Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Fri Jul 05, 2019 2:21 am

Part 1 of 2

H. G. Wells
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 7/4/19



The vigilance, albeit belated, of the British security service provides a window on the membership and activities of the October Club. Cambridge student communism in the 1930s spawned a celebrated cluster of Soviet agents at the heart of the British establishment. When this became apparent twenty years later with the defection to Moscow of two senior figures in British intelligence, Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean, MI5 became alarmed about how little they knew about Oxford communists at that time. They resolved to find out -- and were assiduous in approaching one-time members of the October Club who might be happy to share information about their former comrades. They were fortunate that the club's founder -- an American, Frank Strauss Meyer -- had recanted of his student communism and was happy to cooperate. [33] And still more valuable for MI5, another onetime member of the October Club, Francois Lafitte, divulged the names of all the Oxford student communists he could recall. Freda and Bedi were both on the list -- 'Seemed to me both to be close fellow-travellers. They married and went to Lahore ... ' -- and so too was Sajjad Zaheer, a 'very capable Indian and close friend of Olive Shapley.' [34]

Meyer and others established the October Club at the close of 1931, as a left-wing breakaway from the Labour Club. 'We decided to organize the October Club quite on our own, with the idea of using it to attract those interested in Communism and forming a guiding group inside it,' Meyer told MI5. 'At the beginning we had considerable contempt for the official Communist Party' -- a suspicion which was reciprocated. The Communist Party of Great Britain was at the time a small, workerist and distinctly sectarian force of a few thousand members. [35] By the spring of 1932, the October Club's core of ten or twelve activists had joined the party, and after its first year of activity that number had doubled and the club's membership was in the hundreds. In its early months, the October Club achieved attention with a string of big name speakers, one of whom, H.G. Wells, was subject to barracking for being critical of Moscow. Escapades such as singing the communist anthem 'The Internationale' at an Armistice Day service to honour the war dead and street fights with fascist students earned the club a certain notoriety. The political atmosphere at the time was highly charged, and the Oxford Union's resounding endorsement in February 1933 of a motion 'that this House will in no circumstances fight for its King and Country' caught global attention; the Daily Express lamented that 'the woozy-minded Communists, the practical jokers, and the sexual indeterminates of Oxford have scored a great success with the publicity that has followed this victory.' In the wake of that controversy, a book on Young Oxford and War was rushed out, edited by V.K. Krishna Menon and with contributions from students of various political loyalties. Dick Freeman, a founder of the October Club, wrote about the radicalisation of Oxford students, and the emotional and political impact of the reception and support given in October 1932 to unemployed hunger marchers from the north -- for many students the first direct experience of the poverty and misery of those without work. [36] The October Club made a political impact out of all proportion to its numbers. Michael Foot, an Oxford student (and a Liberal) at the time and later a leader of the Labour Party, commended it as 'the most lively and enthusiastic club in Oxford.' [37]

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....

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

And how will the new republic treat the inferior races? How will it deal with the black? how will it deal with the yellow man? how will it tackle that alleged termite in the civilized woodwork, the Jew? Certainly not as races at all. It will aim to establish, and it will at last, though probably only after a second century has passed, establish a world state with a common language and a common rule. All over the world its roads, its standards, its laws, and its apparatus of control will run. It will, I have said, make the multiplication of those who fall behind a certain standard of social efficiency unpleasant and difficult… The Jew will probably lose much of his particularism, intermarry with Gentiles, and cease to be a physically distinct element in human affairs in a century or so. But much of his moral tradition will, I hope, never die. … And for the rest, those swarms of black, and brown, and dirty-white, and yellow people, who do not come into the new needs of efficiency?

Well, the world is a world, not a charitable institution, and I take it they will have to go. The whole tenor and meaning of the world, as I see it, is that they have to go. So far as they fail to develop sane, vigorous, and distinctive personalities for the great world of the future, it is their portion to die out and disappear.

-- Political Views of H.G. Wells

The Coefficients was a monthly dining club founded in 1902 by the Fabian campaigners Sidney and Beatrice Webb as a forum for British socialist reformers and imperialists of the Edwardian era. The name of the dining club was a reflection of the group's focus on "efficiency".

The Webbs proposed that the club's membership reflect the entire gamut of political beliefs, and "proposed to collect politicians from each of the parties". Representing the Liberal Imperialists were Sir Edward Grey and Richard Burdon Haldane; the Tories were represented by economist William Hewins and editor of the National Review Leopold Maxse; and the British military was represented by Leo Amery, an "expert on the conditions of the army", and Carlyon Bellairs, a naval officer.

The club's membership included:

• H. G. Wells, novelist

-- Coefficients (dining club), by Wikipedia

H. G. Wells
Photograph by George Charles Beresford, 1920
Born Herbert George Wells
21 September 1866
Bromley, Kent, England
Died 13 August 1946 (aged 79)
Regent's Park, London, England
Occupation Novelist, teacher, historian, journalist
Alma mater Royal College of Science (Imperial College London)
Genre Science fiction (notably social science fiction), social realism
Subject World history, progress
Notable works
The Outline of History
The Country of the Blind
The Red Room
The Time Machine
The Invisible Man
The War of the Worlds
The Island of Doctor Moreau
The First Men in the Moon
The Shape of Things to Come
When the Sleeper Wakes
Years active 1895–1946
Spouse Isabel Mary Wells
(1891–1894, divorced)
Amy Catherine Robbins (1895–1927, her death)
Children George Phillip "G. P." Wells (1901–1985)
Frank Richard Wells (1903–1982)
Anna-Jane Kennard (1909–2010[1][2])
Anthony West (1914–1987)
Relatives Joseph Wells (father)
Sarah Neal (mother)

Herbert George Wells[3][4] (21 September 1866 – 13 August 1946) was an English writer. He was prolific in many genres, writing dozens of novels, short stories, and works of social commentary, satire, biography, and autobiography, and even including two books on recreational war games. He is now best remembered for his science fiction novels and is often called a "father of science fiction", along with Jules Verne and Hugo Gernsback.[5][6][a]

During his own lifetime, however, he was most prominent as a forward-looking, even prophetic social critic who devoted his literary talents to the development of a progressive vision on a global scale. A futurist, he wrote a number of utopian works and foresaw the advent of aircraft, tanks, space travel, nuclear weapons, satellite television and something resembling the World Wide Web.[7] His science fiction imagined time travel, alien invasion, invisibility, and biological engineering. Brian Aldiss referred to Wells as the "Shakespeare of science fiction".[8] Wells rendered his works convincing by instilling commonplace detail alongside a single extraordinary assumption – dubbed “Wells’s law” – leading Joseph Conrad to hail him in 1898 as "O Realist of the Fantastic!".[9] His most notable science fiction works include The Time Machine (1895), The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897), The War of the Worlds (1898) and the military science fiction The War in the Air (1907). Wells was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature four times.[10]

Wells's earliest specialised training was in biology, and his thinking on ethical matters took place in a specifically and fundamentally Darwinian context.[11] He was also from an early date an outspoken socialist, often (but not always, as at the beginning of the First World War) sympathising with pacifist views. His later works became increasingly political and didactic, and he wrote little science fiction, while he sometimes indicated on official documents that his profession was that of journalist.[12] Novels such as Kipps and The History of Mr Polly, which describe lower-middle-class life, led to the suggestion that he was a worthy successor to Charles Dickens,[13] but Wells described a range of social strata and even attempted, in Tono-Bungay (1909), a diagnosis of English society as a whole. Wells was a diabetic and co-founded the charity The Diabetic Association (known today as Diabetes UK) in 1934.[14]


Early life

Herbert George Wells was born at Atlas House, 162 High Street in Bromley, Kent,[15] on 21 September 1866.[4] Called "Bertie" in the family, he was the fourth and last child of Joseph Wells (a former domestic gardener, and at the time a shopkeeper and professional cricketer) and his wife, Sarah Neal (a former domestic servant). An inheritance had allowed the family to acquire a shop in which they sold china and sporting goods, although it failed to prosper: the stock was old and worn out, and the location was poor. Joseph Wells managed to earn a meagre income, but little of it came from the shop and he received an unsteady amount of money from playing professional cricket for the Kent county team.[16] Payment for skilled bowlers and batsmen came from voluntary donations afterwards, or from small payments from the clubs where matches were played.

A defining incident of young Wells's life was an accident in 1874 that left him bedridden with a broken leg.[4] To pass the time he began to read books from the local library, brought to him by his father. He soon became devoted to the other worlds and lives to which books gave him access; they also stimulated his desire to write. Later that year he entered Thomas Morley's Commercial Academy, a private school founded in 1849, following the bankruptcy of Morley's earlier school. The teaching was erratic, the curriculum mostly focused, Wells later said, on producing copperplate handwriting and doing the sort of sums useful to tradesmen. Wells continued at Morley's Academy until 1880. In 1877, his father, Joseph Wells, suffered a fractured thigh. The accident effectively put an end to Joseph's career as a cricketer, and his subsequent earnings as a shopkeeper were not enough to compensate for the loss of the primary source of family income.[17]

Wells spent the winter of 1887-88 convalescing at Uppark, where his mother, Sarah, was housekeeper.[18]

No longer able to support themselves financially, the family instead sought to place their sons as apprentices in various occupations.[19] From 1880 to 1883, Wells had an unhappy apprenticeship as a draper at the Southsea Drapery Emporium, Hyde's.[20] His experiences at Hyde's, where he worked a thirteen-hour day and slept in a dormitory with other apprentices,[15] later inspired his novels The Wheels of Chance, The History of Mr Polly, and Kipps, which portray the life of a draper's apprentice as well as providing a critique of society's distribution of wealth.[21]

Wells's parents had a turbulent marriage, owing primarily to his mother's being a Protestant and his father's being a freethinker. When his mother returned to work as a lady's maid (at Uppark, a country house in Sussex), one of the conditions of work was that she would not be permitted to have living space for her husband and children. Thereafter, she and Joseph lived separate lives, though they never divorced and remained faithful to each other. As a consequence, Herbert's personal troubles increased as he subsequently failed as a draper and also, later, as a chemist's assistant. However, Uppark had a magnificent library in which he immersed himself, reading many classic works, including Plato's Republic, Thomas More's Utopia, and the works of Daniel Defoe.[22] This would be the beginning of Wells's venture into literature.


