archie Brown, historian of the end of the Cold War and author of The Gorbachev Factor
• Paul Collier, Director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies at Oxford
• Michael Kaser, economist and author of Soviet Economics
• Homa Katouzian, literary critic and scholar of Iranian studies
• Paul Kennedy, J. Richardson Dilworth Professor of History; Director, International Security Studies, Yale University
• Alan Knight, post-critical historian, Director of the Latin American Centre, and author of the two-volume award-winning book The Mexican Revolution (1986)
• William Roger Louis, historian and scholar of the British Empire, especially Decolonization.
• Kalypso Nicolaïdis, Professor of International Relations and Director of the European Studies Centre
• Tariq Ramadan, Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies
• Oliver Ready, translator of Russian literature
• Robert Service, historian of the USSR and biographer of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin
• Avi Shlaim, historian writing on the Arab-Israeli conflict.
• Vivienne Shue, FBA, sinologist and author of "The Reach of the State"
• Arnab Goswami, Indian journalist who has been the Editor-in-Chief and News anchor of the Indian news channel Times Now. He is also the co-founder of the news channel Republic TV.
• Hasan Bulent Paksoy, historian and novelist.
• Omer Bartov, historian writing on genocide focused on the Holocaust; author of seven books.

Former fellows

• Michael Herman, founder of the Oxford Intelligence Group[19]
• Foulath Hadid, Honorary Fellow
• Albert Hourani, Founder-Director, Middle East Centre, St Antony's College, Oxford
• James Joll, historian, fellow (1950–67)
• Sudipta Kaviraj, Professor of Political Sciences, Columbia University, New York
• Frank McLynn, historian and biographer
• Tapan Raychaudhuri, Emeritus Fellow, St Antony's College, Oxford
• Giulio Angioni, Italian writer and anthropologist
• José Cutileiro, Portuguese diplomat, historian, and author
Michael Aris, leading Western authority on Bhutanese, Tibetan and Himalayan culture, Husband of Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi


• Old main entrance
• Old college building
• New main entrance
• Hilda Besse building
• Nissan Institute
• Founder's Building


1. Nicholls, C. (2000). The History of St Antony’s College, Oxford, 1950–2000. Palgrave Macmillan UK. pp. 1–31. ISBN 978-0-230-59883-6.
2. "St Antony's College : Annual Report and Financial Statements : Year ended 31 July 2018" (PDF). p. 20. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
3. "History of St Antony's College". Retrieved 4 May 2018.
4. Woodhead, Leslie (2005). My Life as a Spy. Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-4050-4086-0.
5. Harrison, Brian, ed. (1994). The History of the University of Oxford: Volume VIII: The Twentieth Century. Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 625. ISBN 978-0-19-822974-2.
6. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 December 2013. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
7. "The Gateway Campaign".
8. Obituary - 'Foulath Hadid: Writer and expert on Arab affairs' - The Independent11 October 2012
9. "Work starts on futuristic Oxford University building". The Oxford Times. 31 January 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
10. Glancey, Jonathan (14 June 2015). "Zaha Hadid's Middle East Centre lands in Oxford". The Sunday Telegraph. London. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
11. Jay Merrick (26 May 2015). "Zaha Hadid's modernist library inspires shock and awe in Oxford". The Independent. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
12. "St Antony's GCR". St Antony's GCR. Archived from the original on 9 February 2012.
13. Davidjgill. "The Modern Buildings of St Athony's College".
14. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 January 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2011.
15. "St. Antony's College Oxford - a history of its buildings and site" Archived 6 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine
16. Middle East Centre Archive site
17. "St Antony's GCR". St Antony's GCR. Archived from the original on 6 December 2011.
18. "Sixth Warden of St Antony's College | St Antony's College". Retrieved 7 January 2018.
19. Phythian, Mark (2017). "Profiles in intelligence: an interview with Michael Herman". Intelligence and National Security. 32 (1): 1–8. doi:10.1080/02684527.2016.1199529. – via Taylor & Francis (subscription required)

External links

• Official website
• Graduate Common Room website
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:27 am

Part 1 of 2

Rudyard Kipling
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 7/7/19



Socially, the Cecil Bloc could be divided into three generations. The first (including Salisbury, Gladstone, the seventh Duke of Devonshire, the eighth Viscount Midleton, Goschen, the fourth Baron Lyttelton, the first Earl of Cranbrook, the first Duke of Westminster, the first Baron Leconfield, the tenth Earl of Wemyss, etc.) was not as "social" (in the frivolous sense) as the second. This first generation was born in the first third of the nineteenth century, went to both Oxford and Cambridge in the period 1830-1855, and died in the period 1890-1915. The second generation was born in the second third of the nineteenth century, went almost exclusively to Oxford (chiefly Balliol) in the period 1860-1880, and died in the period 1920-1930. This second generation was much more social in a spectacularly frivolous sense, much more intellectual (in the sense that they read books and talked philosophy or social problems) and centered on a social group known at the time as "The Souls." The third generation of the Cecil Bloc, consisting of persons born in the last third of the nineteenth century, went to Oxford almost exclusively (New College or Balliol) in the period 1890-1905 and began to die off about 1940. This third generation of the Cecil Bloc was dominated and organized about the Milner Group. It was very serious-minded, very political, and very secretive.

The first two generations did not regard themselves as an organized group but rather as "Society." The Bloc was symbolized in the first two generations in two exclusive dining clubs called "The Club" and "Grillion's." The membership of the two was very similar, with about forty persons in each and a total of not over sixty in both together. Both organizations had illustrious pasts. The Club, founded in 1764, had as past members Joshua Reynolds (founder), Samuel Johnson, Edmund Burke, Oliver Goldsmith, James Boswell, Edward Gibbon, Charles Fox, David Garrick, Adam Smith, Richard B. Sheridan, George Canning, Humphry Davy, Walter Scott, Lord Liverpool, Henry Hallam, Lord Brougham, T. B. Macauley, Lord John Russell, George Grote, Dean Stanley, W. E. H. Lecky, Lord Kelvin, Matthew Arnold, T. H. Huxley, Bishop Wilberforce, Bishop Stubbs, Bishop Creighton, Gladstone, Lord Salisbury, Balfour, John Morley, Richard Jebb, Lord Goschen, Lord Acton, Lord Rosebery, Archbishop Lang, F. W. Pember (Warden of All Souls), Lord Asquith, Edward Grey, Lord Haldane, Hugh Cecil, John Simon, Charles Oman, Lord Tennyson, Rudyard Kipling, Gilbert Murray, H. A. L. Fisher, John Buchan, Maurice Hankey, the fourth Marquess of Salisbury, Lord Lansdowne, Bishop Henson, Halifax, Stanley Baldwin, Austen Chamberlain, Lord Carnock, and Lord Hew art. This list includes only members up to 1925. There were, as we have said, only forty members at any one time, and at meetings (dinner every fortnight while Parliament was in session) usually only about a dozen were present.

Grillion's was very similar to The Club. Founded in 1812, it had the same members and met under the same conditions, except weekly (dinner when Parliament was in session). The following list includes the names I can find of those who were members up to 1925: Gladstone, Salisbury, Lecky, Balfour, Asquith, Edward Grey, Haldane, Lord Bryce, Hugh Cecil, Robert Cecil, Curzon, Neville Lyttelton, Eustace Percy, John Simon, Geoffrey Dawson, Walter Raleigh, Balfour of Burleigh, and. Gilbert Murray.(8)

The second generation of the Cecil Bloc was famous at the time that it was growing up (and political power was still in the hands of the first generation) as "The Souls," a term applied to them partly in derision and partly in envy but used by themselves later. This group, flitting about from one great country house to another or from one spectacular social event to another in the town houses of their elders, has been preserved for posterity in the autobiographical volumes of Margot Tennant Asquith and has been caricatured in the writings of Oscar Wilde. The frivolity of this group can be seen in Margot Tennant's statement that she obtained for Milner his appointment to the chairmanship of the Board of Inland Revenue in 1892 merely by writing to Balfour and asking for it after she had a too brief romantic interlude with Milner in Egypt. As a respected scholar of my acquaintance has said, this group did everything in a frivolous fashion, including entering the Boer War and the First World War.

One of the enduring creations of the Cecil Bloc is the Society for Psychical Research, which holds a position in the history of the Cecil Bloc similar to that held by the Royal Institute of International Affairs in the Milner Group. The Society was founded in 1882 by the Balfour family and their in-laws, Lord Rayleigh and Professor Sidgwick. In the twentieth century it was dominated by those members of the Cecil Bloc who became most readily members of the Milner Group. Among these we might mention Gilbert Murray, who performed a notable series of experiments with his daughter, Mrs. Arnold J. Toynbee, in the years before 1914, and Dame Edith Lyttelton, herself a Balfour and widow of Arthur Balfour's closest friend, who was president of the Society in 1933-1934.

The third generation was quite different, partly because it was dominated by Milner, one of the few completely serious members of the second generation. This third generation was serious if not profound, studious if not broadly educated, and haunted consistently by the need to act quickly to avoid impending disaster. This fear of disaster they shared with Rhodes and Milner, but they still had the basic weakness of the second generation (except Milner and a few other adopted members of that Group), namely that they got everything too easily. Political power, wealth, and social position came to this third generation as a gift from the second, without the need to struggle for what they got or to analyze the foundations of their beliefs. As a result, while awake to the impending disaster, they were not able to avoid it, but instead tinkered and tampered until the whole system blew up in their faces.

This third generation, especially the Milner Group, which formed its core, differed from its two predecessors in its realization that it formed a group. The first generation had regarded itself as "England," the second regarded itself as "Society," but the third realized it was a secret group — or at least its inner circles did. From Milner and Rhodes they got this idea of a secret group of able and determined men, but they never found a name for it, contenting themselves with calling it "the Group," or "the Band," or even "Us." (9)...

The Rhodes Trust was already in operation when Milner returned from Africa in 1905, with the actual management of the scholarships in the hands of George Parkin, who had been brought from his position as Principal of Upper Canada College by Milner. He held the post for eighteen years (1902-1920). The year following his appointment, an Oxford secretary to the trustees was appointed to handle the local work during Parkin's extended absences. This appointment went to Francis Wylie (Sir Francis since 1929), Fellow and tutor of Brasenose, who was named by the influence of Lord Rosebery, whose sons he had tutored. (5) The real control of the trust has rested with the Milner Group from 1902 to the present. Milner was the only really active trustee and he controlled the bureaucracy which handled the trust. As secretary to the trustees before 1929, we find, for example, George Parkin (1902-1920), Geoffrey Dawson (1921-1922), Edward Grigg (1922-1925), and Lord Lothian (1925-1940) — all of them clearly Milner's nominees. On the Board of Trustees itself, in the same period, we find Lord Rosebery, Lord Milner, Lord Grey, Dr. Jameson, Alfred Beit, Lewis Michell, B. F. Hawksley, Otto Beit, Rudyard Kipling, Leopold Amery, Stanley Baldwin, Geoffrey Dawson, H. A. L. Fisher, Sothern Holland, and Sir Edward Peacock. Peacock had been teacher of English and housemaster at Upper Canada College during the seven years in which Parkin was principal of that institution (1895-1902) and became an international financier as soon as Parkin became secretary of the Rhodes Trust. Apparently he did not represent the Rhodes Trust but rather the interests of that powerful and enigmatic figure Edward Rogers Wood of Toronto. Wood and Peacock were very close to the Canadian branch of the Milner Group, that is to say, to A. J. Glazebrook, Parkin, and the Massey family, but it is not clear that either represented the interests of the Milner Group. Peacock was associated at first with the Dominion Securities Corporation of London (1902-1915) and later with Baring Brothers as a specialist in utility enterprises in Mexico, Spain, and Brazil (1915-1924). He was made Receiver-General of the Duchy of Cornwall in 1929 and was knighted in 1934. He was a director of the Bank of England from 1921-1946, managing director of Baring Brothers from 1926, a director of Vickers-Armstrong from 1929, and in addition a director of many world-famous corporations, such as the Canadian Pacific Railway, the Hudson Bay Company, and the Sun Life Assurance Society. He was an expert at the Genoa Conference in 1922 and acted as the British Treasury's representative in Washington during the Second World War.

-- The Anglo-American Establishment: From Rhodes to Cliveden, by Carroll Quigley

Rudyard Kipling
Kipling in 1895
Born Joseph Rudyard Kipling
30 December 1865
Bombay, Bombay Presidency, British India
Died 18 January 1936 (aged 70)
London, England
Resting place Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey, London
Occupation Short-story writer, novelist, poet, journalist
Nationality British
Genre Short story, novel, children's literature, poetry, travel literature, science fiction
Notable works The Jungle Book
Just So Stories
Captains Courageous
"Gunga Din"
"The White Man's Burden"
Notable awards Nobel Prize in Literature
Spouse Caroline Starr Balestier (m. 1892)
Children 3, including Elsie Bambridge and John Kipling

Joseph Rudyard Kipling (/ˈrʌdjərd/ RUD-yərd; 30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936)[1] was an English journalist, short-story writer, poet, and novelist. He was born in India, which inspired much of his work.

Kipling's works of fiction include The Jungle Book (1894), Kim (1901), and many short stories, including "The Man Who Would Be King" (1888).[2] His poems include "Mandalay" (1890), "Gunga Din" (1890), "The Gods of the Copybook Headings" (1919), "The White Man's Burden" (1899), and "If—" (1910). He is regarded as a major innovator in the art of the short story;[3] his children's books are classics of children's literature, and one critic described his work as exhibiting "a versatile and luminous narrative gift".[4][5]

Kipling was one of the most popular writers in the United Kingdom, in both prose and verse, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.[3] Henry James said: "Kipling strikes me personally as the most complete man of genius, as distinct from fine intelligence, that I have ever known."[3] In 1907, at the age of 41, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, making him the first English-language writer to receive the prize and its youngest recipient to date.[6] He was also sounded out for the British Poet Laureateship and on several occasions for a knighthood, both of which he declined.[7]

Kipling's subsequent reputation has changed according to the political and social climate of the age[8][9] and the resulting contrasting views about him continued for much of the 20th century.[10][11] George Orwell saw Kipling as "a jingo imperialist", who was "morally insensitive and aesthetically disgusting".[12] Literary critic Douglas Kerr wrote: "[Kipling] is still an author who can inspire passionate disagreement and his place in literary and cultural history is far from settled. But as the age of the European empires recedes, he is recognised as an incomparable, if controversial, interpreter of how empire was experienced. That, and an increasing recognition of his extraordinary narrative gifts, make him a force to be reckoned with."[13]

Childhood (1865–1882)

Malabar Point, Bombay, 1865.

Rudyard Kipling was born on 30 December 1865 in Bombay, in the Bombay Presidency of British India, to Alice Kipling (née MacDonald) and John Lockwood Kipling.[14] Alice (one of the four noted MacDonald sisters)[15] was a vivacious woman,[16] about whom Lord Dufferin would say, "Dullness and Mrs Kipling cannot exist in the same room."[3][17][18] Lockwood Kipling, a sculptor and pottery designer, was the Principal and Professor of Architectural Sculpture at the newly founded Sir Jamsetjee Jeejebhoy School of Art in Bombay.[16]

John Lockwood and Alice had met in 1863 and courted at Rudyard Lake in Rudyard, Staffordshire, England. They married and moved to India in 1865. They had been so moved by the beauty of the Rudyard Lake area that when their first child was born they named him after it. Two of Alice's sisters married artists: Georgiana was married to the painter Edward Burne-Jones, and her sister Agnes to Edward Poynter. Kipling's most famous relative was his first cousin, Stanley Baldwin, who was Conservative Prime Minister three times in the 1920s and '30s.[19]

Kipling's birth home on the campus of the J J School of Art in Bombay was for many years used as the Dean's residence.[20] Although the cottage bears a plaque noting it as the site where Kipling was born, the original cottage may have been torn down decades ago and a new one built in its place.[21] Some historians and conservationists are also of the view that the bungalow marks a site that is merely close to the home of Kipling's birth, as the bungalow was built in 1882—about 15 years after Kipling was born. Kipling seems to have said as much to the Dean when he visited J J School in the 1930s.[22]

Kipling's India: a map of British India

Kipling wrote of Bombay:

Mother of Cities to me,
For I was born in her gate,
Between the palms and the sea,
Where the world-end steamers wait.[23]

According to Bernice M. Murphy, "Kipling's parents considered themselves 'Anglo-Indians' [a term used in the 19th century for people of British origin living in India] and so too would their son, though he spent the bulk of his life elsewhere. Complex issues of identity and national allegiance would become prominent in his fiction."[24]

Kipling referred to such conflicts, for example: "In the afternoon heats before we took our sleep, she (the Portuguese ayah, or nanny) or Meeta (the Hindu bearer, or male attendant) would tell us stories and Indian nursery songs all unforgotten, and we were sent into the dining-room after we had been dressed, with the caution 'Speak English now to Papa and Mamma.' So one spoke 'English', haltingly translated out of the vernacular idiom that one thought and dreamed in".[25]

Education in Britain

English Heritage blue plaque marking Kipling’s time in Southsea, Portsmouth

Kipling's days of "strong light and darkness" in Bombay ended when he was five years old.[25] As was the custom in British India, he and his three-year-old sister Alice ("Trix") were taken to the United Kingdom—in their case to Southsea, Portsmouth—to live with a couple who boarded children of British nationals who were serving in India.[26] For the next six years (from October 1871 to April 1877), the children lived with the couple, Captain Pryse Agar Holloway, once an officer in the merchant navy, and Sarah Holloway, at their house, Lorne Lodge, at 4 Campbell Road, Southsea.[27]

In his autobiography, published 65 years later, Kipling recalled the stay with horror, and wondered if the combination of cruelty and neglect which he experienced there at the hands of Mrs Holloway might not have hastened the onset of his literary life: "If you cross-examine a child of seven or eight on his day's doings (specially when he wants to go to sleep) he will contradict himself very satisfactorily. If each contradiction be set down as a lie and retailed at breakfast, life is not easy. I have known a certain amount of bullying, but this was calculated torture—religious as well as scientific. Yet it made me give attention to the lies I soon found it necessary to tell: and this, I presume, is the foundation of literary effort".[25]

Kipling's England: A map of England showing Kipling's homes

Trix fared better at Lorne Lodge; Mrs Holloway apparently hoped that Trix would eventually marry the Holloways' son.[28] The two Kipling children, however, did have relatives in England whom they could visit. They spent a month each Christmas with their maternal aunt Georgiana ("Georgy") and her husband, Edward Burne-Jones, at their house, The Grange, in Fulham, London, which Kipling called "a paradise which I verily believe saved me".[25]

In the spring of 1877, Alice returned from India and removed the children from Lorne Lodge. Kipling remembers, "Often and often afterwards, the beloved Aunt would ask me why I had never told any one how I was being treated. Children tell little more than animals, for what comes to them they accept as eternally established. Also, badly-treated children have a clear notion of what they are likely to get if they betray the secrets of a prison-house before they are clear of it".[25]

In January 1878, Kipling was admitted to the United Services College at Westward Ho!, Devon, a school founded a few years earlier to prepare boys for the army. The school proved rough going for him at first, but later led to firm friendships and provided the setting for his schoolboy stories Stalky & Co. (1899).[28] During his time there, Kipling also met and fell in love with Florence Garrard, who was boarding with Trix at Southsea (to which Trix had returned). Florence became the model for Maisie in Kipling's first novel The Light That Failed (1891).[28]

Return to India

Near the end of his time at the school, it was decided that Kipling lacked the academic ability to get into Oxford University on a scholarship.[28] His parents lacked the wherewithal to finance him,[16] so Kipling's father obtained a job for him in Lahore, where he was Principal of the Mayo College of Art and Curator of the Lahore Museum. Kipling was to be the assistant editor of a small local newspaper, the Civil and Military Gazette.

He sailed for India on 20 September 1882, and arrived in Bombay on 18 October. He described this moment years later: "So, at sixteen years and nine months, but looking four or five years older, and adorned with real whiskers which the scandalised Mother abolished within one hour of beholding, I found myself at Bombay where I was born, moving among sights and smells that made me deliver in the vernacular sentences whose meaning I knew not. Other Indian-born boys have told me how the same thing happened to them."[25] This arrival changed Kipling, as he explains: "There were yet three or four days' rail to Lahore, where my people lived. After these, my English years fell away, nor ever, I think, came back in full strength".[25]

Early adult life (1882–1914)

From 1883 to 1889, Kipling worked in British India for local newspapers such as the Civil and Military Gazette in Lahore and The Pioneer in Allahabad.[25]

Lahore Railway Station in the 1880s

Bundi, Rajputana, where Kipling was inspired to write Kim.

The Civil and Military Gazette in Lahore, the newspaper which Kipling was to call "mistress and most true love",[25] appeared six days a week throughout the year except for one-day breaks for Christmas and Easter. Stephen Wheeler, the editor, worked Kipling hard, but Kipling's need to write was unstoppable. In 1886, he published his first collection of verse, Departmental Ditties. That year also brought a change of editors at the newspaper; Kay Robinson, the new editor, allowed more creative freedom and Kipling was asked to contribute short stories to the newspaper.[4]

In an article printed in the Chums boys' annual, an ex-colleague of Kipling's stated that ..."he never knew such a fellow for ink—he simply revelled in it, filling up his pen viciously, and then throwing the contents all over the office, so that it was almost dangerous to approach him".[29] The anecdote continues: "In the hot weather when he (Kipling) wore only white trousers and a thin vest, he is said to have resembled a Dalmatian dog more than a human being, for he was spotted all over with ink in every direction."

In the summer of 1883, Kipling visited Shimla (then known as Simla), a well-known hill station and the summer capital of British India. By then, it was established practice for the Viceroy of India and the government to move to Simla for six months, and the town became a "centre of power as well as pleasure".[4] Kipling's family became yearly visitors to Simla, and Lockwood Kipling was asked to serve in Christ Church there. Rudyard Kipling returned to Simla for his annual leave each year from 1885 to 1888, and the town featured prominently in many of the stories that he wrote for the Gazette.[4]

He describes this time: "My month's leave at Simla, or whatever Hill Station my people went to, was pure joy—every golden hour counted. It began in heat and discomfort, by rail and road. It ended in the cool evening, with a wood fire in one's bedroom, and next morn—thirty more of them ahead!—the early cup of tea, the Mother who brought it in, and the long talks of us all together again. One had leisure to work, too, at whatever play-work was in one's head, and that was usually full."[25]

Back in Lahore, some thirty-nine stories appeared in the Gazette between November 1886 and June 1887. Kipling included most of these stories in Plain Tales from the Hills, his first prose collection, which was published in Calcutta in January 1888, a month after his 22nd birthday. Kipling's time in Lahore, however, had come to an end. In November 1887, he was transferred to the Gazette's much larger sister newspaper, The Pioneer, in Allahabad in the United Provinces. In Allahabad, he worked as the assistant editor of The Pioneer and lived in Belvedere house, Allahabad from 1888 to 1889.[30][31]

Rudyard Kipling (right) with his father John Lockwood Kipling (left), circa 1890

Kipling's writing continued at a frenetic pace; in 1888, he published six collections of short stories: Soldiers Three, The Story of the Gadsbys, In Black and White, Under the Deodars, The Phantom Rickshaw, and Wee Willie Winkie, containing a total of 41 stories, some quite long. In addition, as The Pioneer's special correspondent in the western region of Rajputana, he wrote many sketches that were later collected in Letters of Marque and published in From Sea to Sea and Other Sketches, Letters of Travel.[4]

Kipling was discharged from The Pioneer in early 1889, after a dispute. By this time, he had been increasingly thinking about the future. He sold the rights to his six volumes of stories for £200 and a small royalty, and the Plain Tales for £50; in addition, from The Pioneer, he received six-months' salary in lieu of notice.[25]

Return to London

He decided to use this money to make his way to London, the literary centre of the British Empire. On 9 March 1889, Kipling left India, travelling first to San Francisco via Rangoon, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan. Kipling was favourably impressed by Japan, writing that the Japanese were "gracious folk and fair manners".[32]

Kipling later wrote that he "had lost his heart" to a geisha whom he called O-Toyo, writing while in the United States during the same trip across the Pacific that: "I had left the innocent East far behind ... Weeping softly for O-Toyo ... O-Toyo was a darling".[32] Kipling then travelled through the United States, writing articles for The Pioneer that were later published in From Sea to Sea and Other Sketches, Letters of Travel.[33]

Starting his American travels in San Francisco, Kipling journeyed north to Portland, Oregon; to Seattle, Washington; up into Canada, to Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia, through Medicine Hat, Alberta; back into the US to Yellowstone National Park; down to Salt Lake City; then east to Omaha, Nebraska, and on to Chicago, Illinois; then to Beaver, Pennsylvania, on the Ohio River to visit the Hill family; from there, he went to Chautauqua with Professor Hill, and later to Niagara Falls, Toronto, Washington, D.C., New York, and Boston.[33]

In the course of this journey, he met Mark Twain in Elmira, New York, and was deeply impressed. Kipling arrived unannounced at Twain's home, and later wrote that as he rang the doorbell, "It occurred to me for the first time that Mark Twain might possibly have other engagements other than the entertainment of escaped lunatics from India, be they ever so full of admiration."[34]

A portrait of Kipling by John Collier, ca. 1891

Rudyard Kipling, by Bourne & Shepherd, Calcutta (1892)

As it was, Twain was glad to welcome Kipling and had a two-hour conversation with him on trends in Anglo-American literature and about what Twain was going to write in a sequel to Tom Sawyer, with Twain assuring Kipling that a sequel was coming; but he had not decided upon the ending: either Sawyer would be elected to Congress or would be hanged.[34] Twain also passed along the literary advice that an author should: "Get your facts first and then you can distort 'em as much as you please."[34] Twain, who rather liked Kipling, later wrote about their meeting: "Between us, we cover all knowledge; he covers all that can be known and I cover the rest".[34] Kipling then crossed the Atlantic and reached Liverpool in October 1889. He soon made his début in the London literary world—to great acclaim.[3]


In London, Kipling had several stories accepted by magazines. He also found a place to live for the next two years at Villiers Street, near Charing Cross (the building was subsequently named Kipling House):

Meantime, I had found me quarters in Villiers Street, Strand, which forty-six years ago was primitive and passionate in its habits and population. My rooms were small, not over-clean or well-kept, but from my desk I could look out of my window through the fanlight of Gatti's Music-Hall entrance, across the street, almost on to its stage. The Charing Cross trains rumbled through my dreams on one side, the boom of the Strand on the other, while, before my windows, Father Thames under the Shot tower walked up and down with his traffic.[35]

In the next two years, he published a novel, The Light That Failed, had a nervous breakdown, and met an American writer and publishing agent, Wolcott Balestier, with whom he collaborated on a novel, The Naulahka (a title which he uncharacteristically misspelt; see below).[16] In 1891, on the advice of his doctors, Kipling embarked on another sea voyage visiting South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and once again India.[16]

He cut short his plans for spending Christmas with his family in India when he heard of Balestier's sudden death from typhoid fever and immediately decided to return to London. Before his return, he had used the telegram to propose to and be accepted by Wolcott's sister Caroline Starr Balestier (1862–1939), called "Carrie", whom he had met a year earlier, and with whom he had apparently been having an intermittent romance.[16] Meanwhile, late in 1891, his collection of short stories about the British in India, Life's Handicap, was published in London.[36]

On 18 January 1892, Carrie Balestier (aged 29) and Rudyard Kipling (aged 26) were married in London, in the "thick of an influenza epidemic, when the undertakers had run out of black horses and the dead had to be content with brown ones".[25] The wedding was held at All Souls Church, Langham Place, central London. Henry James gave the bride away.

United States

Kipling in his study at Naulakha, Vermont, US, 1895.