Wells studying in London c. 1890

In October 1879, Wells's mother arranged through a distant relative, Arthur Williams, for him to join the National School at Wookey in Somerset as a pupil–teacher, a senior pupil who acted as a teacher of younger children.[20] In December that year, however, Williams was dismissed for irregularities in his qualifications and Wells was returned to Uppark. After a short apprenticeship at a chemist in nearby Midhurst and an even shorter stay as a boarder at Midhurst Grammar School, he signed his apprenticeship papers at Hyde's. In 1883, Wells persuaded his parents to release him from the apprenticeship, taking an opportunity offered by Midhurst Grammar School again to become a pupil–teacher; his proficiency in Latin and science during his earlier short stay had been remembered.[16][20]

The years he spent in Southsea had been the most miserable of his life to that point, but his good fortune at securing a position at Midhurst Grammar School meant that Wells could continue his self-education in earnest.[16] The following year, Wells won a scholarship to the Normal School of Science (later the Royal College of Science in South Kensington, now part of Imperial College London) in London, studying biology under Thomas Henry Huxley.[23] As an alumnus, he later helped to set up the Royal College of Science Association, of which he became the first president in 1909. Wells studied in his new school until 1887, with a weekly allowance of 21 shillings (a guinea) thanks to his scholarship. This ought to have been a comfortable sum of money (at the time many working class families had "round about a pound a week" as their entire household income)[24] yet in his Experiment in Autobiography, Wells speaks of constantly being hungry, and indeed photographs of him at the time show a youth who is very thin and malnourished.[25]

H. G. Wells in 1907 at the door of his house at Sandgate

He soon entered the Debating Society of the school. These years mark the beginning of his interest in a possible reformation of society. At first approaching the subject through Plato's Republic, he soon turned to contemporary ideas of socialism as expressed by the recently formed Fabian Society and free lectures delivered at Kelmscott House, the home of William Morris. He was also among the founders of The Science School Journal, a school magazine that allowed him to express his views on literature and society, as well as trying his hand at fiction; a precursor to his novel The Time Machine was published in the journal under the title The Chronic Argonauts. The school year 1886–87 was the last year of his studies.[23]

During 1888, Wells stayed in Stoke-on-Trent, living in Basford. The unique environment of The Potteries was certainly an inspiration. He wrote in a letter to a friend from the area that "the district made an immense impression on me." The inspiration for some of his descriptions in The War of the Worlds is thought to have come from his short time spent here, seeing the iron foundry furnaces burn over the city, shooting huge red light into the skies. His stay in The Potteries also resulted in the macabre short story "The Cone" (1895, contemporaneous with his famous The Time Machine), set in the north of the city.[26]

After teaching for some time, he was briefly on the staff of Holt Academy in Wales[27] – Wells found it necessary to supplement his knowledge relating to educational principles and methodology and entered the College of Preceptors (College of Teachers). He later received his Licentiate and Fellowship FCP diplomas from the College. It was not until 1890 that Wells earned a Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from the University of London External Programme. In 1889–90, he managed to find a post as a teacher at Henley House School in London, where he taught A. A. Milne (whose father ran the school).[28][29] His first published work was a Text-Book of Biology in two volumes (1893).[30]

Upon leaving the Normal School of Science, Wells was left without a source of income. His aunt Mary—his father's sister-in-law—invited him to stay with her for a while, which solved his immediate problem of accommodation. During his stay at his aunt's residence, he grew increasingly interested in her daughter, Isabel. He would later go on to court her. To earn money, he began writing short humorous articles for journals such as The Pall Mall Gazette, later collecting these in volume form as Select Conversations with an Uncle (1895) and Certain Personal Matters (1897). So prolific did Wells become at this mode of journalism that many of his early pieces remain unidentified. According to David C Smith, "Most of Wells's occasional pieces have not been collected, and many have not even been identified as his. Wells did not automatically receive the byline his reputation demanded until after 1896 or so ... As a result, many of his early pieces are unknown. It is obvious that many early Wells items have been lost."[31] His success with these shorter pieces encouraged him to write book-length work, and he published his first novel, The Time Machine, in 1895.[32]

Personal life

141 Maybury Rd, Woking, where Wells lived from May 1895 until late 1896[33]

In 1891, Wells married his cousin Isabel Mary Wells (1865–1931; from 1902 Isabel Mary Smith). The couple agreed to separate in 1894, when he had fallen in love with one of his students, Amy Catherine Robbins (1872–1927; later known as Jane), with whom he moved to Woking, Surrey in May 1895. They lived in a rented house, 'Lynton', (now No.141) Maybury Road in the town centre for just under 18 months[34] and married at St Pancras register office in October 1895.[35] His short period in Woking was perhaps the most creative and productive of his whole writing career,[34] for while there he planned and wrote The War of the Worlds and The Time Machine, completed The Island of Doctor Moreau, wrote and published The Wonderful Visit and The Wheels of Chance, and began writing two other early books, When the Sleeper Wakes and Love and Mr Lewisham.[34][36]

In late summer 1896, Wells and Jane moved to a larger house in Worcester Park, near Kingston upon Thames, for two years; this lasted until his poor health took them to Sandgate, near Folkestone, where he constructed a large family home, Spade House, in 1901. He had two sons with Jane: George Philip (known as "Gip"; 1901–1985) and Frank Richard (1903–1982).[37] Jane died 6 October 1927, in Dunmow, at the age of 55.

Wells had affairs with a significant number of women.[38] In December 1909, he had a daughter, Anna-Jane, with the writer Amber Reeves,[39] whose parents, William and Maud Pember Reeves, he had met through the Fabian Society. Amber had married the barrister G. R. Blanco White in July of that year, as co-arranged by Wells. After Beatrice Webb voiced disapproval of Wells' "sordid intrigue" with Amber, he responded by lampooning Beatrice Webb and her husband Sidney Webb in his 1911 novel The New Machiavelli as 'Altiora and Oscar Bailey', a pair of short-sighted, bourgeois manipulators. Between 1910–1913, novelist Elizabeth von Arnim was one of his mistresses.[40] In 1914, he had a son, Anthony West (1914–1987), by the novelist and feminist Rebecca West, 26 years his junior.[41] In 1920–21, and intermittently until his death, he had a love affair with the American birth control activist Margaret Sanger.[42] Between 1924 and 1933 he partnered with the 22-year younger Dutch adventurer and writer Odette Keun, with whom he lived in Lou Pidou, a house they built together in Grasse, France. Wells dedicated his longest book to her (The World of William Clissold, 1926).[43] When visiting Maxim Gorky in Russia 1920, he had slept with Gorky's mistress Moura Budberg, then still Countess Benckendorf and 27 years his junior. In 1933, when she left Gorky and emigrated to London, their relationship renewed and she cared for him through his final illness. Wells asked her to marry him repeatedly, but Budberg strongly rejected his proposals.[44][45]

In Experiment in Autobiography (1934), Wells wrote: "I was never a great amorist, though I have loved several people very deeply".[46] David Lodge's novel A Man of Parts (2011)—a 'narrative based on factual sources' (author's note)—gives a convincing and generally sympathetic account of Wells's relations with the women mentioned above, and others.[47]

Director Simon Wells (born 1961), the author's great-grandson, was a consultant on the future scenes in Back to the Future Part II (1989).[48]


One of the ways that Wells expressed himself was through his drawings and sketches. One common location for these was the endpapers and title pages of his own diaries, and they covered a wide variety of topics, from political commentary to his feelings toward his literary contemporaries and his current romantic interests. During his marriage to Amy Catherine, whom he nicknamed Jane, he drew a considerable number of pictures, many of them being overt comments on their marriage. During this period, he called these pictures "picshuas".[49] These picshuas have been the topic of study by Wells scholars for many years, and in 2006, a book was published on the subject.[50]


Statue of a tripod from The War of the Worlds in Woking, England. The book is a seminal depiction of a conflict between mankind and an extraterrestrial race.

Some of his early novels, called "scientific romances", invented several themes now classic in science fiction in such works as The Time Machine, The Island of Doctor Moreau, The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds, When the Sleeper Wakes, and The First Men in the Moon. He also wrote realistic novels that received critical acclaim, including Kipps and a critique of English culture during the Edwardian period, Tono-Bungay. Wells also wrote dozens of short stories and novellas, including, "The Flowering of the Strange Orchid", which helped bring the full impact of Darwin's revolutionary botanical ideas to a wider public, and was followed by many later successes such as "The Country of the Blind" (1904).[51]

According to James Gunn, one of Wells's major contributions to the science fiction genre was his approach, which he referred to as his "new system of ideas".[52] In his opinion, the author should always strive to make the story as credible as possible, even if both the writer and the reader knew certain elements are impossible, allowing the reader to accept the ideas as something that could really happen, today referred to as "the plausible impossible" and "suspension of disbelief". While neither invisibility nor time travel was new in speculative fiction, Wells added a sense of realism to the concepts which the readers were not familiar with. He conceived the idea of using a vehicle that allows an operator to travel purposely and selectively forwards or backwards in time. The term "time machine", coined by Wells, is now almost universally used to refer to such a vehicle.[22] He explained that while writing The Time Machine, he realized that "the more impossible the story I had to tell, the more ordinary must be the setting, and the circumstances in which I now set the Time Traveller were all that I could imagine of solid upper-class comforts."[53] In "Wells's Law", a science fiction story should contain only a single extraordinary assumption. Being aware the notion of magic as something real had disappeared from society, he, therefore, used scientific ideas and theories as a substitute for magic to justify the impossible. Wells's best-known statement of the "law" appears in his introduction to The Scientific Romances of H. G. Wells (1933),

As soon as the magic trick has been done the whole business of the fantasy writer is to keep everything else human and real. Touches of prosaic detail are imperative and a rigorous adherence to the hypothesis. Any extra fantasy outside the cardinal assumption immediately gives a touch of irresponsible silliness to the invention.[54]

Dr. Griffin / The Invisible Man is a brilliant research scientist who discovers a method of invisibility, but finds himself unable to reverse the process. An enthusiast of random and irresponsible violence, Griffin has become an iconic character in horror fiction.[55] The Island of Doctor Moreau sees a shipwrecked man left on the island home of Doctor Moreau, a mad scientist who creates human-like hybrid beings from animals via vivisection.[56] The earliest depiction of uplift, the novel deals with a number of philosophical themes, including pain and cruelty, moral responsibility, human identity, and human interference with nature.[57] Though Tono-Bungay is not a science-fiction novel, radioactive decay plays a small but consequential role in it. Radioactive decay plays a much larger role in The World Set Free (1914). This book contains what is surely his biggest prophetic "hit", with the first description of a nuclear weapon.[58] Scientists of the day were well aware that the natural decay of radium releases energy at a slow rate over thousands of years. The rate of release is too slow to have practical utility, but the total amount released is huge. Wells's novel revolves around an (unspecified) invention that accelerates the process of radioactive decay, producing bombs that explode with no more than the force of ordinary high explosives—but which "continue to explode" for days on end. "Nothing could have been more obvious to the people of the earlier twentieth century", he wrote, "than the rapidity with which war was becoming impossible ... [but] they did not see it until the atomic bombs burst in their fumbling hands".[58] In 1932, the physicist and conceiver of nuclear chain reaction Leó Szilárd read The World Set Free (the same year Sir James Chadwick discovered the neutron), a book which he said made a great impression on him.[59]

The H. G. Wells crater, located on the far side of the Moon, was named after the author of The First Men in the Moon (1901) in 1970.