Kipling and his wife settled upon a honeymoon that would take them first to the United States (including a stop at the Balestier family estate near Brattleboro, Vermont) and then on to Japan.[16] When they arrived in Yokohama, Japan, they discovered that their bank, The New Oriental Banking Corporation, had failed. Taking this loss in their stride, they returned to the US, back to Vermont – Carrie by this time was pregnant with their first child —and rented a small cottage on a farm near Brattleboro for ten dollars a month.[25]

According to Kipling, "We furnished it with a simplicity that fore-ran the hire-purchase system. We bought, second or third hand, a huge, hot-air stove which we installed in the cellar. We cut generous holes in our thin floors for its eight-inch [20 cm] tin pipes (why we were not burned in our beds each week of the winter I never can understand) and we were extraordinarily and self-centredly content."[25]

In this house, which they called Bliss Cottage, their first child, Josephine, was born "in three-foot of snow on the night of 29 December 1892. Her Mother's birthday being the 31st and mine the 30th of the same month, we congratulated her on her sense of the fitness of things ..."[25]

Rudyard Kipling's America 1892–1896, 1899

It was also in this cottage that the first dawnings of the Jungle Books came to Kipling: " . . workroom in the Bliss Cottage was seven feet by eight, and from December to April, the snow lay level with its window-sill. It chanced that I had written a tale about Indian Forestry work which included a boy who had been brought up by wolves. In the stillness, and suspense, of the winter of '92 some memory of the Masonic Lions of my childhood's magazine, and a phrase in Haggard's Nada the Lily, combined with the echo of this tale. After blocking out the main idea in my head, the pen took charge, and I watched it begin to write stories about Mowgli and animals, which later grew into the two Jungle Books ".[25] With Josephine's arrival, Bliss Cottage was felt to be congested, so eventually the couple bought land – 10 acres (4.0 ha) on a rocky hillside overlooking the Connecticut River – from Carrie's brother Beatty Balestier and built their own house.

Kipling named the house Naulakha, in honour of Wolcott and of their collaboration, and this time the name was spelled correctly.[16] From his early years in Lahore (1882–87), Kipling had become enamoured with the Mughal architecture,[37] especially the Naulakha pavilion situated in Lahore Fort, which eventually became an inspiration for the title of his novel as well as the house.[38] The house still stands on Kipling Road, three miles (5 km) north of Brattleboro in Dummerston, Vermont: a big, secluded, dark-green house, with shingled roof and sides, which Kipling called his "ship", and which brought him "sunshine and a mind at ease".[16] His seclusion in Vermont, combined with his healthy "sane clean life", made Kipling both inventive and prolific.

In the short span of four years, he produced, in addition to the Jungle Books, a collection of short stories (The Day's Work), a novel (Captains Courageous), and a profusion of poetry, including the volume The Seven Seas. The collection of Barrack-Room Ballads was issued in March 1892, first published individually for the most part in 1890, and containing his poems "Mandalay" and "Gunga Din". He especially enjoyed writing the Jungle Books – both masterpieces of imaginative writing – and enjoyed, too, corresponding with the many children who wrote to him about them.[16]

Life in New England

The writing life in Naulakha was occasionally interrupted by visitors, including his father, who visited soon after his retirement in 1893,[16] and British writer Arthur Conan Doyle, who brought his golf-clubs, stayed for two days, and gave Kipling an extended golf lesson.[39][40] Kipling seemed to take to golf, occasionally practising with the local Congregational minister, and even playing with red-painted balls when the ground was covered in snow.[14][40] However, wintertime golf was "not altogether a success because there were no limits to a drive; the ball might skid two miles (3 km) down the long slope to Connecticut river".[14]

From all accounts, Kipling loved the outdoors,[16] not least of whose marvels in Vermont was the turning of the leaves each fall. He described this moment in a letter: "A little maple began it, flaming blood-red of a sudden where he stood against the dark green of a pine-belt. Next morning there was an answering signal from the swamp where the sumacs grow. Three days later, the hill-sides as fast as the eye could range were afire, and the roads paved, with crimson and gold. Then a wet wind blew, and ruined all the uniforms of that gorgeous army; and the oaks, who had held themselves in reserve, buckled on their dull and bronzed cuirasses and stood it out stiffly to the last blown leaf, till nothing remained but pencil-shadings of bare boughs, and one could see into the most private heart of the woods."[41]

The Kiplings' first daughter Josephine, 1895. She died of pneumonia in 1899 aged 6.

In February 1896, Elsie Kipling was born, the couple's second daughter. By this time, according to several biographers, their marital relationship was no longer light-hearted and spontaneous.[42] Although they would always remain loyal to each other, they seemed now to have fallen into set roles.[16] In a letter to a friend who had become engaged around this time, the 30‑year‑old Kipling offered this sombre counsel: marriage principally taught "the tougher virtues—such as humility, restraint, order, and forethought".[43]

The Kiplings loved life in Vermont and might have lived out their lives there, were it not for two incidents—one of global politics, the other of family discord—that hastily ended their time there. By the early 1890s, the United Kingdom and Venezuela were in a border dispute involving British Guiana. The US had made several offers to arbitrate, but in 1895, the new American Secretary of State Richard Olney upped the ante by arguing for the American "right" to arbitrate on grounds of sovereignty on the continent (see the Olney interpretation as an extension of the Monroe Doctrine).[16] This raised hackles in the UK, and the situation grew into a major Anglo-American crisis, with talk of war on both sides.

Although the crisis led to greater US–British co-operation, at the time Kipling was bewildered by what he felt was persistent anti-British sentiment in the US, especially in the press.[16] He wrote in a letter that it felt like being "aimed at with a decanter across a friendly dinner table".[43] By January 1896, he had decided[14] to end his family's "good wholesome life" in the US and seek their fortunes elsewhere.

A family dispute became the final straw. For some time, relations between Carrie and her brother Beatty Balestier had been strained, owing to his drinking and insolvency. In May 1896, an inebriated Beatty encountered Kipling on the street and threatened him with physical harm.[16] The incident led to Beatty's eventual arrest, but in the subsequent hearing, and the resulting publicity, Kipling's privacy was destroyed, and he was left feeling miserable and exhausted. In July 1896, a week before the hearing was to resume, the Kiplings packed their belongings, left the United States, and returned to England.[14]

Kipling's Torquay house, with an English heritage blue plaque on the wall.


By September 1896, the Kiplings were in Torquay, Devon, on the southwestern coast of England, in a hillside home overlooking the English Channel. Although Kipling did not much care for his new house, whose design, he claimed, left its occupants feeling dispirited and gloomy, he managed to remain productive and socially active.[16]

Kipling was now a famous man, and in the previous two or three years had increasingly been making political pronouncements in his writings. The Kiplings had welcomed their first son, John, in August 1897. Kipling had begun work on two poems, "Recessional" (1897) and "The White Man's Burden" (1899) which were to create controversy when published. Regarded by some as anthems for enlightened and duty-bound empire-building (that captured the mood of the Victorian era), the poems equally were regarded by others as propaganda for brazenfaced imperialism and its attendant racial attitudes; still others saw irony in the poems and warnings of the perils of empire.[16]

Take up the White Man's burden—
Send forth the best ye breed—
Go, bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives' need;
To wait, in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild—
Your new-caught sullen peoples,
Half devil and half child.
—The White Man's Burden[44]

There was also foreboding in the poems, a sense that all could yet come to naught.[45]

Far-called, our navies melt away;
On dune and headland sinks the fire:
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet.
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

A prolific writer during his time in Torquay, he also wrote Stalky & Co., a collection of school stories (born of his experience at the United Services College in Westward Ho!) whose juvenile protagonists displayed a know-it-all, cynical outlook on patriotism and authority. According to his family, Kipling enjoyed reading aloud stories from Stalky & Co. to them and often went into spasms of laughter over his own jokes.[16]

Visits to South Africa

H.A. Gwynne, Julian Ralph, Perceval Landon, and Rudyard Kipling in South Africa, 1900–1901.

In early 1898, the Kiplings travelled to South Africa for their winter holiday, thus beginning an annual tradition which (excepting the following year) was to last until 1908. They always stayed in "The Woolsack", a house on Cecil Rhodes' estate at Groote Schuur (and now a student residence for the University of Cape Town); it was within walking distance of Rhodes' mansion.[47]

With his new reputation as Poet of the Empire, Kipling was warmly received by some of the most influential politicians of the Cape Colony, including Rhodes, Sir Alfred Milner, and Leander Starr Jameson. Kipling cultivated their friendship and came to admire the men and their politics. The period 1898–1910 was crucial in the history of South Africa and included the Second Boer War (1899–1902), the ensuing peace treaty, and the 1910 formation of the Union of South Africa. Back in England, Kipling wrote poetry in support of the British cause in the Boer War and on his next visit to South Africa in early 1900, he became a correspondent for The Friend newspaper in Bloemfontein, which had been commandeered by Lord Roberts for British troops.[48]

Although his journalistic stint was to last only two weeks, it was Kipling's first work on a newspaper staff since he left The Pioneer in Allahabad more than ten years earlier.[16] At The Friend, he made lifelong friendships with Perceval Landon, H. A. Gwynne, and others.[49] He also wrote articles published more widely expressing his views on the conflict.[50] Kipling penned an inscription for the Honoured Dead Memorial (Siege memorial) in Kimberley.


Kipling at his desk, 1899. Portrait by his cousin, Sir Philip Burne-Jones

In 1897, Kipling moved from Torquay to Rottingdean, East Sussex; first to North End House and later to The Elms.[51] In 1902, Kipling bought Bateman's, a house built in 1634 and located in rural Burwash, East Sussex, England. Bateman's was Kipling's home from 1902 until his death in 1936.[52]

The house, along with the surrounding buildings, the mill and 33 acres (13 ha) was purchased for £9,300. It had no bathroom, no running water upstairs, and no electricity, but Kipling loved it: "Behold us, lawful owners of a grey stone lichened house—A.D. 1634 over the door—beamed, panelled, with old oak staircase, and all untouched and unfaked. It is a good and peaceable place. We have loved it ever since our first sight of it." (from a November 1902 letter).[53][54]

In the non-fiction realm he became involved in the debate over the British response to the rise in German naval power known as the Tirpitz Plan to build a fleet to challenge the Royal Navy, publishing a series of articles in 1898 which were collected as A Fleet in Being. On a visit to the United States in 1899, Kipling and Josephine developed pneumonia, from which she eventually died.

'Peak of career'

"He sat in defiance of municipal orders, astride the gun Zam-Zammeh, on her old platform, opposite the old Ajaibgher, the Wonder House, as the natives called the Lahore Museum."

In the wake of his daughter's death, Kipling concentrated on collecting material for what would become Just So Stories for Little Children. That work was published in 1902, the year after Kim was first issued.[55] The American literary scholar David Scott has argued that Kim disproves the claim made by Edward Said about Kipling as a promoter of Orientalism as Kipling – who was deeply interested in Buddhism —presented Tibetan Buddhism in a fairly sympathetic light and aspects of the novel appeared to reflect the Buddhist understanding of the universe.[56][57] Kipling was offended by the German Emperor Wilhelm II's Hun speech (Hunnenrede) in 1900 urging German troops being sent to China to crush the Boxer Rebellion to behave like "Huns" and to take no prisoners.[58]

In his 1902 poem The Rowers, Kipling attacked the Kaiser as a threat to Britain and made the first use of the term "Hun" as an anti-German insult, using Wilhelm's own words and the actions of German troops in China to portray Germans as essentially barbarians.[58] In an interview with the French newspaper Le Figaro, the Francophile Kipling called Germany a menace and called for an Anglo-French alliance to stop it.[58] In another letter at the same time, Kipling described the "unfrei peoples of Central Europe" as living in "the Middle Ages with machine guns".[58]

Speculative fiction

Kipling wrote a number of speculative fiction short stories, including "The Army of a Dream", in which he attempted to show a more efficient and responsible army than the hereditary bureaucracy of England at that time, and two science fiction stories, "With the Night Mail" (1905) and "As Easy As A.B.C." (1912). Both of those were set in the 21st century in Kipling's Aerial Board of Control universe. They read like modern hard science fiction,[59] and introduced the literary technique known as indirect exposition, which would later become one of science fiction writer Robert Heinlein's hallmarks. This technique is one that Kipling picked up in India, and used to solve the problem of his English readers not understanding much about Indian society, when writing The Jungle Book.[60]

Nobel laureate and beyond

In 1907, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature after having been nominated in that year by Charles Oman, professor at the University of Oxford.[61] The prize citation said: "In consideration of the power of observation, originality of imagination, virility of ideas and remarkable talent for narration which characterize the creations of this world-famous author." Nobel prizes had been established in 1901 and Kipling was the first English-language recipient. At the award ceremony in Stockholm on 10 December 1907, the Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy, Carl David af Wirsén, praised both Kipling and three centuries of English literature:

The Swedish Academy, in awarding the Nobel Prize in Literature this year to Rudyard Kipling, desires to pay a tribute of homage to the literature of England, so rich in manifold glories, and to the greatest genius in the realm of narrative that that country has produced in our times.[62]

"Book-ending" this achievement was the publication of two connected poetry and story collections: Puck of Pook's Hill (1906), and Rewards and Fairies (1910). The latter contained the poem "If—". In a 1995 BBC opinion poll, it was voted the UK's favourite poem.[63] This exhortation to self-control and stoicism is arguably Kipling's most famous poem.[63]

Rudyard Kipling by George Wylie Hutchinson

Such was Kipling's popularity that he was asked by his friend Max Aitken to intervene in the 1911 Canadian election on behalf of the Conservatives.[64] In 1911, the major issue in Canada was the reciprocity treaty with the United States signed by the Liberal Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier and vigorously opposed by the Conservatives under Sir Robert Borden. On 7 September 1911, the Montreal Daily Star newspaper published a front-page appeal to all Canadians against the reciprocity agreement with the United States by Kipling who wrote: "It is her own soul that Canada risks today. Once that soul is pawned for any consideration, Canada must inevitably conform to the commercial, legal, financial, social, and ethical standards which will be imposed on her by the sheer admitted weight of the United States."[64] At the time, the Montreal Daily Star was Canada's most read newspaper. Over the next week, Kipling's appeal was reprinted in every English newspaper in Canada and is credited with helping to turn Canadian public opinion against the Liberal government that signed the reciprocity agreement.[64]