Wells also wrote non-fiction. His first non-fiction bestseller was Anticipations of the Reaction of Mechanical and Scientific Progress upon Human Life and Thought (1901). When originally serialised in a magazine it was subtitled "An Experiment in Prophecy", and is considered his most explicitly futuristic work. It offered the immediate political message of the privileged sections of society continuing to bar capable men from other classes from advancement until war would force a need to employ those most able, rather than the traditional upper classes, as leaders. Anticipating what the world would be like in the year 2000, the book is interesting both for its hits (trains and cars resulting in the dispersion of populations from cities to suburbs; moral restrictions declining as men and women seek greater sexual freedom; the defeat of German militarism, and the existence of a European Union) and its misses (he did not expect successful aircraft before 1950, and averred that "my imagination refuses to see any sort of submarine doing anything but suffocate its crew and founder at sea").[60][61]

His bestselling two-volume work, The Outline of History (1920), began a new era of popularised world history. It received a mixed critical response from professional historians.[62] However, it was very popular amongst the general population and made Wells a rich man. Many other authors followed with "Outlines" of their own in other subjects. He reprised his Outline in 1922 with a much shorter popular work, A Short History of the World, a history book praised by Albert Einstein,[63] and two long efforts, The Science of Life (1930) and The Work, Wealth and Happiness of Mankind (1931).[64][65] The "Outlines" became sufficiently common for James Thurber to parody the trend in his humorous essay, "An Outline of Scientists"—indeed, Wells's Outline of History remains in print with a new 2005 edition, while A Short History of the World has been re-edited (2006).[66]

H. G. Wells c. 1918

From quite early in Wells's career, he sought a better way to organise society and wrote a number of Utopian novels. The first of these was A Modern Utopia (1905), which shows a worldwide utopia with "no imports but meteorites, and no exports at all";[67] two travellers from our world fall into its alternate history. The others usually begin with the world rushing to catastrophe, until people realise a better way of living: whether by mysterious gases from a comet causing people to behave rationally and abandoning a European war (In the Days of the Comet (1906)), or a world council of scientists taking over, as in The Shape of Things to Come (1933, which he later adapted for the 1936 Alexander Korda film, Things to Come). This depicted, all too accurately, the impending World War, with cities being destroyed by aerial bombs. He also portrayed the rise of fascist dictators in The Autocracy of Mr Parham (1930) and The Holy Terror (1939). Men Like Gods (1923) is also a utopian novel. Wells in this period was regarded as an enormously influential figure; the critic Malcolm Cowley stated: "by the time he was forty, his influence was wider than any other living English writer".[68]

Wells contemplates the ideas of nature and nurture and questions humanity in books such as The Island of Doctor Moreau. Not all his scientific romances ended in a Utopia, and Wells also wrote a dystopian novel, When the Sleeper Wakes (1899, rewritten as The Sleeper Awakes, 1910), which pictures a future society where the classes have become more and more separated, leading to a revolt of the masses against the rulers.[69] The Island of Doctor Moreau is even darker. The narrator, having been trapped on an island of animals vivisected (unsuccessfully) into human beings, eventually returns to England; like Gulliver on his return from the Houyhnhnms, he finds himself unable to shake off the perceptions of his fellow humans as barely civilised beasts, slowly reverting to their animal natures.[70]

Wells also wrote the preface for the first edition of W. N. P. Barbellion's diaries, The Journal of a Disappointed Man, published in 1919. Since "Barbellion" was the real author's pen name, many reviewers believed Wells to have been the true author of the Journal; Wells always denied this, despite being full of praise for the diaries.[71]

H. G. Wells, one day before his 60th birthday, on the front cover of Time magazine, 20 September 1926

In 1927, a Canadian teacher and writer Florence Deeks unsuccessfully sued Wells for infringement of copyright and breach of trust, claiming that much of The Outline of History had been plagiarised from her unpublished manuscript,[72] The Web of the World's Romance, which had spent nearly nine months in the hands of Wells's Canadian publisher, Macmillan Canada.[73] However, it was sworn on oath at the trial that the manuscript remained in Toronto in the safekeeping of Macmillan, and that Wells did not even know it existed, let alone had seen it.[74] The court found no proof of copying, and decided the similarities were due to the fact that the books had similar nature and both writers had access to the same sources.[75] In 2000, A. B. McKillop, a professor of history at Carleton University, produced a book on the case, The Spinster & The Prophet: Florence Deeks, H. G. Wells, and the Mystery of the Purloined Past.[76] According to McKillop, the lawsuit was unsuccessful due to the prejudice against a woman suing a well-known and famous male author, and he paints a detailed story based on the circumstantial evidence of the case.[77] In 2004, Denis N. Magnusson, Professor Emeritus of the Faculty of Law, Queen's University, Ontario, published an article on Deeks v. Wells. This re-examines the case in relation to McKillop's book. While having some sympathy for Deeks, he argues that she had a weak case that was not well presented, and though she may have met with sexism from her lawyers, she received a fair trial, adding that the law applied is essentially the same law that would be applied to a similar case today (i.e., 2004).[78]

In 1933, Wells predicted in The Shape of Things to Come that the world war he feared would begin in January 1940,[79] a prediction which ultimately came true four months early, in September 1939, with the outbreak of World War II.[80] In 1936, before the Royal Institution, Wells called for the compilation of a constantly growing and changing World Encyclopaedia, to be reviewed by outstanding authorities and made accessible to every human being. In 1938, he published a collection of essays on the future organisation of knowledge and education, World Brain, including the essay "The Idea of a Permanent World Encyclopaedia".[81]

Plaque by the H. G. Wells Society at Chiltern Court, Baker Street in the City of Westminster, London, where Wells lived between 1930 and 1936

Prior to 1933, Wells's books were widely read in Germany and Austria, and most of his science fiction works had been translated shortly after publication.[82] By 1933, he had attracted the attention of German officials because of his criticism of the political situation in Germany, and on 10 May 1933, Wells's books were burned by the Nazi youth in Berlin's Opernplatz, and his works were banned from libraries and book stores.[82] Wells, as president of PEN International (Poets, Essayists, Novelists), angered the Nazis by overseeing the expulsion of the German PEN club from the international body in 1934 following the German PEN's refusal to admit non-Aryan writers to its membership. At a PEN conference in Ragusa, Wells refused to yield to Nazi sympathisers who demanded that the exiled author Ernst Toller be prevented from speaking.[82] Near the end of the World War II, Allied forces discovered that the SS had compiled lists of people slated for immediate arrest during the invasion of Britain in the abandoned Operation Sea Lion, with Wells included in the alphabetical list of "The Black Book".[83]

Seeking a more structured way to play war games, Wells also wrote Floor Games (1911) followed by Little Wars (1913), which set out rules for fighting battles with toy soldiers (miniatures).[84] Little Wars is recognised today as the first recreational war game and Wells is regarded by gamers and hobbyists as "the Father of Miniature War Gaming".[85] A pacifist prior to the First World War, Wells stated "how much better is this amiable miniature [war] than the real thing".[84] According to Wells, the idea of the miniature war game developed from a visit by his friend Jerome K. Jerome. After dinner, Jerome began shooting down toy soldiers with a toy cannon and Wells joined in to compete.[84]

Travels to Russia

Wells visited Russia three times: 1914, 1920 and 1934. During his second visit, he saw his old friend Maxim Gorky and with Gorky's help, met Vladimir Lenin. In his book Russia in the Shadows, Wells portrayed Russia as recovering from a total social collapse, "the completest that has ever happened to any modern social organisation."[86] On 23 July 1934, after visiting U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Wells went to the Soviet Union and interviewed Joseph Stalin for three hours for the New Statesman magazine, which was extremely rare at that time. He told Stalin how he had seen 'the happy faces of healthy people' in contrast with his previous visit to Moscow in 1920.[87] However, he also criticised the lawlessness, class-based discrimination, state violence, and absence of free expression. Stalin enjoyed the conversation and replied accordingly. As the chairman of the London-based PEN Club, which protected the rights of authors to write without being intimidated, Wells hoped by his trip to USSR, he could win Stalin over by force of argument. Before he left, he realized that no reform was to happen in the near future.[88][89]

Final years

H. G. Wells in 1943

Wells's literary reputation declined as he spent his later years promoting causes that were rejected by most of his contemporaries as well as by younger authors whom he had previously influenced. In this connection, George Orwell described Wells as "too sane to understand the modern world".[90] G. K. Chesterton quipped: "Mr Wells is a born storyteller who has sold his birthright for a pot of message".[91]

Wells had diabetes,[92] and was a co-founder in 1934 of The Diabetic Association (now Diabetes UK, the leading charity for people with diabetes in the UK).[93]

On 28 October 1940, on the radio station KTSA in San Antonio, Texas, Wells took part in a radio interview with Orson Welles, who two years previously had performed a famous radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds. During the interview, by Charles C Shaw, a KTSA radio host, Wells admitted his surprise at the widespread panic that resulted from the broadcast but acknowledged his debt to Welles for increasing sales of one of his "more obscure" titles.[94]


Commemorative blue plaque at Wells' final home in Regent's Park, London

Wells died of unspecified causes on 13 August 1946, aged 79, at his home at 13 Hanover Terrace, overlooking Regent's Park, London.[95][96] In his preface to the 1941 edition of The War in the Air, Wells had stated that his epitaph should be: "I told you so. You damned fools".[97] Wells' body was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium on 16 August 1946; his ashes were subsequently scattered into the English Channel at "Old Harry Rocks".[98]

A commemorative blue plaque in his honour was installed by the Greater London Council at his home in Regent's Park in 1966.[99]


A renowned futurist and “visionary”, Wells foresaw the advent of aircraft, tanks, space travel, nuclear weapons, satellite television and something resembling the World Wide Web.[7] Asserting that “Wells visions of the future remain unsurpassed”, John Higgs, author of Stranger Than We Can Imagine: Making Sense of the Twentieth Century, states that in the late 19th century Wells “saw the coming century clearer than anyone else. He anticipated wars in the air, the sexual revolution, motorised transport causing the growth of suburbs and a proto-Wikipedia he called the “world brain”. He foresaw world wars creating a federalised Europe. Britain, he thought, would not fit comfortably in this New Europe and would identify more with the US and other English-speaking countries. In his novel The World Set Free, he imagined an “atomic bomb” of terrifying power that would be dropped from aeroplanes. This was an extraordinary insight for an author writing in 1913, and it made a deep impression on Winston Churchill.”[100]

In a review of The Time Machine for the New Yorker magazine, Brad Leithauser writes, “At the base of Wells’s great visionary exploit is this rational, ultimately scientific attempt to tease out the potential future consequences of present conditions—not as they might arise in a few years, or even decades, but millennia hence, epochs hence. He is world literature’s Great Extrapolator. Like no other fiction writer before him, he embraced “deep time.”[101]

Political views

Main article: Political views of H.G. Wells

An avid reader of Wells' books, Winston Churchill wrote to the author in 1906, stating "I owe you a great debt", two days before giving an early landmark speech that the state should support its citizens, providing pensions, insurance and child welfare.[102]

A socialist, Wells’ contemporary political impact was limited, excluding his fiction's positivist stance on the leaps that could be made by physics towards world peace. Winston Churchill was an avid reader of Wells' books, and after they first met in 1902 they kept in touch until Wells died in 1946.[102] As a junior minister Churchill borrowed lines from Wells for one of his most famous early landmark speeches in 1906, and as Prime Minister the phrase "the gathering storm" — used by Churchill to describe the rise of Nazi Germany — had been written by Wells in The War of the Worlds, which depicts an attack on Britain by Martians.[102] Wells's extensive writings on equality and human rights, most notably his most influential work, The Rights of Man (1940), laid the groundwork for the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the United Nations shortly after his death.[103][104]

His efforts regarding the League of Nations, on which he collaborated on the project with Leonard Woolf with the booklets The Idea of a League of Nations, Prolegomena to the Study of World Organization, and The Way of the League of Nations, became a disappointment as the organization turned out to be a weak one unable to prevent the Second World War, which itself occurred towards the very end of his life and only increased the pessimistic side of his nature.[105] In his last book Mind at the End of Its Tether (1945), he considered the idea that humanity being replaced by another species might not be a bad idea. He referred to the era between the two World Wars as "The Age of Frustration".[106]
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Religious views

Wells wrote in his book God the Invisible King (1917) that his idea of God did not draw upon the traditional religions of the world:

This book sets out as forcibly and exactly as possible the religious belief of the writer. [Which] is a profound belief in a personal and intimate God. ... Putting the leading idea of this book very roughly, these two antagonistic typical conceptions of God may be best contrasted by speaking of one of them as God-as-Nature or the Creator, and of the other as God-as-Christ or the Redeemer. One is the great Outward God; the other is the Inmost God. The first idea was perhaps developed most highly and completely in the God of Spinoza. It is a conception of God tending to pantheism, to an idea of a comprehensive God as ruling with justice rather than affection, to a conception of aloofness and awestriking worshipfulness. The second idea, which is opposed to this idea of an absolute God, is the God of the human heart. The writer would suggest that the great outline of the theological struggles of that phase of civilisation and world unity which produced Christianity, was a persistent but unsuccessful attempt to get these two different ideas of God into one focus.[107]

Later in the work, he aligns himself with a "renascent or modern religion ... neither atheist nor Buddhist nor Mohammedan nor Christian ... [that] he has found growing up in himself".[108]

Of Christianity, he said: "it is not now true for me. ... Every believing Christian is, I am sure, my spiritual brother ... but if systemically I called myself a Christian I feel that to most men I should imply too much and so tell a lie". Of other world religions, he writes: "All these religions are true for me as Canterbury Cathedral is a true thing and as a Swiss chalet is a true thing. There they are, and they have served a purpose, they have worked. Only they are not true for me to live in them. ... They do not work for me".[109] In The Fate of Homo Sapiens (1939), Wells criticised almost all world religions and philosophies, stating "there is no creed, no way of living left in the world at all, that really meets the needs of the time… When we come to look at them coolly and dispassionately, all the main religions, patriotic, moral and customary systems in which human beings are sheltering today, appear to be in a state of jostling and mutually destructive movement, like the houses and palaces and other buildings of some vast, sprawling city overtaken by a landslide.[110]

Literary influence

H. G. Wells as depicted in Gernsback's Science Wonder Stories in 1929

The science fiction historian John Clute describes Wells as "the most important writer the genre has yet seen", and notes his work has been central to both British and American science fiction.[111] Science fiction author and critic Algis Budrys said Wells "remains the outstanding expositor of both the hope, and the despair, which are embodied in the technology and which are the major facts of life in our world".[112] He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1921, 1932, 1935, and 1946.[10] Wells so influenced real exploration of Mars that an impact crater on the planet was named after him.[113]

Wells’s genius was his ability to create a stream of brand new, wholly original stories out of thin air. Originality was Wells’s calling card. In a six-year stretch from 1895 to 1901, he produced a stream of what he called “scientific romance” novels, which included The Time Machine, The Island of Doctor Moreau, The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds and The First Men in the Moon. This was a dazzling display of new thought, endlessly copied since. A book like The War of the Worlds inspired every one of the thousands of alien invasion stories that followed. It burned its way into the psyche of mankind and changed us all forever.

— Cultural historian John Higgs, The Guardian.[100]

In the United Kingdom, Wells's work was a key model for the British “scientific romance”, and other writers in that mode, such as Olaf Stapledon,[114] J. D. Beresford,[115] S. Fowler Wright,[116] and Naomi Mitchison,[117] all drew on Wells's example. Wells was also an important influence on British science fiction of the period after the Second World War, with Arthur C. Clarke[118] and Brian Aldiss[119] expressing strong admiration for Wells's work. Among contemporary British science fiction writers, Stephen Baxter, Christopher Priest and Adam Roberts have all acknowledged Wells's influence on their writing; all three are Vice-Presidents of the H. G. Wells Society. He also had a strong influence on British scientist J. B. S. Haldane, who wrote Daedalus; or, Science and the Future (1924), "The Last Judgement" and "On Being the Right Size" from the essay collection Possible Worlds (1927), and Biological Possibilities for the Human Species in the Next Ten Thousand Years (1963), which are speculations about the future of human evolution and life on other planets. Haldane gave several lectures about these topics which in turn influenced other science fiction writers.[120][121]

Wells's works were reprinted in American science fiction magazines as late as the 1950s

In the United States, Hugo Gernsback reprinted most of Wells's work in the pulp magazine Amazing Stories, regarding Wells's work as "texts of central importance to the self-conscious new genre".[111] Later American writers such as Ray Bradbury,[122] Isaac Asimov,[123] Frank Herbert[124] and Ursula K. Le Guin[125] all recalled being influenced by Wells's work.

Sinclair Lewis's early novels were strongly influenced by Wells's realistic social novels, such as The History of Mr Polly; Lewis would also name his first son Wells after the author.[126]

In an interview with The Paris Review, Vladimir Nabokov described Wells as his favourite writer when he was a boy and "a great artist."[127] He went on to cite The Passionate Friends, Ann Veronica, The Time Machine, and The Country of the Blind as superior to anything else written by Wells's British contemporaries. In an apparent allusion to Wells's socialism and political themes, Nabokov said: "His sociological cogitations can be safely ignored, of course, but his romances and fantasies are superb."[127]

2016 illustrated postal envelope with an image from The War of the Worlds, Russian Post, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the author's birth

Jorge Luis Borges wrote many short pieces on Wells in which he demonstrates a deep familiarity with much of Wells's work.[128] While Borges wrote several critical reviews, including a mostly negative review of Wells's film Things to Come,[129] he regularly treated Wells as a canonical figure of fantastic literature. Late in his life, Borges included The Invisible Man and The Time Machine in his Prologue to a Personal Library,[130] a curated list of 100 great works of literature that he undertook at the behest of the Argentine publishing house Emecé. Canadian author Margaret Atwood read Wells' books,[70] and he also inspired writers of European speculative fiction such as Karel Čapek[125] and Yevgeny Zamyatin.[125]



• The superhuman protagonist of J. D. Beresford's 1911 novel, The Hampdenshire Wonder, Victor Stott, was based on Wells.[115]
• In M. P. Shiel's short story "The Primate of the Rose" (1928), there is an unpleasant womaniser named E. P. Crooks, who was written as a parody of Wells.[131] Wells had attacked Shiel's Prince Zaleski when it was published in 1895, and this was Shiel's response.[131] Wells praised Shiel's The Purple Cloud (1901); in turn Shiel expressed admiration for Wells, referring to him at a speech to the Horsham Rotary Club in 1933 as "my friend Mr. Wells".[131]
• In C. S. Lewis's novel That Hideous Strength (1945), the character Jules is a caricature of Wells,[132] and much of Lewis's science fiction was written both under the influence of Wells and as an antithesis to his work (or, as he put it, an "exorcism"[133] of the influence it had on him).
• In Brian Aldiss's novella The Saliva Tree (1966), Wells has a small off screen guest role.[134]
• In Saul Bellow's novel Mr. Sammler's Planet (1970), Wells is one of several historical figures the protagonist met when he was a young man.[135]
• In The Map of Time (2008) by Spanish author Félix J. Palma; Wells is one of several historical characters.[136]
• Wells is one of the two Georges in Paul Levinson's 2013 time-travel novelette, "Ian, George, and George," published in Analog magazine.[137]


• Rod Taylor portrays Wells[138][139] in the 1960 science fiction film The Time Machine (based on the novel of the same name), in which Wells uses his time machine to try and find his Utopian society.[139]
• Malcolm McDowell portrays Wells in the 1979 science fiction film Time After Time, in which Wells uses a time machine to pursue Jack the Ripper to the present day.[139] In the film, Wells meets "Amy" in the future who then returns to 1893 to become his second wife Amy Catherine Robbins.
• Wells is portrayed in the 1985 story Timelash from the 22nd season of the BBC science-fiction television series Doctor Who. In this story, Herbert, an enthusiastic temporary companion to the Doctor, is revealed to be a young H. G. Wells. The plot is loosely based upon the themes and characters of The Time Machine with references to The War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man and The Island of Doctor Moreau. The story jokingly suggests that Wells's inspiration for his later novels came from his adventure with the Sixth Doctor.[140]
• In the BBC2 anthology series Encounters about imagined meetings between historical figures, Beautiful Lies, by Paul Pender (15 August 1992) centred on an acrimonious dinner party attended by Wells (Richard Todd), George Orwell (Jon Finch), and William Empson (Patrick Ryecart).
• The character of Wells also appeared in several episodes of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993–1997), usually pitted against the time-travelling villain known as Tempus (Lane Davies). Wells's younger self was played by Terry Kiser, and the older Wells was played by Hamilton Camp.
• In the British TV mini-series The Infinite Worlds of H. G. Wells (2001), several of Wells's short stories are dramatised but are adapted using Wells himself (Tom Ward) as the main protagonist in each story.
• In the Disney Channel Original Series Phil of the Future, which centres on time-travel, the present-day high school that the main characters attend is named "H. G. Wells".[141]
• In the 2006 television docudrama H. G. Wells: War with the World, Wells is played by Michael Sheen.[142]
• On the science fiction television series Warehouse 13 (2009–2014), there is a female version Helena G. Wells. When she appeared she explained that her brother was her front for her writing because a female science fiction author would not be accepted.[143]
• Comedian Paul F. Tompkins portrays a fictional Wells as the host of The Dead Authors Podcast, wherein Wells uses his time machine to bring dead authors (played by other comedians) to the present and interview them.[144][145]
• H. G. Wells as a young boy appears in the Legends of Tomorrow episode "The Magnificent Eight". In this story, the boy Wells is dying of consumption but is cured by a time-travelling Martin Stein.
• In the four part series The Nightmare Worlds of H. G. Wells (2016), Wells is played by Ray Winstone.[146]
• In the 2017 television series version of Time After Time, based on the 1979 film, H. G. Wells is portrayed by Freddie Stroma.[147]