Kipling sympathised with the anti-Home Rule stance of Irish Unionists, who opposed Irish autonomy. He was friends with Edward Carson, the Dublin-born leader of Ulster Unionism, who raised the Ulster Volunteers to prevent Home Rule in Ireland. Kipling wrote in a letter to a friend that Ireland was not a nation, and that before the English arrived in 1169, the Irish were a gang of cattle thieves living in savagery and killing each other while "writing dreary poems" about it all. In his viewpoint, it was only British rule that allowed Ireland to advance.[65] A visit to Ireland in 1911 confirmed Kipling's prejudices as he wrote the Irish countryside was beautiful but was spoiled by what he called the ugly homes of the Irish farmers, with Kipling adding that God had made the Irish into poets because he had "deprived them of love of line or knowledge of colour".[66] In contrast, Kipling had nothing but praise for the "decent folk" of Protestant majority and Unionist Ulster.[66]

Kipling wrote the poem "Ulster" in 1912 reflecting his Unionist politics. Kipling often referred to the Irish Unionists as "our party".[67] Kipling had no sympathy with or understanding of Irish nationalism, and for him, Home Rule was an act of treason by the government of the Liberal Prime Minister H. H. Asquith that would plunge Ireland into the Dark Ages and allow the Irish Catholic majority to oppress the Protestant minority.[68] The British scholar David Gilmour wrote that Kipling's lack of understanding about Ireland could be seen in that he attacked John Redmond – the Anglophile leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party who wanted Home Rule because he believed it was the best way of keeping the United Kingdom together – as a traitor working to break up the United Kingdom.[69] Ulster was first publicly read at an Unionist rally in Belfast, where the largest Union Jack ever was also unfolded.[69] In his poem Ulster, which Kipling admitted was meant to strike a "hard blow" against the Asquith government's Home Rule bill, he wrote: "Rebellion, rapine, hate, Oppression, wrong and greed, Are loosed to rule our fate, By England's act and deed".[66] Ulster generated much controversy with the Conservative MP Sir Mark Sykes – who as a Unionist was opposed to the Home Rule bill – condemning Ulster in an article in The Morning Post as a "direct appeal to ignorance and a deliberate attempt to foster religious hate".[69]

Kipling was a staunch opponent of Bolshevism, a position which he shared with his friend Henry Rider Haggard. The two had bonded upon Kipling's arrival in London in 1889 largely on the strength of their shared opinions, and they remained lifelong friends.


According to the English magazine Masonic Illustrated, Kipling became a Freemason in about 1885, before the usual minimum age of 21.[70] He was initiated into Hope and Perseverance Lodge No. 782 in Lahore. He later wrote to The Times, "I was Secretary for some years of the Lodge . . . , which included Brethren of at least four creeds. I was entered [as an Apprentice] by a member from Brahmo Somaj, a Hindu, passed [to the degree of Fellow Craft] by a Mohammedan, and raised [to the degree of Master Mason] by an Englishman. Our Tyler was an Indian Jew." Kipling received not only the three degrees of Craft Masonry but also the side degrees of Mark Master Mason and Royal Ark Mariner.[71]

Kipling so loved his masonic experience that he memorialised its ideals in his famous poem, "The Mother Lodge",[70] and used the fraternity and its symbols as vital plot devices in his novella, The Man Who Would Be King.[72]

First World War (1914–18)

At the beginning of the First World War, like many other writers, Kipling wrote pamphlets and poems which enthusiastically supported the UK's war aims of restoring Belgium after that kingdom had been occupied by Germany, together with more generalised statements that Britain was standing up for the cause of good. In September 1914, Kipling was asked by the British government to write propaganda, an offer that he immediately accepted.[73] Kipling's pamphlets and stories were very popular with the British people during the war, with his major themes being glorifying the British military as the place for heroic men to be, German atrocities against Belgian civilians and the stories of women being brutalised by a horrific war unleashed by Germany, yet surviving and triumphing in spite of their suffering.[73]

Kipling was enraged by reports of the Rape of Belgium together with the sinking of the RMS Lusitania in 1915, which he saw as a deeply inhumane act, which led him to see the war as a crusade for civilisation against barbarism.[74] In a 1915 speech, Kipling declared that "There was no crime, no cruelty, no abomination that the mind of men can conceive of which the German has not perpetrated, is not perpetrating, and will not perpetrate if he is allowed to go on ... Today, there are only two divisions in the world ... human beings and Germans."[74]

Alongside his passionate antipathy towards Germany, Kipling was privately deeply critical of how the war was fought by the British Army, complaining as early as October 1914 that Germany should have been defeated by now, and something must be wrong with the British Army.[75] Kipling, who was shocked by the heavy losses that the British Expeditionary Force had taken by the autumn of 1914, blamed the entire pre-war generation of British politicians, who he argued had failed to learn the lessons of the Boer War. As a result, thousands of British soldiers were now paying with their lives for their failure in the fields of France and Belgium.[75]

Kipling had scorn for those men who shirked duty in the First World War. In "The New Army in Training"[76] (1915), Kipling concluded the piece by saying:

This much we can realise, even though we are so close to it, the old safe instinct saves us from triumph and exultation. But what will be the position in years to come of the young man who has deliberately elected to outcaste himself from this all-embracing brotherhood? What of his family, and, above all, what of his descendants, when the books have been closed and the last balance struck of sacrifice and sorrow in every hamlet, village, parish, suburb, city, shire, district, province, and Dominion throughout the Empire?
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Part 2 of 2

Death of John Kipling

2nd Lt John Kipling

Memorial to 2nd Lt John Kipling in Burwash Parish Church, Sussex, England

Kipling's son John was killed in action in the First World War, at the Battle of Loos in September 1915, at age 18. John had initially wanted to join the Royal Navy, but having had his application turned down after a failed medical examination due to poor eyesight, he opted to apply for military service as an Army officer. But again, his eyesight was an issue during the medical examination. In fact, he tried twice to enlist but was rejected. His father had been lifelong friends with Lord Roberts, former commander-in-chief of the British Army, and colonel of the Irish Guards, and at Rudyard's request, John was accepted into the Irish Guards.[73]

John Kipling was sent to Loos two days into the battle in a reinforcement contingent. He was last seen stumbling through the mud blindly, with a possible facial injury. A body identified as his was found in 1992, although that identification has been challenged.[77][78][79] In 2015, the Commonwealth War Grave Commission confirmed that they had correctly identified the burial place of John Kipling;[80] they record his date of death as 27 September 1915, and that he is buried at St Mary's A.D.S. Cemetery, Haisnes.[81]

After his son's death, Kipling wrote, "If any question why we died / Tell them, because our fathers lied." It is speculated that these words may reveal his feelings of guilt at his role in getting John a commission in the Irish Guards.[82] Others, such as English professor Tracy Bilsing, contend that the line is referring to Kipling's disgust that British leaders failed to learn the lessons of the Boer War, and were not prepared for the struggle with Germany in 1914, with the "lie" of the "fathers" being that the British Army was prepared for any war when it was not.[73]

John's death has been linked to Kipling's 1916 poem "My Boy Jack", notably in the play My Boy Jack and its subsequent television adaptation, along with the documentary Rudyard Kipling: A Remembrance Tale. However, the poem was originally published at the head of a story about the Battle of Jutland and appears to refer to a death at sea; the 'Jack' referred to is probably a generic 'Jack Tar'.[83] In the Kipling family, Jack was the name of the family dog while John Kipling was always John, making the identification of the protagonist of "My Boy Jack" with John Kipling somewhat questionable. However, it is true that Kipling was emotionally devastated by the death of his son. It is said that Kipling helped assuage his grief over his son's death by reading the novels of Jane Austen aloud to his wife and daughter.[84] During the war, he wrote a booklet The Fringes of the Fleet[85] containing essays and poems on various nautical subjects of the war. Some of the poems were set to music by English composer Edward Elgar.

Kipling became friends with a French soldier named Maurice Hammoneau whose life had been saved in the First World War when his copy of Kim, which he had in his left breast pocket, stopped a bullet. Hammoneau presented Kipling with the book, with bullet still embedded, and his Croix de Guerre as a token of gratitude. They continued to correspond, and when Hammoneau had a son, Kipling insisted on returning the book and medal.[86]

On 1 August 1918, a poem, "The Old Volunteer", appeared under his name in The Times. The next day, he wrote to the newspaper to disclaim authorship, and a correction appeared. Although The Times employed a private detective to investigate, and the detective appears to have suspected Kipling himself of being the author, the identity of the hoaxer was never established.[87]

After the war (1918–1936)

Kipling, aged 60, on the cover of Time magazine, 27 September 1926.

Partly in response to John's death, Kipling joined Sir Fabian Ware's Imperial War Graves Commission (now the Commonwealth War Graves Commission), the group responsible for the garden-like British war graves that can be found to this day dotted along the former Western Front and all the other locations around the world where troops of the British Empire lie buried.

His most significant contributions to the project were his selection of the biblical phrase, "Their Name Liveth For Evermore" (Ecclesiasticus 44.14, KJV), found on the Stones of Remembrance in larger war cemeteries, and his suggestion of the phrase "Known unto God" for the gravestones of unidentified servicemen. He also chose the inscription "The Glorious Dead" on the Cenotaph, Whitehall, London. Additionally, he wrote a two-volume history of the Irish Guards, his son's regiment: it was published in 1923 and is considered to be one of the finest examples of regimental history.[88]

Kipling's moving short story, "The Gardener", depicts visits to the war cemeteries, and the poem "The King's Pilgrimage" (1922) depicts a journey which King George V made, touring the cemeteries and memorials under construction by the Imperial War Graves Commission. With the increasing popularity of the automobile, Kipling became a motoring correspondent for the British press, and wrote enthusiastically of his trips around England and abroad, even though he was usually driven by a chauffeur.

After the war, Kipling was sceptical about the Fourteen Points and the League of Nations, but he had great hopes that the United States would abandon isolationism and that the post-war world would be dominated by an Anglo-French-American alliance.[89] Kipling hoped that the United States would take on a League of Nations mandate for Armenia as the best way of preventing isolationism, and hoped that Theodore Roosevelt, whom Kipling admired, would once again become president.[89] Kipling was saddened by Roosevelt's death in 1919, believing that his friend was the only American politician capable of keeping the United States in the "game" of world politics.[90]

Kipling was very hostile towards communism, writing about the Bolshevik take-over in 1917 that one sixth of the world had "passed bodily out of civilization".[91] In a 1918 poem, Kipling wrote about Soviet Russia that everything good in Russia had now been destroyed by the Bolsheviks and all that was left was "the sound of weeping and the sight of burning fire, and the shadow of a people trampled into the mire".[91]

In 1920, Kipling co-founded the Liberty League[92] with Haggard and Lord Sydenham. This short-lived enterprise focused on promoting classic liberal ideals as a response to the rising power of communist tendencies within Great Britain, or, as Kipling put it, "to combat the advance of Bolshevism".[93][94]

Kipling (second from left) as rector of the University of St Andrews, Scotland in 1923

In 1922, Kipling, who had made reference to the work of engineers in some of his poems, such as "The Sons of Martha", "Sappers", and "McAndrew's Hymn",[95] and in other writings, including short story anthologies such as The Day's Work,[96] was asked by University of Toronto civil engineering professor Herbert E. T. Haultain for his assistance in developing a dignified obligation and ceremony for graduating engineering students. Kipling was enthusiastic in his response and shortly produced both, formally entitled "The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer". Today, engineering graduates all across Canada are presented with an iron ring at the ceremony as a reminder of their obligation to society.[97][98] In 1922 Kipling also became Lord Rector of St Andrews University in Scotland, a three-year position.

Kipling, who was a Francophile, argued strongly for an Anglo-French alliance to uphold the peace, calling Britain and France in 1920 the "twin fortresses of European civilization".[99] Along the same lines, Kipling repeatedly warned against revising the Treaty of Versailles in Germany's favour, which he predicted would lead to a new world war.[99] An admirer of Raymond Poincaré, Kipling was one of the few British intellectuals who supported the French Occupation of the Ruhr in 1923 at a time when the British government and most public opinion was against the French position.[100] In contrast to the popular British view of Poincaré as a cruel bully intent on impoverishing Germany by seeking unreasonable reparations, Kipling argued that Poincaré was only rightfully trying to preserve France as a great power in the face of an unfavourable situation.[100] Kipling argued that even before 1914, Germany's larger economy and higher birth rate had made that country stronger than France; with much of France devastated by the war, and the French suffering heavy losses that the low French birth rate would have trouble replacing while Germany was mostly undamaged and still with a higher birth rate, he reasoned that the future would advantage German domination if Versailles were revised in Germany's favour. He wrote that it was madness for Britain to seek to pressure France to revise Versailles in Germany's favour.[100]

Kipling late in his life, portrait by Elliott & Fry.

In 1924, Kipling was opposed to the Labour government of Ramsay MacDonald as "Bolshevism without bullets", but believing that Labour was a communist front organisation, he took the view that "excited orders and instructions from Moscow" would expose Labour as such an organisation to the British people.[101] Kipling's views were on the right and though he admired Benito Mussolini to a certain extent for a time in the 1920s, Kipling was against fascism, writing that Oswald Mosley was "a bounder and an arriviste". By 1935, he called Mussolini a deranged and dangerous egomaniac and in 1933 wrote, "The Hitlerites are out for blood".[102]

Despite his anti-communism, the first major translations of Kipling into Russian took place during Lenin's rule in the early 1920s, and during the interwar period, Kipling was very popular with Russian readers. Many of the younger Russian poets and writers such as Konstantin Simonov were influenced by Kipling.[103] Kipling's clarity of style, his use of colloquial language and the way in which he used rhythm and rhyme were considered to be major innovations in poetry that appealed to many of the younger Russian poets.[104] Though it was obligatory for Soviet journals to begin translations of Kipling with an introduction attacking him as a "fascist" and an "imperialist", such was Kipling's popularity with Russian readers that his works were not banned in the Soviet Union until 1939 with the signing of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact.[103] Kipling's work was unbanned in the Soviet Union in 1941 after Operation Barbarossa, when Britain become a Soviet ally, but his work was banned again, this time for good, with the Cold War in 1946.[105]

A left-facing swastika in 1911, a symbol of good luck.