Literary papers

In 1954, the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign purchased the H. G. Wells literary papers and correspondence collection.[148] The University's Rare Book & Manuscript Library holds the largest collection of Wells manuscripts, correspondence, first editions and publications in the United States.[149] Among these is an unpublished material and the manuscripts of such works as The War of the Worlds and The Time Machine. The collection includes first editions, revisions, translations. The letters contain general family correspondence, communications from publishers, material regarding the Fabian Society, and letters from politicians and public figures, most notably George Bernard Shaw and Joseph Conrad.[148]


Main article: H. G. Wells bibliography


1. Science fiction magazine editors Hugo Gernsback and John W. Campbell were the inaugural deceased members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame, inducted in 1996 and followed annually by fiction writers Wells and Isaac Asimov, C. L. Moore and Robert Heinlein, Abraham Merritt and Jules Verne.[150]


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2. "Death Notice Summaries Available for Listings at A Memory Tree". Retrieved 25 March 2014.
3. "Wells, H. G.". Revised 20 May 2015. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction ( Retrieved 2015-08-22. Entry by 'JC/BS', John Clute and Brian Stableford.
4. Parrinder, Patrick (2004). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press.
5. Adam Charles Roberts (2000), "The History of Science Fiction", page 48. In Science Fiction, Routledge, ISBN 0-415-19204-8.
6. Siegel, Mark Richard (1988). Hugo Gernsback, Father of Modern Science Fiction: With Essays on Frank Herbert and Bram Stoker. Borgo Pr. ISBN 0-89370-174-2.
7. "HG Wells: A visionary who should be remembered for his social predictions, not just his scientific ones". The Independent. 9 October 2017.
8. Wagar, W. Warren (2004). H. G. Wells: Traversing Time. Wesleyan University Press. p. 7.
9. "How Hollywood fell for a British visionary". The Telegraph. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
10. "Nomination Database: Herbert G Wells". Nobel Retrieved 19 March 2015.
11. Robert M. Philmus and David Y. Hughes, ed., H. G. Wells: Early Writings in Science and Science Fiction (Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press, 1975), p. 179.
12. Vincent Brome, H. G. Wells: A Biography (London, New York, and Toronto: Longmans, Green, 1951).
13. Vincent Brome, H. G. Wells: A Biography (London, New York, and Toronto: Longmans, Green, 1951), p. 99.
14. "H G Wells - Author, Historian, Teacher with Type 2 Diabetes". Retrieved 18 February 2019.
15. Wells, H. G. (2005) [1905]. Claeys, Gregory; Parrinder, Patrick (eds.). A Modern Utopia. Gregory Claeys, Francis Wheen, Andy Sawyer. Penguin Classics. ISBN 978-0-14-144112-2.
16. Smith, David C. (1986) H. G. Wells: Desperately mortal. A biography. Yale University Press, New Haven and London ISBN 0-300-03672-8
17. "Sep. 21, 1866: Wells Springs Forth". Wired. 9 October 2017.
18. Nairn, Ian; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1965). The Buildings of England: Sussex. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. pp. 358–60. ISBN 0-14-071028-0.
19. "HG Wells: prophet of free love". The Guardian. 11 October 2017.
20. Wells, Geoffrey H. (1925). The Works of H. G. Wells. London: Routledge. p. xvi. ISBN 0-86012-096-1. OCLC 458934085.
21. Batchelor, John (1985). H. G. Wells. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. p. 2. ISBN 0-521-27804-X.
22. Pilkington, Ace G. (2017). Science Fiction and Futurism: Their Terms and Ideas. McFarland. p. 137.
23. Batchelor, John (1985). H. G. Wells. CUP Archive. p. 164.
24. Reeves, M.S. Round About a Pound a Week. New York: Garland Pub., 1980. ISBN 0-8240-0119-2. Some of the text is available online.
25. Brome, Vincent (2008). H. G. Wells. House of Stratus. p. 180.
26. Hammond, John R. (22 July 2014). A Preface to H G Wells. Routledge. pp. 90–. ISBN 978-1-317-87701-1.
27. Bowman, Jamie (3 October 2016). "Teaching spell near Wrexham inspired one of the nation's greatest science fiction writers". The Leader. Wrexham. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
28. "Hampstead: Education". A History of the County of Middlesex. 9: 159–169. 1989. Retrieved 9 June 2008.
29. Liukkonen, Petri. "A. A. Milne". Books and Writers ( Finland: Kuusankoski Public Library. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014.
30. H. G. Wells Under Revision: Proceedings of the International H. G. Wells Symposium, London, July 1986. Associated University Presse. 1990. p. 123.
31. David C Smith (1986). H. G. Wells: Desperately Mortal: A Biography. New Haven: Yale University Press. p. 35. ISBN 0300036728.
32. Hammond, John R. (2004). H. G. Wells's The Time Machine: A Reference Guide. Westport, Conn.: Praeger. p. 50.
33. "H. G. Wells and Woking". Celebrate Woking. Woking Borough Council. 2016. Retrieved 5 March 2017. H. G. Wells arrived in Woking in May 1895. He lived at 'Lynton', Maybury Road, Woking, which is now numbered 141 Maybury Road. Today, there is an English Heritage blue plaque displayed on the front wall of the property, which marks his period of residence.
34. Wells In Woking: 150th Anniversary 1866–2016: Free Souvenir Programme (PDF). Woking, Surrey: Woking Borough Council. 2016. pp. 4–5. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
35. Batchelor (1985: 165)
36. In the run-up to the 143rd anniversary of Wells's birth, Googlepublished a cartoon riddle series with the solution being the coordinates of Woking's nearby Horsell Common—the location of the Martian landings in The War Of The Worlds—described in newspaper article by Schofield, Jack (21 September 2009). "HG Wells – Google reveals answer to teaser doodles". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
37. Wager, Warren W. (2004). H. G. Wells: Traversing Time. Wesleyan University Press. p. 295.
38. Lynn, Andrea (2001). Shadow Lovers: The Last Affairs of H. G. Wells. Boulder, CO: Westview. pp. 10, 14, 47 et sec. ISBN 978-0-8133-3394-6.
39. Margaret Drabble (1 April 2005). "A room of her own". The Guardian.
40. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, online edition (UK library card required): Arnim, Mary Annette [May] von Accessed 2014-03-05
41. Liukkonen, Petri. "H. G. Wells". Books and Writers ( Finland: Kuusankoski Public Library. Archived from the original on 21 February 2015.
42. "The Passionate Friends: H. G. Wells and Margaret Sanger", at the Margaret Sanger Paper Project.
43. Kevin Dixon, Odette Keun, HG Wells and the Third Way, The PRSD, July 20, 2104.
44. Nina Renata Aron, The impossibly glamorous life of this Russian baroness spy needs to be a movie; Moura Budberg counted H.G. Wells and Maxim Gorky as lovers,, 2017
45. Michael Dirda, Moura? Moura Budberg? Now where have I heard that name before?, review of Nina Berberova's The Dangerous Life of the Baroness Budberg, in the Washington Post, May 22, 2005
46. Wells, Herbert G. (1934). H. G. Wells: Experiment in Autobiography. New York: J. B. Lippincott Co.
47. Lodge, David (2011). A Man of Parts. Random House.
48. "Simon Wells". British Film Institute. 22 October 2017.
49. "H. G. Wells' cartoons, a window on his second marriage, focus of new book | Archives | News Bureau". University of Illinois. 31 May 2006. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
50. Rinkel, Gene and Margaret. The Picshuas of H. G. Wells: A burlesque diary. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2006. ISBN 0-252-03045-1(cloth : acid-free paper).
51. "British Journal for the History of Science". Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 17 June 2016
52. The Man Who Invented Tomorrow In 1902, when Arnold Bennett was writing a long article for Cosmopolitan about Wells as a serious writer, Wells expressed his hope that Bennett would stress his "new system of ideas". Wells developed a theory to justify the way he wrote (he was fond of theories), and these theories helped others write in similar ways.
53. "The Time Machine – Scientists and Gentlemen – WriteWork".
54. D. Behlkar, Ratnakar (2009). Science Fiction: Fantasy and Reality. Atlantic Publishers & Dist. p. 19.
55. The Science of Fiction and the Fiction of Science: Collected Essays on SF Storytelling and the Gnostic Imagination. McFarland. 2009. pp. 41, 42.
56. "Novels: The Island of Doctor Moreau". Retrieved 16 October 2017.
57. Barnes & Noble. "The Island of Doctor Moreau: Original and Unabridged". Barnes & Noble.
58. Wells, Herbert George (2001). The Last War: A World Set Free. University of Nebraska Press. p. XIX.
59. Richard Rhodes (1986). The Making of the Atomic Bomb. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 24. ISBN 0-684-81378-5.
60. "Annual HG Wells Award for Outstanding Contributions to Transhumanism". 20 May 2009. Archived from the original on 20 May 2009. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
61. Turner, Frank Miller (1993). "Public Science in Britain 1880–1919". Contesting Cultural Authority: Essays in Victorian Intellectual Life. Cambridge University Press. pp. 219–20. ISBN 0-521-37257-7.
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63. Einstein, Albert (1994). "Education and World Peace, A Message to the Progressive Education Association, November 23, 1934". Ideas and Opinions: With An Introduction by Alan Lightman, Based on Mein Weltbild, edited by Carl Seelig, and Other Sources, New Translations and Revisions by Sonja Bargmann. New York: The Modern Library. p. 63.
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66. Wells, H. G. (2006). A Short History of the World. Penguin UK.
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68. Cowley, Malcolm. "Outline of Wells's History". The New Republic Vol. 81 Issue 1041, 14 November 1934 (pp. 22–23).
69. William Steinhoff, "Utopia Reconsidered: Comments on 1984" 153, in Eric S. Rabkin, Martin H. Greenberg, and Joseph D. Olander, eds., No Place Else: Explorations in Utopian and Dystopian Fiction. ISBN 0-8093-1113-5.