Covers of two of Kipling's books from 1919 (l) and 1930 (r) showing the removal of the swastika

Many older editions of Rudyard Kipling's books have a swastika printed on their covers associated with a picture of an elephant carrying a lotus flower, reflecting the influence of Indian culture. Kipling's use of the swastika was based on the Indian sun symbol conferring good luck and the Sanskrit word meaning "fortunate" or "well-being".[106] He used the swastika symbol in both right- and left-facing orientations, and it was in general use by others at the time.[107][108]

In a note to Edward Bok written after the death of Lockwood Kipling in 1911, Rudyard said: "I am sending with this for your acceptance, as some little memory of my father to whom you were so kind, the original of one of the plaques that he used to make for me. I thought it being the Swastika would be appropriate for your Swastika. May it bring you even more good fortune."[106] Once the Nazis came to power and usurped the swastika, Kipling ordered that it should no longer adorn his books.[106] Less than a year before his death, Kipling gave a speech (titled "An Undefended Island") to the Royal Society of St George on 6 May 1935, warning of the danger which Nazi Germany posed to Britain.[109]

Kipling scripted the first Royal Christmas Message, delivered via the BBC's Empire Service by George V in 1932.[110][111] In 1934, he published a short story in The Strand Magazine, "Proofs of Holy Writ", which postulated that William Shakespeare had helped to polish the prose of the King James Bible.[112]


Kipling kept writing until the early 1930s, but at a slower pace and with much less success than before. On the night of 12 January 1936 he suffered a haemorrhage in his small intestine. He underwent surgery but died less than a week later on 18 January 1936, at the age of 70 of a perforated duodenal ulcer.[113][114] His death had previously been incorrectly announced in a magazine, to which he wrote, "I've just read that I am dead. Don't forget to delete me from your list of subscribers."[115]

The pallbearers at the funeral included Kipling's cousin, the Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, and the marble casket was covered by a Union Jack.[116] Kipling was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium in northwest London, and his ashes interred at Poets' Corner, part of the South Transept of Westminster Abbey, next to the graves of Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy.[116]


In 2010, the International Astronomical Union approved that a crater on the planet Mercury would be named after Kipling—one of ten newly discovered impact craters observed by the MESSENGER spacecraft in 2008–9.[117] In 2012, an extinct species of crocodile, Goniopholis kiplingi, was named in his honour, "in recognition for his enthusiasm for natural sciences".[118]

More than 50 unpublished poems by Kipling, discovered by the American scholar Thomas Pinney, were released for the first time in March 2013.[119]

Kipling's writing has strongly influenced other writers. Kipling's stories for adults remain in print and have garnered high praise from writers as different as Poul Anderson, Jorge Luis Borges, and Randall Jarrell who wrote that, "After you have read Kipling's fifty or seventy-five best stories you realize that few men have written this many stories of this much merit, and that very few have written more and better stories."[120]

His children's stories remain popular, and his Jungle Books have been made into several movies. The first was made by producer Alexander Korda, and other films have been produced by The Walt Disney Company. A number of his poems were set to music by Percy Grainger. A series of short films based on some of his stories was broadcast by the BBC in 1964.[121] Kipling's work is still popular today.

The poet T. S. Eliot edited A Choice of Kipling's Verse (1941) with an introductory essay.[122] Eliot was aware of the complaints that had been levelled against Kipling and he dismissed them one by one: that Kipling is 'a Tory' using his verse to transmit right wing political views, or 'a journalist' pandering to popular taste; while Eliot writes "I cannot find any justification for the charge that he held a doctrine of race superiority."[123] Eliot finds instead,

An immense gift for using words, an amazing curiosity and power of observation with his mind and with all his senses, the mask of the entertainer, and beyond that a queer gift of second sight, of transmitting messages from elsewhere, a gift so disconcerting when we are made aware of it that thenceforth we are never sure when it is not present: all this makes Kipling a writer impossible wholly to understand and quite impossible to belittle.

— T.S. Eliot[124]

Of Kipling's verse, such as his Barrack-Room Ballads, Eliot writes "of a number of poets who have written great poetry, only ... a very few whom I should call great verse writers. And unless I am mistaken, Kipling's position in this class is not only high, but unique."[125]

In response to Eliot, George Orwell wrote a long consideration of Kipling's work for Horizon in 1942, noting that although as a "jingo imperialist" Kipling was "morally insensitive and aesthetically disgusting", his work had many qualities which ensured that while "every enlightened person has despised him ... nine-tenths of those enlightened persons are forgotten and Kipling is in some sense still there". Orwell said:

One reason for Kipling's power [was] his sense of responsibility, which made it possible for him to have a world-view, even though it happened to be a false one. Although he had no direct connexion with any political party, Kipling was a Conservative, a thing that does not exist nowadays. Those who now call themselves Conservatives are either Liberals, Fascists or the accomplices of Fascists. He identified himself with the ruling power and not with the opposition. In a gifted writer this seems to us strange and even disgusting, but it did have the advantage of giving Kipling a certain grip on reality. The ruling power is always faced with the question, 'In such and such circumstances, what would you do?', whereas the opposition is not obliged to take responsibility or make any real decisions. Where it is a permanent and pensioned opposition, as in England, the quality of its thought deteriorates accordingly. Moreover, anyone who starts out with a pessimistic, reactionary view of life tends to be justified by events, for Utopia never arrives and 'the gods of the copybook headings', as Kipling himself put it, always return. Kipling sold out to the British governing class, not financially but emotionally. This warped his political judgement, for the British ruling class were not what he imagined, and it led him into abysses of folly and snobbery, but he gained a corresponding advantage from having at least tried to imagine what action and responsibility are like. It is a great thing in his favour that he is not witty, not 'daring', has no wish to épater les bourgeois. He dealt largely in platitudes, and since we live in a world of platitudes, much of what he said sticks. Even his worst follies seem less shallow and less irritating than the 'enlightened' utterances of the same period, such as Wilde's epigrams or the collection of cracker-mottoes at the end of Man and Superman.

— George Orwell[126]

The poet Alison Brackenbury writes that "Kipling is poetry's Dickens, an outsider and journalist with an unrivalled ear for sound and speech."[127]

The English folk singer Peter Bellamy was a great lover of Kipling's poetry, much of which he believed to have been influenced by English traditional folk forms. He recorded several albums of Kipling's verse set to traditional airs, or to tunes of his own composition written in traditional style.[128] However, in the case of the bawdy folk song, "The Bastard King of England", which is commonly credited to Kipling, it is believed that the song is actually misattributed.[129]

Kipling is often quoted in discussions of contemporary British political and social issues. In 1911, Kipling wrote the poem The Reeds of Runnymede that celebrated Magna Carta, and summoned up the vision of the ‘stubborn Englishry’ determined to defend their rights. In 1996, the following verses of the poem were quoted by former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher warning against the encroachment of the European Union on national sovereignty:

At Runnymede, at Runnymede,
Oh, hear the reeds at Runnymede:
‘You musn’t sell, delay, deny,
A freeman’s right or liberty.
It wakes the stubborn Englishry,
We saw ’em roused at Runnymede!

… And still when Mob or Monarch lays
Too rude a hand on English ways,
The whisper wakes, the shudder plays,
Across the reeds at Runnymede.
And Thames, that knows the mood of kings,
And crowds and priests and suchlike things,
Rolls deep and dreadful as he brings
Their warning down from Runnymede![130]

Political singer-songwriter Billy Bragg, who attempts to reclaim English nationalism from the right-wing, has reclaimed Kipling for an inclusive sense of Englishness.[131] Kipling's enduring relevance has been noted in the United States, as it has become involved in Afghanistan and other areas about which he wrote.[132][133][134]

Links with camping and Scouting

In 1903, Kipling gave permission to Elizabeth Ford Holt to borrow themes from the Jungle Books to establish Camp Mowglis, a summer camp for boys on the shores of Newfound Lake in New Hampshire. Throughout their lives, Kipling and his wife Carrie maintained an active interest in Camp Mowglis, which is still in operation and continues the traditions that Kipling inspired. Buildings at Mowglis have names such as Akela, Toomai, Baloo, and Panther. The campers are referred to as "the Pack", from the youngest "Cubs" to the oldest campers living in "Den".[135]

Kipling's links with the Scouting movements were also strong. Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting, used many themes from The Jungle Book stories and Kim in setting up his junior movement, the Wolf Cubs. These connections still exist today, such as the continued popularity of "Kim's Game" in the Scouting movement. The movement is named after Mowgli's adopted wolf family, and the adult helpers of Wolf Cub Packs adopt names taken from The Jungle Book, especially the adult leader who is called Akela after the leader of the Seeonee wolf pack.[136]

Kipling's home at Burwash

Bateman's, Kipling's beloved home – which he referred to as "A good and peaceable place" – in Burwash, East Sussex, is now a public museum dedicated to the author.[137]

After the death of Kipling's wife in 1939, his house, Bateman's in Burwash, East Sussex, South East England, where he had lived from 1902 until 1936, was bequeathed to the National Trust and is now a public museum dedicated to the author. Elsie Bambridge, his only child who lived to maturity, died childless in 1976, and also bequeathed her copyrights to the National Trust, which in turn donated them to the University of Sussex to ensure better public access.[138]

Novelist and poet Sir Kingsley Amis wrote a poem, 'Kipling at Bateman's', after visiting Kipling's Burwash home (Amis' father had lived in Burwash briefly in the 1960s) as part of a BBC television series on writers and their houses.[139]

In 2003, actor Ralph Fiennes read excerpts from Kipling's works from the study in Bateman's, including, The Jungle Book, Something of Myself, Kim, and The Just So Stories, and poems, including "If ..." and "My Boy Jack", for a CD published by the National Trust.[140][141]

Reputation in India

In modern-day India, whence he drew much of his material, Kipling's reputation remains controversial, especially amongst modern nationalists and some post-colonial critics. Rudyard Kipling was a prominent supporter of Colonel Reginald Dyer, who was responsible for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar (in the province of Punjab). Kipling called Dyer "the man who saved India" and also initiated collections for the latter's homecoming prize.[142] However, Subhash Chopra, in his book Kipling Sahib – the Raj Patriot, writes that the benefit fund was started by The Morning Post newspaper and not by Kipling and that Kipling made no contribution to the Dyer fund. While Kipling's name was conspicuously absent from the list of donors as published in The Morning Post, he clearly admired Dyer.[143]

Other contemporary Indian intellectuals such as Ashis Nandy have taken a more nuanced view of his work. Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India, often described Kipling's novel Kim as one of his favourite books.[144][145]

G V Desani, an Indian writer of fiction, had a more negative opinion of Kipling. He alludes to Kipling in his novel, All About H. Hatterr:

I happen to pick up R. Kipling's autobiographical "Kim".

Therein, this self-appointed whiteman's burden-bearing sherpa feller's stated how, in the Orient, blokes hit the road and think nothing of walking a thousand miles in search of something.

Indian writer Khushwant Singh wrote in 2001 that he considers Kipling's "If—" "the essence of the message of The Gita in English",[146] referring to the Bhagavad Gita, an ancient Indian scripture.

Indian writer R. K. Narayan said, "Kipling, the supposed expert writer on India, showed a better understanding of the mind of the animals in the jungle than of the men in an Indian home or the marketplace."[147]

In November 2007, it was announced that Kipling's birth home in the campus of the J J School of Art in Mumbai would be turned into a museum celebrating the author and his works.[148]


Main article: Rudyard Kipling bibliography

Kipling's bibliography includes fiction (including novels and short stories), non-fiction, and poetry. Several of his works were collaborations.

See also

• List of Nobel laureates in Literature
• HMS Birkenhead (1845)