70. Wells, H. G. (2005). The Island of Dr Moreau. "Fear and Trembling". Penguin UK.
71. "A Barbellion Chronology". Quotable Barbellion. Retrieved 21 October 2017
72. At the time of the alleged infringement in 1919–20, unpublished works were protected in Canada under common law.Magnusson, Denis N. (Spring 2004). "Hell Hath No Fury: Copyright Lawyers' Lessons from Deeks v. Wells". Queen's Law Journal. 29: 692, note 39.
73. Magnusson, Denis N. (Spring 2004). "Hell Hath No Fury: Copyright Lawyers' Lessons from Deeks v. Wells". Queen's Law Journal. 29: 682.
74. Clarke, Arthur C. (March 1978). "Professor Irwin and the Deeks Affair". p. 91. Science Fiction Studies. SF-TH Inc. 5
75. Florence A. Deeks v H.G. Wells... Supreme Court, p. 9.
76. McKillop, A. B. (2000) Macfarlane Walter & Ross, Toronto.
77. Deeks, Florence A. (1930s) "Plagiarism?" unpublished typescript, copy in Deeks Fonds, Baldwin Room, Toronto Reference Library, Toronto, Ontario.
78. Magnusson, Denis N. (Spring 2004). "Hell Hath No Fury: Copyright Lawyers' Lessons from Deeks v. Wells". Queen's Law Journal. 29: 680, 684.
79. "9. The Last War Cyclone, 1940–50". The shape of things to come: the ultimate revolution (Penguin 2005 ed.). 1933. p. 208. ISBN 0-14-144104-6.
80. Wagar, W. Warren (2004). H. G. Wells: traversing time. Middletown, Conn: Wesleyan University Press. p. 209. ISBN 0-8195-6725-6.
81. Wells, H. G. (1938). World Brain. London: Methuen & Co., Ltd.; Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Doran & Co., Inc. Ebook: World Brain
82. Patrick Parrinder and John S. Partington (2005). The Reception of H. G. Wells in Europe. pp. 106–108. Bloomsbury Publishing.
83. Wells, Frank. H. G. Wells—A Pictorial Biography. London: Jupiter Books, 1977, p. 91.
84. Rundle, Michael (9 April 2013). "How H. G. Wells Invented Modern War Games 100 Years Ago". The Huffington Post.
85. The Miniatures Page. The World of Miniatures—An Overview.
86. H. G. Wells, Russia in the Shadows (New York: George H. Doran, 1921), p. 21.
87. "H. G. Wells Interviews Joseph Stalin in 1934; Declares "I Am More to The Left Than You, Mr. Stalin"". Open Culture. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
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89. "MARXISM VERSUS LIBERALISM". Red Star Press Ltd. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
90. Orwell, George (August 1941). "Wells, Hitler and the World State". Horizon. Archived from the original on 18 January 2016.
91. Chesterton's reference is to the biblical "mess of pottage", implying that Wells had sold out his artistic birthright in mid-career: Rolfe, Christopher; Parrinder, Patrick (1990). H. G. Wells under revision: proceedings of the International H. G. Wells Symposium, London, July 1986. Selinsgrove, PA: Susquehanna University Press. p. 9. ISBN 0-945636-05-9.
92. "HG Wells—Diabetes UK". 14 April 2008. Archived from the original on 6 January 2011. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
93. "Diabetes UK: Our History". Retrieved 10 December 2015
94. Flynn, John L. "The legacy of Orson Welles and the Radio Broadcast". War of the Worlds: from Wells to Spielberg by. Owens Mills, MD: Galactic. p. 45. ISBN 978-0-9769400-0-5.
95. "H. G. Wells Dies in London". St. Petersburg Times. 13 August 1946. Retrieved 29 October 2008.
96. "Calendar". Classics & Cheese. Archived from the original on 18 February 2008. Retrieved 12 February 2008.
97. "Preface to the 1941 edition of The War in the Air". Archived from the original on 22 December 2008. Retrieved 11 February 2008.
98. West, Anthony. H. G. Wells: Aspects of a Life, p. 153. London: Hutchinson & Co, 1984. ISBN 0-09-134540-5.
99. "H. G. Wells (1866 - 1946)". Blue Plaques. English Heritage.
100. Higgs, John (13 August 2016). "HG Wells's prescient visions of the future remain unsurpassed". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
101. Leithauser, Brad (20 October 2013). "H. G. Wells' ghost". New Yorker. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
102. "Churchill 'borrowed' famous lines from books by HG Wells". The Independent. 22 October 2017.
103. 'Human Rights and Public Accountability in H. G. Wells' Functional World State' | John Partington. Retrieved on 9 August 2013.
104. "The scandalous sex life of HG Wells". The Telegraph. 12 September 2017.
105. Herbert Wells, The Fate of Homo Sapiens, (London: Secker & Warburg, 1939), p 89-90.
106. Herbert George Wells Newsletter, Volume 2. p. 10. H. G. Wells Society, 1981
107. Wells, H. G. (1917). "Preface". God the Invisible King. London: Cassell. ISBN 0-585-00604-0. OCLC 261326125. Link to the online book..
108. Wells (1917: "The cosmology of modern religion").
109. Wells, H. G. (1908). First & last things; a confession of faith and rules of life. Putnam. pp. 77–80. OCLC 68958585.
110. The Fate of Homo Sapiens, p 291.
111. John Clute, Science Fiction :The Illustrated Encyclopedia. Dorling Kindersley London, ISBN 0751302023 (p. 114–15).
112. Budrys, Algis (September 1968). "Galaxy Bookshelf". Galaxy Science Fiction. pp. 187–193.
113. Sagan, Carl (28 May 1978). "Growing up with Science Fiction". The New York Times. p. SM7. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 12 December2018.
114. Andy Sawyer, "[William] Olaf Stapledon (1886–1950)", in Fifty Key Figures in Science Fiction. New York: Routledge, 2010. ISBN 0203874706 (pp. 205–210).
115. Richard Bleiler, "John Davis Beresford (1873–1947)" in Darren Harris-Fain, ed. British Fantasy and Science Fiction Writers Before World War I. Detroit, MI: Gale Research, 1997. pp. 27–34. ISBN 0810399415.
116. Brian Stableford, "Against the New Gods: The Speculative Fiction of S. Fowler Wright". in Against the New Gods and Other Essays on Writers of Imaginative Fiction Wildside Press LLC, 2009 ISBN 1434457435 (pp. 9–90).
117. "Mitchison, Naomi", in Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature: A Checklist, 1700–1974: With Contemporary Science Fiction Authors II. Robert Reginald, Douglas Menville, Mary A. Burgess. Detroit—Gale Research Company. ISBN 0810310511 p. 1002.
118. Michael D. Sharp, Popular Contemporary Writers, Marshall Cavendish, 2005 ISBN 0761476016 p. 422.
119. Michael R. Collings, Brian Aldiss. Mercer Island, WA : Starmont House, 1986. ISBN 0916732746 p. 60.
120. Hughes, JJ. "Back to the future. Contemporary biopolitics in 1920s' British futurism". EMBO Rep. 9 Suppl 1: S59–63. doi:10.1038/embor.2008.68. PMC 3327541. PMID 18578028.
121. "On Being the Right Size – J. B. S. Haldane" (PDF).
122. "Ray Bradbury". Strand Mag.
123. In Memory Yet Green: The Autobiography of Isaac Asimov 1920–1954.Garden City, N. Y.: Doubleday, 1979. p. 167.
124. "Vertex Magazine Interview". Archived from the original on 21 October 2012. Retrieved 21 October 2012. with Frank Herbert, by Paul Turner, October 1973, Volume 1, Issue 4.
125. John Huntington, "Utopian and Anti-Utopian Logic: H. G. Wells and his Successors". Science Fiction Studies, July 1982.
126. "The Romance of Sinclair Lewis". The New York Review of Books. 22 September 2017.
127. Gold, Interviewed by Herbert. "Vladimir Nabokov, The Art of Fiction No. 40". The Paris Review. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
128. Borges, Jorge Luis. The Total Library. Edited by Eliot Weinberger. London: Penguin Books, 1999. Pp. 150.
129. Borges, Jorge Luis. "Wells the Visionary" in The Total Library. Edited by Eliot Weinberger. London: Penguin Books, 1999. Pp. 150.
130. "Jorge Luis Borges Selects 74 Books for Your Personal Library". Open culture.
131. George Hay, "Shiel Versus the Renegade Romantic", in A. Reynolds Morse, Shiel in Diverse Hands: A Collection of Essays. Cleveland, OH: Reynolds Morse Foundation, 1983. pp. 109–113.
132. Rolfe; Parrinder (1990: 226)
133. Lewis, C. S., Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life. New York & London: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1955. p. 36.
134. "H.G. Wells: First Citizen of the Future". Rowman & Littlefield, 2014. p. 173.
135. R. A. York, The Extension of Life: Fiction and History in the American Novel. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2003. ISBN 0838639895. p. 40.
136. Lenny Picker (4 April 2011). "Victorian Time Travel: PW Talks with Felix J. Palma". Retrieved 17 January 2012.
137. Paul Levinson, "Ian, George, and George," Analog, December, 2013.
138. Booker, M. Keith (2006). Alternate Americas: Science Fiction Film and American Culture. Westport: Praeger Publishing. p. 199. ISBN 978-0-275-98395-6.
139. Palumbo, Donald E. (2014). The Monomyth in American Science Fiction Films. Jefferson: McFarland & Company. pp. 33–38. ISBN 978-0-786-47911-5.
140. "Timelash". BBC. Retrieved 15 April 2017.
141. "Phil of the Future Arch Enemies". MTV. Retrieved 15 April 2017
142. "H G Wells: War With The World". BBC. 22 October 2017.
143. "Warehouse 13: About the Series". Archived from the original on 6 October 2016. Retrieved 15 April 2017.
144. Hardwick, Robin (21 April 2015). "Best Podcasts of the Week". Entertainment Weekly.
145. McWeeny, Drew (19 July 2015). "'Battlefield Earth' is no longer the funniest thing to result from Scientology". Hitfix.
146. "Ray Winstone stars as HG Wells". The Independent. 22 October 2017.
147. Wagmeister, Elizabeth (17 February 2016). "ABC's 'Time After Time' Pilot Casts Josh Bowman, Freddie Stroma as Jack the Ripper & H. G. Wells". Variety. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
148. "H. G. Wells papers, 1845–1946 | University of Illinois Rare Book & Manuscript Library". University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.
149. "H. G. Wells Correspondence". Library Illinois.
150. "Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame". Mid American Science Fiction and Fantasy Conventions, Inc. ( 22 February 2008. Archived from the original on 22 July 2015. Retrieved 22 August2015. Last updated in 2008, this was the official homepage of the Hall of Fame to 2004.