1. The Times, (London) 18 January 1936, p. 12
2. "The Man who would be King". Notes on the text by John McGivering.
3. Rutherford, Andrew (1987). General Preface to the Editions of Rudyard Kipling, in "Puck of Pook's Hill and Rewards and Fairies", by Rudyard Kipling. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-282575-5
4. Jump up to:a b c d e Rutherford, Andrew (1987). Introduction to the Oxford World's Classics edition of "Plain Tales from the Hills", by Rudyard Kipling. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-281652-7
5. James Joyce considered Tolstoy, Kipling and D'Annunzio to be the "three writers of the nineteenth century who had the greatest natural talents", but that "he did not fulfill that promise". He also noted that the three writers all "had semi-fanatic ideas about religion, or about patriotism". Diary of David Fleischman, 21 July 1938, quoted in James Joyce by Richard Ellmann, p. 661, Oxford University Press (1983) ISBN 0-19-281465-6
6. Alfred Nobel Foundation. "Who is the youngest ever to receive a Nobel Prize, and who is the oldest?". p. 409. Archived from the original on 25 September 2006. Retrieved 30 September 2006.
7. Birkenhead, Lord. (1978). Rudyard Kipling, Appendix B, "Honours and Awards". Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London; Random House Inc., New York
8. Lewis, Lisa. (1995). Introduction to the Oxford World's Classics edition of "Just So Stories", by Rudyard Kipling. Oxford University Press. pp.xv-xlii. ISBN 0-19-282276-4
9. Quigley, Isabel. (1987). Introduction to the Oxford World's Classics edition of "The Complete Stalky & Co.", by Rudyard Kipling. Oxford University Press. pp. xiii–xxviii. ISBN 0-19-281660-8
10. Said, Edward. (1993). Culture and Imperialism. London: Chatto & Windus. p. 196. ISBN 0-679-75054-1.
11. Sandison, Alan. (1987). Introduction to the Oxford World's Classics edition of Kim, by Rudyard Kipling. Oxford University Press. pp. xiii–xxx. ISBN 0-19-281674-8
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35. Kipling, Rudyard (1956) Kipling: a selection of his stories and poems, Volume 2 pp.349 Doubleday, 1956
36. Coates, John D. (1997). The Day's Work: Kipling and the Idea of Sacrifice. Fairleigh University Press. p. 130. ISBN 083863754X.
37. Kaplan, Robert D. (1989) Lahore as Kipling Knew It. The New York Times. Retrieved 9 March 2008
38. Kipling, Rudyard (1996) Writings on Writing. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-44527-2. see pp. 36, 173
39. Mallet, Phillip. (2003). Rudyard Kipling: A Literary Life. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. ISBN 0-333-55721-2
40. Ricketts, Harry. (1999). Rudyard Kipling: A life. Carroll and Graf Publishers Inc., New York. ISBN 0-7867-0711-9
41. Kipling, Rudyard. (1920). Letters of Travel (1892–1920). Macmillan & Co.
42. Nicolson, Adam. (2001). Carrie Kipling 1862–1939 : The Hated Wife. Faber & Faber, London. ISBN 0-571-20835-5
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57. Leoshko, J. (2001). "What is in Kim? Rudyard Kipling and Tibetan Buddhist Traditions". South Asia Research. 21 (1): 51–75.
58. Gilmour, p. 206
59. Bennett, Arnold (1917). Books and Persons Being Comments on a Past Epoch 1908–1911. London: Chatto & Windus.
60. Fred Lerner. "A Master of Our Art: Rudyard Kipling and modern Science Fiction". The Kipling Society.
61. Nomination Database. Retrieved on 4 May 2017.
62. "Nobel Prize in Literature 1907 – presentation Speech".
63. Emma Jones (1 October 2004). The Literary Companion. Robson. p. 25. ISBN 978-1-86105-798-3.
64. Jump up to:a b c MacKenzie, David & Dutil, Patrice (2011) Canada 1911: The Decisive Election that Shaped the Country. Toronto: Dundurn. p. 211. ISBN 1554889472.
65. Gilmour, p. 242
66. Gilmour, p. 243
67. Gilmour, p. 241
68. Gilmour, pp. 242–244
69. Gilmour, p. 244
70. Mackey, Albert G. (1946). Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, Vol. 1. Chicago: The Masonic History Co.
71. Our brother Rudyard Kipling. Masonic lecture. (7 October 2011). Retrieved on 4 May 2017.
72. "Official Visit to Meridian Lodge No. 687" (PDF). 12 February 2014.
73. Bilsing, Tracey (Summer 2000). "The Process of Manufacture of Rudyard Kipling's Private Propaganda" (PDF). War Literature and the Arts. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
74. Gilmour, p. 250.
75. J Gilmour, p. 251.
76. "Full text of "The new army in training"".
77. Brown, Jonathan (28 August 2006). "The Great War and its aftermath: The son who haunted Kipling". The Independent. Retrieved 3 May2018. It was only his father's intervention that allowed John Kipling to serve on the Western Front - and the poet never got over his death.
78. Quinlan, Mark (11 December 2007). "The controversy over John Kipling's burial place". War Memorials Archive Blog. Retrieved 3 May2018.
79. "Solving the mystery of Rudyard Kipling's son". BBC News Magazine. 18 January 2016. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
80. McGreevy, Ronan (25 September 2015). "Grave of Rudyard Kipling's son correctly named, says authority". The Irish Times. Retrieved 3 May2018.
81. "Casualty record: Lieutenant Kipling, John". Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
82. Webb, George (1997). Foreword to: Kipling, Rudyard. The Irish Guards in the Great War. 2 vols. Spellmount. p. 9
83. Southam, Brian (6 March 2010). "Notes on "My Boy Jack"". Retrieved 23 July 2011.
84. "The Many Lovers of Miss Jane Austen", BBC2 broadcast, 9 pm 23 December 2011
85. The Fringes of the Fleet, Macmillan & Co., 1916
86. Original correspondence between Kipling and Maurice Hammoneau and his son Jean Hammoneau concerning the affair at the Library of Congress under the title: How "Kim" saved the life of a French soldier : a remarkable series of autograph letters of Rudyard Kipling, with the soldier's Croix de Guerre, 1918–1933. (LOC Ref#2007566938) [1]. The library also possesses the actual French 389-page paperback edition of Kim that saved Hammoneau's life, (LOC Ref 2007581430) [2]
87. Simmers, George (27 May 1918). "A Kipling Hoax". The Times.
88. Kipling, Rudyard (1923). The Irish Guards in the Great War. 2 vols. London.
89. Gilmour, p. 273.
90. Gilmour, pp. 273–274.
91. Hodgson, p. 1060.
92. "The Liberty League—a campaign against Bolshevism | Jot101". Retrieved 2 January 2017.
93. Miller, David and Dinan, William (2008) A Century of Spin. Pluto Press. ISBN 978-0-7453-2688-7
94. Gilmour, p. 275.
95. Kipling, Rudyard (1940) The Definitive edition of Rudyard Kipling's verse. Hodder & Stoughton.
96. "The day's work". Internet Archive.
97. "The Iron Ring". Retrieved 10 September 2008.
98. "The Calling of an Engineer". Retrieved 24 November2012.
99. Gilmour, p. 300.
100. Gilmour, pp. 300–301.
101. Gilmour, p. 293.
102. Gilmour, pp. 302, 304.
103. Hodgson, pp. 1059–1060.
104. Hodgson, pp. 1062–1063.
105. Hodgson, p. 1059.
106. Smith, Michael."Kipling and the Swastika".
107. Schliemann, H, Troy and its remains, London: Murray, 1875, pp. 102, 119–20
108. Boxer, Sarah (29 June 2000). "One of the World's Great Symbols Strives for a Comeback". Think Tank. The New York Times. Retrieved 7 May 2012.
109. Rudyard Kipling, War Stories and Poems (Oxford Paperbacks, 1999), pp. xxiv–xxv
110. Knight, Sam (17 March 2017). "'London Bridge is down': the secret plan for the days after the Queen's death". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
111. Rose, Kenneth (1983). King George V. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. p. 394. ISBN 978-1-84212-001-9.
112. Short Stories from the Strand, The Folio Society, 1992
113. Harry Ricketts (December 2000). Rudyard Kipling: A Life. Carroll & Graf. pp. 388–. ISBN 978-0-7867-0830-7. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
114. Rudyard Kipling's Waltzing Ghost: The Literary Heritage of Brown's Hotel, paragraph 11, Sandra Jackson-Opoku, Literary Traveler
115. Chernega, Carol (2011). "A Dream House: Exploring the Literary Homes of England". p. 90. Dog Ear Publishing. p. 90. ISBN 1457502461.
116. "History – Rudyard Kipling". Westminster
117. Article from the Red Orbit News network 16 March 2010. Retrieved 18 March 2010
118. "Rudyard Kipling inspires naming of prehistoric crocodile". BBC Online. 20 March 2011. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
119. Flood, Alison (25 February 2013). "50 unseen Rudyard Kipling poems discovered". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
120. Jarrell, Randall (1999). "On Preparing to Read Kipling." No Other Book: Selected Essays. New York: HarperCollins.
121. The Indian Tales of Rudyard Kipling on IMDb
122. Eliot. Eliot's essay occupies 31 pages.
123. Eliot, p. 29.
124. Eliot, p. 22.
125. Eliot, p. 36.
126. Orwell, George (February 1942). "Rudyard Kipling". Horizon. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
127. Brackenbury, Alison. "Poetry Hero: Rudyard Kipling". Poetry News. The Poetry Society (Spring 2011). Archived from the original on 23 May 2013. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
128. Pareles, Jon (26 September 1991). "Peter Bellamy, 47; British Folk Singer Who Wrote Opera". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 July2014.
129. "Bastard King of England, The".
130. “Keith Joseph Memorial Lecture ("Liberty and Limited Government")”. Margaret 1996 Jan 11.
131. "BBC Radio 4 – Rhyme and Reason, Billy Bragg". BBC.
132. WORLD VIEW: Is Afghanistan turning into another Vietnam?, Johnathan Power, The Citizen, 31 December 2010
133. Is America waxing or waning?, Andrew Sullivan, The Atlantic, 12 December 2010
134. Dufour, Steve. "Rudyard Kipling, official poet of the 911 War".
135. "History of Mowglis". Retrieved 26 November 2013.
136. "ScoutBase UK: The Library – Scouting history – Me Too! – The history of Cubbing in the United Kingdom 1916–present". Archived from the original on 25 November 2005. Retrieved 10 September 2008.
137. "History at Bateman's". National Trust. 22 February 2019.
138. Howard, Philip (19 September 1977) "University library to have Kipling papers". The Times", p.1
139. leader, Zachary (2007). The Life of Kingsley Amis. Vintage. pp. 704–705. ISBN 0375424989.
140. "Personal touch brings Kipling's Sussex home to life". The Argus.
141. "Rudyard Kipling Readings by Ralph Fiennes".Allmusic.
142. "History repeats itself, in stopping short".
143. Subhash Chopra (2016). Kipling Sahib : the Raj patriot. London: New Millennium. ISBN 9781858454405.
144. Globalization and educational rights: an intercivilizational analysis, Joel H. Spring, pg.137
145. Post independence voices in South Asian writings, Malashri Lal, Alamgīr Hashmī, Victor J. Ramraj, 2001. (Not surprisingly, a brief biographical aside practically identifies Nehru with Kim)
146. Khushwant Singh, Review of The Book of Prayer by Renuka Narayanan , 2001
147. "When Malgudi man courted controversy". The Hindu. Retrieved 13 October 2014
148. Ahmed, Zubair (27 November 2007). "Kipling's India home to become museum". BBC News. Retrieved 9 August 2008.

Cited sources

• Eliot, T.S. (1941). A Choice of Kipling's Verse, made by T. S. Eliot with an essay on Rudyard Kipling. Faber and Faber.
• Gilmour, David (11 June 2003). The long recessional : the imperial life of Rudyard Kipling. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 9781466830004.
• Hodgson, Katherine (October 1998). "The Poetry of Rudyard Kipling in Soviet Russia". The Modern Language Review. 93 (4): 1058–1071. JSTOR 3736277.
• Scott, David (June 2011). "Kipling, the Orient, and Orientals: "Orientalism" Reoriented?". Journal of World History. 22 (2): 299–328 (315). JSTOR 23011713.

Further reading

Biography and criticism

• Allen, Charles (2007) Kipling Sahib: India and the Making of Rudyard Kipling, Abacus, 2007. ISBN 978-0-349-11685-3
• Bauer, Helen Pike (1994) Rudyard Kipling: A Study of the Short Fiction New York: Twayne
• Birkenhead, Lord (Frederick Smith, 2nd Earl of Birkenhead) (1978) Rudyard Kipling (Worthing: Littlehampton Book Services Ltd.) ISBN 978-0-297-77535-5
• Carrington, Charles (1955). Rudyard Kipling: His Life and Work. London: Macmillan & Co.
• David, C. (2007). Rudyard Kipling: a critical study, New Delhi, Anmol, 2007. ISBN 81-261-3101-2
• Dillingham, William B (2005) Rudyard Kipling: Hell and Heroism New York: Palgrave Macmillan
• Gilbert, Elliot L. ed., (1965) Kipling and the Critics (New York: New York University Press)
• Gilmour, David. (2003) The Long Recessional: The Imperial Life of Rudyard Kipling New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 0-374-52896-9
• Green, Roger Lancelyn, ed., (1971) Kipling: the Critical Heritage (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul).
• Gross, John, ed. (1972) Rudyard Kipling: the Man, his Work and his World (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson)
• Harris, Brian (2014) "The Surprising Mr Kipling: An anthology and reassessment of the poetry of Rudyard Kipling (CreateSpace) ISBN 978-1-4942-2194-2
• Harris, Brian (2015) "The Two Sided Man" (CreateSpace) ISBN 1508712328.
• Kemp, Sandra. (1988) Kipling's Hidden Narratives Oxford: Blackwell
• Lycett, Andrew (1999). Rudyard Kipling. London, Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 0-297-81907-0
• Lycett, Andrew (ed.) (2010). Kipling Abroad, I. B. Tauris. ISBN 978-1-84885-072-9
• Mallett, Phillip (2003) Rudyard Kipling: A Literary Life Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
• Montefiore, Jan (ed.) (2013) In Time's Eye: Essays on Rudyard Kipling Manchester: Manchester University Press
• Narita, Tatsushi. T. S. Eliot and his Youth as 'A Literary Columbus'. Nagoya: Kougaku Shuppan, 2011
• Nicolson, Adam (2001) Carrie Kipling 1862–1939 : The Hated Wife. Faber & Faber, London. ISBN 0-571-20835-5
• Ricketts, Harry. (2001) Rudyard Kipling: A Life New York: Da Capo Press ISBN 0-7867-0830-1
• Rooney, Caroline, and Kaori Nagai, eds. Kipling and Beyond: Patriotism, Globalisation, and Postcolonialism (Palgrave Macmillan; 2011) 214 pages; scholarly essays on Kipling's "boy heroes of empire," Kipling and C.L.R. James, and Kipling and the new American empire, etc.
• Rutherford, Andrew, ed. (1964) Kipling's Mind and Art (Edinburgh and London: Oliver and Boyd)
• Sergeant, David, (2013) Kipling's Art of Fiction 1884–1901 (Oxford: Oxford University Press)
• Martin Seymour-Smith, Rudyard Kipling, (1990).
• Shippey, Tom, "Rudyard Kipling," in: Cahier Calin: Makers of the Middle Ages. Essays in Honor of William Calin, ed. Richard Utz and Elizabeth Emery (Kalamazoo, MI: Studies in Medievalism, 2011), pp. 21–23.
• Tompkins, J. M. S. (1959) The Art of Rudyard Kipling (London : Methuen) online edition
• Walsh, Sue (2010) Kipling's Children's Literature: Language, Identity, and Constructions of Childhood Farnham: Ashgate
• Wilson, Angus The Strange Ride of Rudyard Kipling: His Life and Works New York: The Viking Press, 1978. ISBN 0-670-67701-9

External links

• Wikilivres has original media or text related to this article: Rudyard Kipling (in the public domain in New Zealand)
• The Kipling Society website

Other information


• Works by Rudyard Kipling at Project Gutenberg
• Works by or about Rudyard Kipling at Internet Archive
• Works by Rudyard Kipling at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
• Works by Rudyard Kipling (not public domain in USA, so not available on Wikisource)


• The Rudyard Kipling Collection maintained by Marlboro College.
• The Rudyard Kipling Poems by Poemist.
• Rudyard Kipling: The Books I Leave Behind exhibition, related podcast, and digital images maintained by the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University
• Rudyard Kipling at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
• The Rudyard Kipling Collections From the Rare Book and Special Collections Division at the Library of Congress
• Archival material at Leeds University Library
• Newspaper clippings about Rudyard Kipling in the 20th Century Press Archives of the German National Library of Economics
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:11 am

James George (diplomat)
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 7/9/19



James George, 92-year-old former high commissioner to India and former ambassador to Iran, relaxes in his Toronto apartment. In the 1960s, the Dalai Lama asked Canada to resettle Tibetan refugees. Canada refused. George convinced Trudeau (an old friend of his) to do it. In 1971, 228 Tibetan refugees came - in small groups and at different times - to Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta.

After his escape, Rinpoche spent two years in India during which time he was discovered by an English social worker, Freda Bedi, and with her co-founded a school for refugee tulkus, the Young Lama's Home School. While in India, determined to go to the West, he learned English so rapidly that he became useful as a translator for the Tibetan community. Rinpoche stayed for a few months with James George, who was at that time the Canadian High Commissioner to India and Nepal and who later became the leader of the Gurdjieff movement in Canada. At this time, Rinpoche was awarded a scholarship to study at Oxford University in England, but when he told George that he was going to England, George replied, "Rinpoche, you are too big for England; you are going to America!"...

During the 1968 visit to Bhutan, on his way through India, Rinpoche had re-visited his old friend James George. George reports that Rinpoche told him that "although he had never been there [Shambhala] he believed in its existence and could see it in his mirror whenever he went into deep meditation." George describes witnessing Rinpoche gazing into a small hand-mirror and describing in detail the Kingdom of Shambhala. As George says, "... There was Trungpa in our study describing what he saw as if he were looking out of the window."

-- Warrior-King of Shambhala: Remembering Chogyam Trungpa, by Jeremy Hayward

James George (born September 14, 1918 in Toronto, Ontario) is a Canadian diplomat, political and environmental activist, author, and "spiritual seeker."[1] A founder of the Threshold Foundation and president of the Sadat Peace Foundation, he led the Friends of the Earth international mission[2] to Kuwait and the Persian Gulf to assess post-war environmental damage.[3]


George received a Littauer Fellowship to Harvard University,[4] and was a 1940 Rhodes Scholar for Ontario, studying at Upper Canada College, Trinity College, and University of Toronto, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Sacred Letters by Trinity College, University of Toronto, at its May 2008 <personally present> Convocation.[5] While a student at the University of Toronto, he was a member of the Alpha Delta Phi Fraternity.[6]

The secret society of Cecil Rhodes is mentioned in the first five of his seven wills. In the fifth it was supplemented by the idea of an educational institution with scholarships, whose alumni would be bound together by common ideals — Rhodes's ideals. In the sixth and seventh wills the secret society was not mentioned, and the scholarships monopolized the estate. But Rhodes still had the same ideals and still believed that they could be carried out best by a secret society of men devoted to a common cause. The scholarships were merely a facade to conceal the secret society, or, more accurately, they were to be one of the instruments by which the members of the secret society could carry out his purpose. This purpose, as expressed in the first will (1877), was:

"The extension of British rule throughout the world, the perfecting of a system of emigration from the United Kingdom and of colonization by British subjects of all lands wherein the means of livelihood are attainable by energy, labour, and enterprise, . . . the ultimate recovery of the United States of America as an integral part of a British Empire, the consolidation of the whole Empire, the inauguration of a system of Colonial Representation in the Imperial Parliament which may tend to weld together the disjointed members of the Empire, and finally the foundation of so great a power as to hereafter render wars impossible and promote the best interests of humanity."

-- The Anglo-American Establishment: From Rhodes to Cliveden, by Carroll Quigley


George served in the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve during World War II, attaining to the rank of Lt. Commander, following which he represented Canada at the United Nations. Between 1955 to 1957 he's deputy director at the Intelligence division at the External affairs in Ottawa. He's later deputy representative of the Canadian representation to NATO between 1957 and 1960 <personally present>. Other Canadians working at the same time at NAtO are Hugh Hambleton.[5] He then served as High Commissioner of Canada to Sri Lanka (Ceylon) 1960–64,then in Paris at the Canadian embassy, [7] High Commissioner to India and Ambassador to Nepal 1967–72,[5] and Ambassador to Iran and the Gulf States 1972–77.[8] Commonwealth Secretary-General Arnold Smith credited George with helping to contain the conflict between India and Pakistan in 1971, when East Pakistan became Bangladesh.[4]

Retiring from diplomatic service in 1977, George turned his attention to ecological and spiritual issues full time. While directing Threshold Foundation he helped to found in London (1978–82), he played a leading role in the adoption by the International Whaling Commission of a moratorium on high seas whaling and to ban all whaling in the Indian Ocean and the Antarctic.[4] In 1984, he co-founded the Anwar Sadat Peace Foundation to promote peace in the Middle East, and the following year was a founder of the Rainforest Action Network.[5] More recently, he has worked to develop wind power resources in British Columbia, and has been helping to develop new technology to make the desalination of seawater more affordable.[4]

His publisher's bio describes George as "first and foremost a spiritual seeker."[9] During his years of diplomatic service, he met numerous spiritual thinking and teachers, including Krishnamurti, Thomas Merton, Yogaswami of Sri Lanka, Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh, Dudjom Rinpoche, and Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Across six decades he has been a devoted practitioner of the Gurdjieff Work, and was a close disciple of the late Madame de Salzmann, G.I. Gurdjieff's primary student.[9]

"You see, my boy, what coincidences occur in our Great Universe. This etherogram refers to your favorites in connection with the 'ape-beings' I just mentioned. It was sent to me from Mars and informs me, among other things, that the three-centered beings of the planet Earth are once more troubled by the 'ape question.'

"I must first tell you that on account of their abnormal being-existence, there was long ago crystallized and there is periodically intensified in the presence of those peculiar three-brained beings arising and existing on the planet Earth a strange factor, producing from time to time a 'crescendo impulse,' under the action of which they wish to find out at any cost whether they have descended from these apes or the apes have descended from them.

"Judging from the etherogram, this time the question is agitating chiefly the biped beings who breed on the continent called 'America. '

"Although this question always troubles them somewhat, every once in a while it becomes for a long time, as they express it, the 'burning question of the day. '...

"In my opinion your favorites could get a correct answer to this question that always agitates them of how the apes arose, if only they really knew how to apply another of the maxims of our dear Mullah Nasr Eddin, who often used to say:

'The cause of every misunderstanding must be sought in woman. '

"If they had made use of this wise maxim to resolve their enigmatic question perhaps they would have finally discovered the origin of these fellow countrymen of theirs.

"As the subject of the genealogy of these apes is indeed exceedingly complicated and unusual, I shall inform your Reason about it from every possible aspect.

"The fact is that neither are your favorites descended from apes nor are apes descended from them, but the cause of the arising of these apes is in this case—as in every other misunderstanding there—their women.

"First of all I must tell you that none of those terrestrial ape-beings now arising there in various exterior forms ever existed before the second 'transapalnian perturbation', it was only after this disaster that the genealogy of their species began.

"The cause of the arising of these 'misconceived' beings —as well as that of all events more or less serious in the objective sense that occur on the surface of that ill-fated planet—stemmed from two sources totally independent of each other.

"The first, as always, was the same lack of foresight on the part of certain Most High, Most Saintly Cosmic Individuals, and the second was, once again, those abnormal conditions of ordinary being-existence established by your favorites themselves.

"The point is that during the second transapalnian perturbation, besides the chief continent of Atlantis many other large and small land masses entered within the planet, and new land masses appeared in their place. These displacements of various parts of the common presence of this unfortunate planet lasted several of their days, accompanied by frequent planetary tremors and manifestations that could not fail to evoke terror in the consciousness and feelings of beings of every kind.

"During that period many of your three-brained favorites who, together with one-brained and two-brained beings of other forms, had chanced to survive unexpectedly found themselves upon other newly formed land masses in places that were entirely unfamiliar to them. It was just then that many of these strange 'keschapmartnian' three-brained beings of active and passive sex or, as they say, 'men' and 'women,' were compelled for a number of their years to exist apart, that is to say, without the opposite sex.

"Before continuing to relate how all this occurred, I must tell you in a little more detail about that sacred substance which is the final result of the evolving transformations of every kind of being-food and is formed in the presence of every being without distinction of 'brain system ' This sacred substance, elaborated in the presence of beings of every kind, is almost everywhere called 'exioëhary,' but your favorites on the planet Earth call it 'sperm. '

"Through the all-gracious foresight and command of our Common Father Creator and according to the actualization of Great Nature, this sacred substance arises in the presence of all beings, without distinction of brain system or exterior coating, in order that by its means they may consciously or automatically fulfill that part of their being-duty which consists in the continuation of their species. But in the presence of three-brained beings it also arises in order that they may consciously transform it for coating their higher being-bodies for their own being.

"Before the second transapalnian perturbation there, which the contemporary three-brained beings refer to as the 'loss of the continent of Atlantis,' in the period when various consequences of the properties of the organ kundabuffer had already begun to be crystallized in their presence, a being-impulse was gradually formed in them which later became predominant.

"This impulse is now called 'pleasure', and in order to satisfy it they were already beginning to exist in a manner unbecoming to three-centered beings, that is to say, most of them gradually began to remove this sacred being-substance from themselves for the satisfaction of this impulse alone.

"Well, my boy, from then on most of the three-brained beings of the planet Earth were not content to carry out the process of the removal of this substance, which is continuously elaborated in them, only at those periods normally established by Great Nature for beings in accordance with their organization, for the purpose of the continuation of their species. Owing to this, and also to the fact that most of them had ceased to utilize this substance consciously for coating their higher being-bodies, it came about that when they did not remove it from themselves in ways that by then had become mechanical, they naturally experienced a sensation called 'sirklinimana,' a state they describe as 'feeling out of sorts,' and which is invariably accompanied by what is called 'mechanical suffering.'

"Remind me at some opportune moment about those periods fixed by Nature for the normal process of the utilization of the exioëhary by beings of different brain-systems for the continuation of their species, and I shall explain this to you in detail.

"Well then, they like ourselves are only 'keschapmartnian' beings, and when this sacred substance, continuously and inevitably formed in them, is utilized normally for the continuation of their species by means of the sacred process 'elmooarno,' its removal from their presences must be accomplished exclusively with the opposite sex. But these three-brained beings who by chance had escaped disaster were no longer in the habit of utilizing this substance for coating their higher being-bodies and, as they were already existing in a manner unbecoming to three-brained beings, when they were obliged to exist for several of their years without beings of the opposite sex, they turned to various antinatural means for the removal from themselves of this sacred substance, exioëhary.

"The beings of the male sex had recourse to the antinatural means called 'moordoorten' and 'androperasty' or, as the contemporary beings would say, 'onanism' and 'pederasty,' and these antinatural means fully satisfied them.

"But for the three-brained beings of the 'passive sex' or, as they call them, 'women,' these antinatural means were not sufficiently satisfying, and so the poor 'women-orphans' of that time, already more cunning and inventive than the men, began to seek out beings of other forms and accustom them to be their 'partners.' Well then, it was after these 'partnerships' that there began to appear in our Great Universe those species of beings which, as our dear Mullah Nasr Eddin would say, are 'neither fish nor fowl.'

"As regards the possibility of this abnormal blending of two different kinds of exioëhary for the conception and formation of a new planetary body of a being, it is necessary to give you the following explanation:

"On the planet Earth, as on other planets of our Universe where 'keschapmartnian' beings breed and exist—that is, three-brained beings in whom the formation of the sacred exioëhary for the creation of a new being must take place exclusively in the presences of two beings of distinct, independent sexes—the fundamental difference between the sacred exioëhary formed in the presences of beings of opposite sexes, that is, in men and women, consists in this, that in the exioëhary formed in the presences of beings of the male sex, the localized 'holy affirming' or 'positive' force of the sacred Triamazikamno participates, while in the exioëhary formed in beings of the female sex there participates the localized 'holy denying' or 'negative' force of the same sacred law.

"Thanks to the all-gracious foresight and command of our Father of everything existing in the Universe, and in accordance with the actualizing power of Great Mother Nature, in certain surrounding conditions and with the participation of the third separately localized holy force of the sacred Triamazikamno, namely, with the 'holy reconciling' force, the blending of the exioëhary formed in two separate beings of distinct, independent sexes during the process of the sacred 'elmooarno' taking place between them brings about the arising of a new being.

"In the case I was speaking of, the abnormal blending of two heterogeneous kinds of exioëhary was possible only by virtue of a certain cosmic law known as the 'affinity of the numbers of the totality of vibrations,' which began to act owing to the second transapalnian perturbation on this ill-fated planet, and which then still continued to act on its common presence.

"Concerning this cosmic law, it is important to tell you that it arose and began to exist in the Universe after the fundamental sacred law of Triamazikamno had been modified by our Creator in order to render the Heropass harmless, and after its holy parts, until then entirely independent, had become dependent upon forces from outside. But, my boy, you will understand this cosmic law in all its aspects only when I shall explain in detail, as I have promised you, all the fundamental laws of world-creation and world-existence.

"Meanwhile, you should know that on normally existing planets anywhere in our Great Universe the exioëhary formed in the presence of a three-brained being having organs of perception and transformation for localizing the 'holy affirming' force of the sacred Triamazikamno, in other words, the exioëhary formed in a three-brained keschapmartnian being of the 'male' sex, can never be blended— owing to that same law—with the exioëhary formed in the presence of a two-brained keschapmartnian being of the opposite sex.

"On the other hand, when a special combination of cosmic forces occurs and this same law of the 'affinity of the numbers of the totality of vibrations' begins to act, the exioëhary formed in a three-brained keschapmartnian being of the 'female' sex can sometimes, in certain surrounding conditions, blend quite well with the exioëhary formed in two-brained keschapmartnian beings of the male sex, but only as the active factor in the actualizing process of the fundamental sacred Triamazikamno.