Further reading

• Dickson, Lovat. H. G. Wells: His Turbulent Life & Times. 1969.
• Gilmour, David. The Long Recessional: The Imperial Life of Rudyard Kipling. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002 (paperback, ISBN 0-374-18702-9); 2003 (paperback, ISBN 0-374-52896-9).
• Gomme, A. W., Mr. Wells as Historian. Glasgow: MacLehose, Jackson, and Co., 1921.
• Gosling, John. Waging the War of the Worlds. Jefferson, North Carolina, McFarland, 2009 (paperback, ISBN 0-7864-4105-4).
• Mackenzie, Norman and Jean, The Time Traveller: the Life of H G Wells, London: Weidenfeld, 1973, ISBN 0-2977-6531-0
• Mauthner, Martin. German Writers in French Exile, 1933–1940, London: Vallentine and Mitchell, 2007, ISBN 978-0-85303-540-4.
• McLean, Steven. 'The Early Fiction of H. G. Wells: Fantasies of Science'. Palgrave, 2009, ISBN 9780230535626.
• Partington, John S. Building Cosmopolis: The Political Thought of H. G. Wells. Ashgate, 2003, ISBN 978-0754633839.
• Sherborne. Michael. H. G. Wells: Another Kind of Life. London: Peter Owen, 2010, ISBN 978-0-72061-351-3.
• Smith, David C., H. G. Wells: Desperately Mortal: A Biography. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1986, ISBN 0-3000-3672-8
• West, Anthony. H. G. Wells: Aspects of a Life. London: Hutchinson, 1984.
• Foot, Michael. H. G.: History of Mr. Wells. Doubleday, 1985 (ISBN 978-1-887178-04-4), Black Swan, New edition, Oct 1996 (paperback, ISBN 0-552-99530-4)

External links

• H. G. Wells at Curlie
• H. G. Wells on IMDb
• H. G. Wells at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
• H. G. Wells at the Internet Book List
• H. G. Wells at Library of Congress Authorities, with 772 catalogue records
• Future Tense – The Story of H. G. Wells at BBC one – 150th anniversary documentary (2016)
• "In the footsteps of H G Wells" at New Statesman – "The great author called for a Human Rights Act; 60 years later, we have it" (2000)


• H G Wells at the British Library
• H. G. Wells papers at University of Illinois
• Works by H. G. Wells at Project Gutenberg
• Works by Herbert George Wells at Faded Page (Canada)
• Works by or about H. G. Wells at Internet Archive
• Works by H. G. Wells at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
• A Short History of the World, at
• Quotes by H. G. Wells
• Free H. G. Wells downloads for iPhone, iPad, Nook, Android, and Kindle in PDF and all popular eBook reader formats (AZW3, EPUB, MOBI)at
• Newspaper clippings about H. G. Wells in the 20th Century Press Archives of the German National Library of Economics (ZBW)

Sources—letters, essays and interviews

• Archive of Wells's BBC broadcasts
• Film interview with H. G. Wells
• "Stephen Crane. From an English Standpoint", by Wells, 1900.
• Rabindranath Tagore: In conversation with H. G. Wells. Rabindranath Tagore and Wells conversing in Geneva in 1930.
• "Introduction", to W. N. P. Barbellion's The Journal of a Disappointed Man, by Wells, 1919.
• "Woman and Primitive Culture", by Wells, 1895.
• Letter, to M. P. Shiel, by Wells, 1937.
• H. G. Wells, The Open Conspiracy (1933)
• "Wells, Herbert George" . Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). 1911.
• "H. G. Wells". In Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
• Parrinder, Patrick (2011) [2004]. "Wells, Herbert George". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/36831.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
• "H. G. Wells biography". Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame.

Critical essays

• An introduction to The War of the Worlds by Iain Sinclair on the British Library's Discovering Literature website.
• "An Appreciation of H. G. Wells", by Mary Austin, 1911.
• "Socialism and the Family" (1906) by Belfort Bax, Part 1, Part 2.
• "H. G. Wells warned us how it would feel to fight a War of the Worlds", by Niall Ferguson, in The Telegraph, 24 Jun 2005.
• "H. G. Wells's Idea of a World Brain: A Critical Re-assessment", by W. Boyd Rayward, in Journal of the American Society for Information Science 50 (15 May 1999): 557–579
• "Mr H. G. Wells and the Giants", by G. K. Chesterton, from his book Heretics (1908).
• "The Internet: a world brain?", by Martin Gardner, in Skeptical Inquirer, Jan–Feb 1999.
• "Science Fiction: The Shape of Things to Come", by Mark Bould, in The Socialist Review, May 2005.
• "Who needs Utopia? A dialogue with my utopian self (with apologies, and thanks, to H. G. Wells)", by Gregory Claeys in Spaces of Utopia: An Electronic Journal, no 1, Spring 2006.
• "When H. G. Wells Split the Atom: A 1914 Preview of 1945", by Freda Kirchwey, in The Nation, posted 4 Sep 2003 (original 18 Aug 1945 issue).
• "Evil is in the Eye of the Beholder: Threatening Children in Two Edwardian Speculative Satires," by George M. Johnson. Science Fiction Studies. Vol. 41, No.1 (March 2014): 26–44.
• "Wells, Hitler and the World State", by George Orwell. First published: Horizon. GB, London. Aug 1941.
• "War of the Worldviews", by John J. Miller, in The Wall Street Journal Opinion Journal, 21 Jun 2005.
• "Wells's Autobiography", by John Hart, from New International, Vol.2 No.2, Mar 1935, pp. 75–76
• "History in the Science Fiction of H. G. Wells", by Patrick Parrinder, Cycnos, 22.2 (2006).
• "From the World Brain to the Worldwide Web", by Martin Campbell-Kelly, Gresham College Lecture, 9 Nov 2006.
• "The Beginning of Wisdom: On Reading H. G. Wells", by Vivian Gornick, Boston Review, 31.1 (2007).
• John Hammond, The Complete List of Short Stories of H. G. Wells
• Biography at a website examining the legacy of The War Of The Worlds
• "H. G. Wells Predictions Ring True, 143 Years Later" at National Geographic
• "H. G. Wells, the man I knew" Obituary of Wells by George Bernard Shaw, at the New Statesman
• "Wells at the World's End", by Adam Roberts
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Fri Jul 05, 2019 3:15 am

Fellowship of the New Life
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 7/4/19



The Fellowship of the New Life was a British organization in the 19th century, most famous for a splinter group, the Fabian Society.

It was founded in 1883, by the Scottish intellectual Thomas Davidson.[1] Fellowship members included poets Edward Carpenter and John Davidson, animal rights activist Henry Stephens Salt,[2] sexologist Havelock Ellis, feminist Edith Lees (who later married Ellis), novelist Olive Schreiner[3] and future Fabian secretary Edward R. Pease. Future UK Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald was briefly a member. According to MacDonald, the Fellowship's main influences were Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson.[4] The Fellowship published a journal called Seed-Time.

Its objective was "The cultivation of a perfect character in each and all." They wanted to transform society by setting an example of clean simplified living for others to follow. Many of the Fellowship's members advocated pacifism, vegetarianism and simple living, under the influence of Leo Tolstoy's ideas.[5] But when some members also wanted to become politically involved to aid society's transformation, it was decided that a separate society, the Fabian Society, would also be set up. All members were free to attend both societies. The Fellowship of the New Life disbanded in 1898.

Although not a member, Patrick Geddes was influenced by some of the organisation's ideas.[6]


Thomas Davidson was heavily influenced by the writings of Italian philosopher and priest Antonio Rosmini-Serbati. Upon studying and translating Rosmini’s writings, Davidson began to formulate the idea that would lead to the creation of the Fellowship, that pure intelligence would lead to a better and higher society.[7]

Beginning in 1883, Davidson gave several public lectures, and slowly a small group of like-minded individuals began gathering with him for meetings at his home in Chelsea, London. Between 1881 and 1885, Thomas Davidson held small meetings with this group of intellectuals. These meetings were designed to incorporate people who held similar ideals as Davidson, and to form a small society promoting the reorganization of individual life. This reorganization would then lead to slow progress towards a higher overall form of human society. Davidson was much more interested in discussion and meetings about this goal than scientific study or speculation.[8]


Early intentions

Davidson was a major proponent of a structured philosophy about religion, ethics, and social reform. He was a man full of ideas and wanted these ideas to see the light of day through his new society. Maurice Adams, one of the first members of the Fellowship, wrote of Davidson " ‘Intellectual Honesty’ was his watchword, and what he had perhaps most at heart."[9]

At a meeting on 16 November 1883, a summary of the society’s goals was drawn up by Maurice Adams: "We, recognizing the evils and wrongs that must beset men so long as our social life is based upon selfishness, rivalry, and ignorance, and desiring above all things to supplant it by a life based upon unselfishness, love, and wisdom, unite, for the purpose of realizing the higher life among ourselves, and of inducing and enabling others to do the same. And we now form ourselves into a Society, to be called the Guild [Fellowship] of the New Life, to carry out this purpose."[10]

Vita Nuova

The initial Fellowship was composed of about nine members, one of whom was Dr. Burns Gibson. He proposed a set of principles that took the form of a resolutions list. At one meeting of the Fellowship, the "Vita Nuova" was created and adopted by the group’s members. This basic document formed the core set of beliefs held by the society. This is as the document appears in its original form, as seen in the Memorials of Thomas Davidson:

Vita Nuova

• Object. The cultivation of a perfect character in each and all.
• Principle. The subordination of material things to spiritual things.
• Fellowship. The sole and essential condition of fellowship shall be a single-minded, sincere, and strenuous devotion to the object and principle.
• Intercourse. It is intended in the first instance to hold frequent gatherings for intimate social intercourse, as a step towards the establishment of a community among the members.
• Designs. The promotion, by both practice and precept, of the following methods of contributing toward the attainment of the end : (i) The supplanting of the spirit of competition and self-seeking by that of unselfish regard for the general good ; (2) simplicity of living; (3) the highest and completest education of the young; (4) the introduction, as far as possible, of manual labor in conjunction with intellectual pursuits ; (5) the organization, within and without the Fellowship, of meetings for religious communion, and of lectures, addresses, classes, and conferences for general culture, and for the furtherance of the aims of the Fellowship.[11]

Prominent members

Edward Carpenter

Edward Carpenter (29 August 1844 – 28 June 1929) was a founding member of the Fellowship of the New Life and was at the first meeting in 1883. He was also one of the founders of the Fabian Society, the Labour Party and one of the most well-known people of the century. He was an English poet, socialist philosopher, anthologist, and early gay rights activist. He was interested in the main ideas of the Fellowship, including politics, sexual radicalism and the works of Henry Havelock Ellis.[12]

Henry Havelock Ellis

Havelock Ellis was present when the Fellowship of the New life was founded in London in 1883.[13] There is no record of his contributions to discussion, although his participation in the organization increased after the formation of the Fabian Society.[citation needed]

Edith Ellis

Edith Ellis was the first woman served in secrete of the Fellowship of the New Life in 1887. She was a lecturer, writer, secretary and general factotum of Fellowship house, an experiment in communal living in which the ideals of the Fellowship of the new life were to be made manifest in Doughty.[14] Before she joined, she was active in a number of cultural and political enterprises, but it was joining the Fellowship that earned her notability.