"In short, during those terrible years on that planet of yours, a phenomenon very rare in the Universe appeared, that is, a blending of the exioëhary of two keschapmartnian beings of different brain systems and of opposite sexes, and the result was the arising of the ancestors of these terrestrial 'misconceived' beings now called 'apes,' who give your favorites no peace, and from time to time so agitate their strange Reason.

"But when this terrible period was over, a relatively normal process of ordinary existence was reestablished on your planet, and your favorites of different sexes again began to find each other and exist together, and thereafter those 'ape-beings' actualized the continuation of their species among themselves.

"And this continuation of their species was possible because the conception for the arising of the first of these abnormal beings had taken place according to the same external conditions that in general determine the presences of future keschapmartnian beings of active or passive sex.

"The most interesting result of this highly abnormal manifestation of the three-brained beings of your planet is that there now exist a great many species of the descendants of these ape-beings, differing in exterior form, and each of these different species bears a striking resemblance to some form of two-brained quadruped being still in existence there.

"This came about because the blending of the exioëhary of the keschapmartnian three-brained beings of the female sex, which brought about the arising of the ancestors of those apes, proceeded with the active exioëhary of the various species of quadruped beings that exist there even until today.

"Indeed, my boy, during my last personal stay on the planet Earth, when I happened in the course of my travels to come across the various species of apes and, in accordance with a habit that has become second nature, I observed them, I ascertained definitely that the whole of their outer functioning and the so-called 'automatic postures' of each 'species' of these contemporary apes are exactly like those in the common presence of certain normally arisen quadruped beings there, and their 'facial features' are even exactly the same as those of particular quadrupeds. As for the 'psychic features' of all the different species of these apes, they are absolutely identical, even down to minute details, with those of the psyche of the three-brained beings of the 'female sex' there. "

At this point in his tales Beelzebub became silent. After a long pause he looked at his favorite Hassein with a smile that clearly expressed a double meaning.

-- Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson: An Objectively Impartial Criticism of the Life of Man, by G.I. Gurdjieff

In 1968, he wrote a letter of recommendation for Yogi Bhajan on the occasion of his commencing his teaching mission in the West. [10]

66. During the period between June, 1978 and February,1985, the plaintiff was repeatedly struck or touched in a manner which any person of ordinary sensibilities would find to be highly offensive, and which caused the plaintiff pain and physical harm, as well as fear, apprehension and resulting mental and emotional harm. These incidents include, but are not limited to, beatings; involuntary sexual intercourse, sodomy and other sexual attacks; administration of ostensibly medical treatments; administration of bizarre rites; urination upon the plaintiff; and other particulars.

67. At the time of the initial sexual attacks upon the plaintiff by Bhajan, the plaintiff was a virgin, had never had a sexual relationship of any kind with any man, and had intended to remain a virgin until married.

68. From approximately 1980 through at least August 1985, the plaintiff lived under the constant threat, fear and reasonable apprehension of physical injury or death if she left the 3HO organization or failed or refused to obey the directives and commands of Bhajan, or maintained any outside relationships that were not specifically approved by Bhajan.

69. From December 1980 through May, 1985, the plaintiff also lived under the constant threat, fear and reasonable apprehension of physical injury or death if she resisted the sexual assaults of Bhajan.

70. From December 1980 through August, 1985, the plaintiff also lived under the constant fear and reasonable apprehension of physical injury or death if she revealed to any person her experiences while involved with the defendants cult or Bhajan.

71. In carrying out his sexual assaults, Bhajan was at times physically assisted by defendant Amrit Kaur and at times physically assisted by defendant Guru Ke, who would physically restrain the plaintiff.

72. None of the physical touching or other acts described in This Count were done with the voluntary, free or informed consent of the plaintiff, nor were any of the defendants privileged to carry out any of the acts described in This Count.

73. All of the acts of the defendants described in This Count were done willfully, wantonly and with conscious disregard for the rights of the plaintiff. The defendants conduct in this regard was outrageous, and shocking to the sensibilities of ordinary people.

74. As a direct, proximate and foreseeable consequence of the defendants acts as set forth above, the plaintiff has suffered the physical, psychological and economic injury set forth above at paragraphs 62 and 63, above. In addition the plaintiff suffered severe infections of her bladder, kidneys and other internal organs; injury to her rectum and colon; loss of hair; bloody noses; split lips; bruising over her entire body; swollen tongue to the point where she could not take solid food for several days; soreness and misalignment of her jaw; contraction of herpes simplex and lesser venereal diseases; two abortions; permanent scarring of her internal sex organs and her back; and the tearing of a mole from her back.

75. As a result of the aforementioned emotional trauma and psychological injury, the plaintiff has required extensive psychological counseling and treatment, which psychological counseling and treatment is expected to continue on into the future.

76. As a result of the aforementioned physical injuries the plaintiff has required treatment from a variety of medical doctors and specialists, which treatment is continuing to date and is expected to continue on into the future.

77. As a result of the aforementioned physical and psychological injuries, the plaintiff has been limited in the kind of employment she can accept since she left Bhajan's cult, and will continue to be so limited on into the future....

80. From the fall of 1978, and continuing until March 4, 1985, the defendants held the plaintiff in a state of involuntary captivity through a combination of mental coercion, false promises, threats of damnation and unspeakable spiritual torment which defendants knew to be false, and threats of public humiliation, grievous physical injury or death to the plaintiff and her family if she attempted to leave the physical confines of the defendants various compounds where Bhajan directed she live. Any one of the foregoing threats was, by itself, sufficient to constrain the plaintiff.

81. From January, 1981, and continuing until approximately April, 1983, the plaintiff was watched constantly by members of the defendants cult who wou ld report her every move to Bhajan, and telephoned and checked on nightly by Bhajan or another at the direction of Bhajan. This watch was to prevent her from leaving the ashram at Espanola, New Mexico without the permission of Bhajan, or to report her situation to anyone outside the cult.

82. From April, 1983, until the end of October, 1984, the plaintiff was at all times held under armed guard, and was in addition watched constantly by members of the cult, who would report her every move to Bhajan. This guard and close watch were to prevent the plaintiff from leaving the ashram at Espanola, New Mexico without the permission of Bhajan, or to report her situation to anyone outside the cult.

83. At the end of October 1984, and continuing until July 1984, the armed guard placed upon the plaintiff was relaxed somewhat. She was sometimes unaccompanied by armed guards during the day, but was still guarded at night, and still telephoned nightly by Bhajan or someone at the direction of Bhajan. Members of the cult, who would report her every move to Bhajan, also still watched the plaintiff constantly.

84. From July, 1984, until March 4, 1985, the armed guard on the plaintiff was relaxed still further. Armed guards did not accompany her during the day, and the guard on her at night consisted of the two guards stationed outside her home at the Espanola, New Mexico ashram. The plaintiff was still watched constantly by members of the cult, who would report her every move to Bhajan, and was still called nightly by Bhajan or someone at the direction of Bhajan.

85. All of the aforesaid acts were carried out at the direction of Bhajan, using the resources of the defendant corporations and outside agencies controlled by Bhajan, by Amrit Kaur and others, for the purpose of restricting the personal liberty and freedom of locomotion of the plaintiff....

92. During the period in which she was a member of the defendants cult, the plaintiff was systematically subjected to a variety of extreme, outrageous practices by the defendants, which were designed to cause her severe emotional distress. These practices included, but were not limited to:

(a) Subjecting her to the rapes, beatings, involuntary sexual contact and humiliation described in Count II, above.

(b) Subjecting her to the confinement and mental coercion described in Count III, above.

(c) Forcing the plaintiff to adhere to a regimen of yoga exercises, prayer, meditation and long hours of work which left little time for sleep, and which, when coupled with an extremely poor diet and bizarre fasts, had a mentally debilitating effect upon the plaintiff, leaving her confused, demoralized and unable to clearly think or reason.

(d) Harassing the plaintiff by telephoning her nightly and sending a guard to awaken her if she unplugged the telephone.

(e) Causing the plaintiff to be the subject of scorn and ridicule within the group in order to upset her and cause her anguish and humiliation.

(f) Repeatedly telling the plaintiff that she was now "useless" to men other than Bhajan, and that no other man would find her in any way attractive or desirable or wish to marry her.

(g) Telling the plaintiff that Bhajan saw in her "aura" that it was her "destiny" to be sexually attacked and die in an auto accident if she left the "protection" of Bhajan, and that she would wind up as a prostitute, and ultimately an accident victim, if she left (all of which "predictions" Bhajan knew to be groundless when he made them).

(h) Knowingly and intentionally subjecting the plaintiff to the aforementioned thought reform process which, by design, undermined and eventually completely destroyed the plaintiffs self-respect, self-esteem and that concept of self and self-worth known by mental health professionals as "ego". As an integral and necessary part of this process, the plaintiff was constantly harassed, ridiculed, threatened, berated and humiliated publicly and privately any time she attempted to assert her personal rights or independence, and was made to feel wrong, inferior, sacrilegious and spiritually bankrupt for even thinking about deviating from the behaviors prescribed by Bhajan. Any human faults or failings that the plaintiff had were emphasized and exaggerated, and the plaintiff was constantly under pressure to "confess" her inadequacies and "surrender" herself to Bhajan through the group....

103. The use of extortion and threats of physical violence to affect commerce is a standard practice of Bhajan, and is accepted without protest among Bhajans followers, including the other individual defendants named in this case. Specific examples of the use of extortion and threats of physical violence by Bhajan in order to affect commerce, assisted by the other defendants, include:

(a) In November, 1979, in Berkeley, California Bhajan threatened a follower with death if he did not move from the San Francisco area to Los Angeles and work as a messenger and assistant to the "Secretariat" (body of secretaries) of the Sikh Dharma Brotherhood corporation.

(b) In the winter of 1979, in Los Angeles, California, S. Premka Kaur Khalsa, then a secretary and assistant to Bhajan, later to become the "Secretary General" of Bhajans organization, was threatened with death by Bhajan if she ever left his service (hence, the service of the 3HO Foundation, the Sikh Dharma Brotherhood corporation, and the Sin Singh Sahib corporation).

(c) In May, 1985, in Los Angeles, California, Steven Epstein of San Antonio, Texas, was a follower of Bhajan, and was contributing large amounts of money to businesses controlled by Bhajan (including real estate ventures and Khalsa Sunshine, Inc.), and was receiving neither promised remuneration nor proper legal documentation in connection with the transactions. Epsteins wife, Carol, was demanding proper performance by Bhajan and the companies into which Steve Epstein was putting his money and time, and was threatening to divorce Steve Epstein if the matters were not straightened out. Bhajan responded by threatening Steven Epstein with death if he ever "quit working for" Bhajan, and threatening Mr. Epstein's wife that Bhajan, through his organization, would retaliate against Mrs. Epstein if she attempted to divorce her husband. The retaliation against Mrs. Epstein would take the form of harassing lawsuits so that Mrs. Epstein "would never have any peace," the hiring of psychologists to testify that she was an unfit mother for her children and a suit for custody over her children, and Mrs. Epstein being "thrown out into the street with nothing."

(d) In Tucson, Arizona in 1984 Mr. Brook Webb and three others involved in a landscaping company controlled by Bhajan were dissatisfied with the manner in which the local head of the 3HO ashram was running the business. Mr. Webb and the others threatened to quit and leave the company, taking a number of customers with them. Bhajan flew to Tucson and confronted Webb, threatening, inter alia, to kill Webb if he left the company.

-- Katherine Felt, Plaintiff, vs. Yogi Bhajan, by Gordon Reiselt, Esq., Singer, Smith and Williams and Peter N. Georgiades, Esq. & Robert S. Whitehill, Esq., Rothman, Gordon, Foreman and Groudine, P.A.

Personal life

George has been twice married, first to Caroline Parfitt, 1942–96, with whom he had three children: Daniel, Graham (who died in 2003) and Caroline Randolph (Dolphi).[4] He married Barbara Brady Wright in San Francisco on 1 January 2005, at the age of 86.[3]

In September 2007, CBC aired a short documentary about him titled "In the Spirit of Diplomacy," by independent film-maker Marco Mascarin. This piece used elements of a 1975 documentary by Paul Saltzman entitled "Saint Demetrius Rides a Red Horse: James George Leaves India."[5]


• George, James (1975). Achaemenid Orientations.
• George, James; Blackwelder, Brent (10 July 1991). "Oil Fires: A Middleast Chernobyl?". Toronto Star. p. A21.
• George, James (1 September 2002). ASKING FOR THE EARTH: Waking Up to the Spiritual/Ecological Crisis. Barrytown, NY: Station Hill Press. ISBN 978-1581770902.
• — (22 August 2009). The Little Green Book on Awakening. Barrytown, NY: Station Hill Press. ISBN 978-1-58177-112-1.
• — (2016). Last Call : Awaken to Consciousness (Paperback).


1. Fordham, Walter (October 2003). "Interview with James George: June 27th, 2003". Chronicles of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
2. Cushman, Jr., John H. (25 June 1991). "Environmental Toll Mounting in Kuwait As Oil Fires Burn On". New York Times. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
3. Whittaker, Richard (24 December 2004). "Interview: James George: If Not Now, When? SF, CA 12/24/04". works & conversations. ServiceSpace. Retrieved 1 April2015.
4. "Abstracts 2009: On the writings of G.I. Gurdjieff". All & Everything International Humanities Conference. 2009. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
5. Fordham, Walter (2011). "Chronology: A partial timeline of James George's accomplishments and continuing activities". Chronicles of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
6. Torontonensis. Toronto: University of Toronto Students' Administrative Council. 1939. p. 418.
7. "Heads of Post List : SRI LANKA". Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada. Government of Canada. 3 October 2011. Archived from the original on 6 November 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
8. "George, James (Career)". Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada. Government of Canada. 3 October 2011. Archived from the original on 6 November 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
9. "James George". Barrytown/Station Hill Press. 2008. Archived from the original on 6 October 2010. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
10. ... -biography

External links

• THE SPIRITUAL DIPLOMAT short documentary profile of James George at age 94
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