The Fabian Society

The Fabian Society, established on 4 January 1884, was a branch of Thomas Davidson’s Fellowship of the New Life.[15] The Society was named after Fabius Cunctator, a suggestion by Frank Podmore, because of Fabius’ successful policy of gradual change that the society favored. The first meeting included well-known people in the socialist cause, including J. Hunter Watts, Percival Chubb, Frank Podmore, Edward Pease, Hubert Bland, Dr. Burns-Gibson, and Frederick Keddell,[13] and although the society was a branch of the Fellowship of the New Life, Thomas Davidson shared no sympathies with Fabianism.[15]

The Fabian Society had a more socialist movement than the Fellowship; however, it still had the individual as their base and starting point. It was geared more towards the external ideal rather than an inward one. Edward Pease said that the purpose of Fabianism was to reconstruct society to secure general welfare and happiness. Unlike the Fellowship the Fabian Society was more political and public, and their political section was influenced by Karl Marx and the Social Democratic Federation (SDF). Havelock Ellis says about the society: "an attempt to be more practical, and definitely more socialistic."[15]

The Fabian Society’s basis was to promote the transfer of land and capital to the State, equality of citizenship of men and women, and having public authority instead of private for the education and support of children.[13] The resolutions of the Society were written by Frederick Keddell, the first secretary of the Fabian Society.


• "Resolution I.—That the Society be called the Fabian Society (as Mr. Podmore explained in allusion to the victorious policy of Fabius Cunctator) was carried by 9 votes to 2.
• "Resolution II.—That the Society shall not at present pledge its members to any more definite basis of agreement than that contained in the resolution of 23rd November, 1883.
• "Carried unanimously.
• "Resolution III.—In place of Mr. Podmore's first proposal it was eventually decided to modify the resolution of 7th November, 1883, by inserting the words 'to help on' between the words 'shall be' and the words 'the reconstruction.'
• "Resolution IV with certain omissions was agreed to unanimously, viz.: That with the view of learning what practical measures to take in this direction the Society should:
o "(a) Hold meetings for discussion, the reading of papers, hearing of reports, etc.
o "(b) Delegate some of its members to attend meetings held on social subjects, debates at Workmen's Clubs, etc., in order that such members may in the first place report to the Society on the proceedings, and in the second place put forward, as occasion serves, the views of the Society.
o "(c) Take measures in other ways, as, for example, by the collection of articles from current literature, to obtain information on all contemporary social movements and social needs.


The Fellowship of the New Life was dissolved in 1898, but the Fabian Society grew to become a preeminent academic society in the United Kingdom. Another group organized the name of Fabian society by the center of the founder Sidney and Beatrice Webb. After that, many of Fabians participated in the formation of England's Labour Party in 1900. The party's constitution, written by Sidney Webb, borrowed heavily from the founding documents of the Fabian Society. As seen in the Labour Party Foundation Conference in 1900, the Fabian Society claimed 861 members and sent one delegate.
The Fabian society grew throughout 1930-1940 over many countries under the British rule, and many future leaders of these countries were influenced by the Fabians during their struggles for independence from the British. These leaders included India's prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Obafemi Awolowo, who later became the premier of Nigeria's defunct Western Region, and the founder of Pakistan, Barrister Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Lee Kuan Yew, the first prime minister of Singapore, had a political philosophy strongly influenced by the Fabian Society.[16] Even in the 21st century, the Fabian Society's influence is felt through Labour Party leaders such as former prime ministers of Great Britain, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.


1. Good, James A. "The Development of Thomas Davidson's Religious and Social Thought".
2. George Hendrick, Henry Salt: Humanitarian Reformer and Man of Letters, University of Illinois Press, pg. 47 (1977).
3. Jeffrey Weeks, Making Sexual History, Wiley-Blackwell, pg. 20, (2000).
4. MacDonald quoted on pg. XV of Henry S. Salt's Life of Thoreau,University of Illinois Press, (2000).
5. Colin Spencer, The Heretic's Feast:A History of Vegetarianism, Fourth Estate, pg. 283 (1996).
6. Tom Steel, Elisee Reclus and Patrick Geddes: Geographies of the Mind
7. Lataner, Albert. "Introduction to Davidson's Autobiographical Sketch," Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol. 18, No. 4: (1954), 535.
8. Knight, William. Memorials of Thomas Davidson.(Boston: Ginn & Company, 1907), 16
9. Knight, William. Memorials of Thomas Davidson.(Boston: Ginn & Company, 1907), 18
10. Knight, William. Memorials of Thomas Davidson.(Boston: Ginn & Company, 1907), 19
11. Knight, William. Memorials of Thomas Davidson.(Boston: Ginn & Company, 1907), 19-20
12. Tsuzuki, Chushichi. Edward Carpenter, 1844-1929: Prophet of the Human Fellowship. New York: Cambridge Press, 1980.
13. Pease, Edward R. (1916). The History of the Fabian Society. New York: E.P. Dutton and Co.
14. Alexander, Sally. Women's Fabian Tracts, Vol. 7. New York: Routledge, 2001.
15. William A. Knight, Memorials of Thomas Davidson: The Wandering Scholar (Boston and London: Ginn and Co, 1907). p. 16, 19, 46.
16. Morris, William, and Colin Ward Anarchist Seeds Beneath the Snow. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2006.


• Knight, William A. Memorials of Thomas Davidson: The Wandering Scholar. Boston and London: Ginn and Co, 1907.
• Pease, Edward R. The History of the Fabian Society. New York: E.P. Dutton and Co., 1916.
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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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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Part 3 of 3



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.



• Adams, Elsie Bonita (1971). Bernard Shaw and the Aesthetes. Columbus: Ohio State University Press. ISBN 978-0-8142-0155-8.
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• Dervin, Daniel (1975). Bernard Shaw: A Psychological Study. Lewisburg PA: Bucknell University Press. ISBN 978-0-8387-1418-8.
• Dukore, Bernard F. (1992). "Shaw and American Drama". Shaw and the Last Hundred Years. University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press. ISBN 978-0-271-01324-4.
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• Feinberg, Leonard (2006). The Satirist. New Brunswick NJ: Transaction Publishers. ISBN 978-1-4128-0562-9.
• Gaye, Freda, ed. (1967). Who's Who in the Theatre (fourteenth ed.). London: Sir Isaac Pitman and Sons. OCLC 5997224.
• Griffith, Gareth (1993). Socialism and Superior Brains: The Political Thought of George Bernard Shaw. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-203-21083-3.
• Holden, Anthony (1993). Behind the Oscar: The Secret History of the Academy Awards. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-671-70129-1.
• Holroyd, Michael (1990). Bernard Shaw, Volume 1: 1856–1898: The Search for Love. London: Penguin. ISBN 978-0-14-012441-5.
• Holroyd, Michael (1989). Bernard Shaw, Volume 2: 1898–1918: The Pursuit of Power. London: Chatto & Windus. ISBN 978-0-7011-3350-4.
• Holroyd, Michael (1993). Bernard Shaw, Volume 3: 1918–1950: The Lure of Fantasy. London: Penguin. ISBN 978-0-14-012443-9.
• Holroyd, Michael (1992). Bernard Shaw, Volume 4: The Last Laugh. London: Chatto & Windus. ISBN 978-0-7011-4583-5.
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• Innes, Christopher (1998). "Introduction". In Christopher Innes (ed.). The Cambridge Companion to George Bernard Shaw. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-56237-9.
• Kamm, Jürgen (1999). Twentieth-century Theatre and Drama. Trier, Germany: WVT. ISBN 978-3-88476-333-9.
• Kaufmann, R. J. (1965). G. B. Shaw: A Collection of Critical Essays. Englewood Cliffs NJ: Prentice Hall. OCLC 711587.
• Kavanagh, Peter (1950). The Story of the Abbey Theatre: From its Origins in 1899 to the Present. New York: Devin-Adair. OCLC 757711.
• Kevles, Daniel J. (1995). In the Name of Eugenics: Genetics and the Uses of Human Heredity. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-520-05763-0.
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• O'Donovan, John (1965). Shaw and the Charlatan Genius. Dublin: Dolman Press and Oxford University Press. OCLC 923954974.
• Pascal, Valerie (1971). The Disciple and his Devil: Gabriel Pascal and Bernard Shaw. London: Michael Joseph. OCLC 740749440.
• Pearce, Joseph (1997). Wisdom and Innocence: A Life of G. K. Chesterton. London: Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 978-0-340-69434-3.
• Pearson, Hesketh (1964). Bernard Shaw. London: Four Square Books. OCLC 222140216.
• Pelling, Henry (1965). The Origins of the Labour Party. Oxford: Oxford University Press. OCLC 502185.
• Peters, Sally (1996). Bernard Shaw: The Ascent of the Superman. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-06097-3.
• Peters, Sally (1998). "Shaw's life: a feminist in spite of himself". In Christopher Innes (ed.). The Cambridge Companion to George Bernard Shaw. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-56237-9.
• Pharand, Michel (2000). Bernard Shaw and the French. Gainesville: University Press of Florida. ISBN 978-0-8130-1828-7.
• Powell, Kerry (1998). "New Women, new plays, and Shaw in the 1890s". In Christopher Innes (ed.). The Cambridge Companion to George Bernard Shaw. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-56237-9.
• Preece, Rod (2011). Animal Sensibility and Inclusive Justice in the Age of Bernard Shaw. Vancouver: UBC Press. ISBN 978-0-7748-2109-4.
• Reed, W. H. (1939). Elgar. London: Dent. OCLC 8858707.
• Rollins, Cyril; R. John Witts (1962). The D'Oyly Carte Opera Company in Gilbert and Sullivan Operas: A Record of Productions, 1875–1961. London: Michael Joseph. OCLC 504581419.
• Rosset, Benjamin (1964). Shaw of Dublin: The Formative Years. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press. OCLC 608833.
• Searle, Geoffrey Russell (1976). Eugenics and Politics in Britain, 1900–1914. Groningen, Netherlands: Noordhoff International. ISBN 978-90-286-0236-6.
• Shepherd, John (2002). George Lansbury. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-820164-9.
• Smith, Adrian (2013). The New Statesman: Portrait of a Political Weekly 1913–1931. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-7146-4645-9.
• Tyson, Brian (1982). The Story of Shaw's Saint Joan. Montreal: McGill-Queen's Press. ISBN 978-0-7735-8513-3.
• Valency, Maurice (1973). The Cart and the Trumpet: The Plays of George Bernard Shaw. New York: Oxford University Press. OCLC 248056662.
• Wearing, J. P. (1982). The London Stage, 1910–1919: A Calendar of Plays and Players. Metuchen NJ: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-1596-4.
• 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)
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• Laurence, Dan, ed. (January 1955). "The Blanco Posnet Controversy". Shaw Society of America Bulletin: 1–9. JSTOR 40681313. (subscription required)
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• 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.
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• Morgan, L. N. (Spring 1951). "Bernard Shaw the Playwright". Books Abroad. 25 (2): 100–104. JSTOR 40089890. (subscription required)
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• "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)
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• 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.
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• Lawson, Mark (11 July 2012). "Timing is everything: how plays find their moments". The Guardian.
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• "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.
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• "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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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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