Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

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William Morris
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/27/20

William Morris
William Morris by Frederick Hollyer, 1888
Born: 24 March 1834, Walthamstow, Essex, England
Died: 3 October 1896 (aged 62), Hammersmith, Middlesex, England
Occupation: Artist, designer, writer, socialist
Known for: Wallpaper and textile design, fantasy fiction / medievalism, socialism
Notable work: News from Nowhere, The Well at the World's End
Spouse(s): Jane Burden (m. 1859)
Children: Jenny Morris; May Morris

William Morris (24 March 1834 – 3 October 1896) was a British textile designer, poet, novelist, translator, and socialist activist associated with the British Arts and Crafts Movement. He was a major contributor to the revival of traditional British textile arts and methods of production. His literary contributions helped to establish the modern fantasy genre, while he played a significant role proliferating the early socialist movement in Britain.

Morris was born in Walthamstow, Essex to a wealthy middle-class family. He came under the strong influence of medievalism while studying Classics at Oxford University, there joining the Birmingham Set. After university, he trained as an architect, married Jane Burden, and developed close friendships with Pre-Raphaelite artists Edward Burne-Jones and Dante Gabriel Rossetti and with Neo-Gothic architect Philip Webb. Webb and Morris designed Red House in Kent where Morris lived from 1859 to 1865, before moving to Bloomsbury, central London. In 1861, Morris founded the Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. decorative arts firm with Burne-Jones, Rossetti, Webb, and others, which became highly fashionable and much in demand. The firm profoundly influenced interior decoration throughout the Victorian period, with Morris designing tapestries, wallpaper, fabrics, furniture, and stained glass windows. In 1875, he assumed total control of the company, which was renamed Morris & Co.

Morris rented the rural retreat of Kelmscott Manor, Oxfordshire from 1871 while also retaining a main home in London. He was greatly influenced by visits to Iceland with Eiríkr Magnússon, and he produced a series of English-language translations of Icelandic Sagas. He also achieved success with the publication of his epic poems and novels, namely The Earthly Paradise (1868–1870), A Dream of John Ball (1888), the Utopian News from Nowhere (1890) and the fantasy romance The Well at the World's End (1896). In 1877, he founded the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings to campaign against the damage caused by architectural restoration. He embraced Marxism and was influenced by anarchism in the 1880s and became a committed revolutionary socialist activist. He founded the Socialist League in 1884 after an involvement in the Social Democratic Federation (SDF), but he broke with that organization in 1890. In 1891, he founded the Kelmscott Press to publish limited-edition, illuminated-style print books, a cause to which he devoted his final years.

Morris is recognised as one of the most significant cultural figures of Victorian Britain. He was best known in his lifetime as a poet, although he posthumously became better known for his designs. The William Morris Society founded in 1955 is devoted to his legacy, while multiple biographies and studies of his work have been published. Many of the buildings associated with his life are open to visitors, much of his work can be found in art galleries and museums, and his designs are still in production.

Early life

Youth: 1834–1852

Morris was born at Elm House in Walthamstow, Essex, on 24 March 1834.[1] Raised into a wealthy middle-class family, he was named after his father, a financier who worked as a partner in the Sanderson & Co. firm, bill brokers in the City of London.[2] His mother was Emma Morris (née Shelton), who descended from a wealthy bourgeois family from Worcester.[3] Morris was the third of his parents' surviving children; their first child, Charles, had been born in 1827 but died four days later. Charles had been followed by the birth of two girls, Emma in 1829 and Henrietta in 1833, before William's birth. These children were followed by the birth of siblings Stanley in 1837, Rendall in 1839, Arthur in 1840, Isabella in 1842, Edgar in 1844, and Alice in 1846.[4] The Morris family were followers of the evangelical Protestant form of Christianity, and William was baptised four months after his birth at St. Mary's Church, Walthamstow.[5]

Water House, Morris' childhood home; renovated in 2012, it now houses The William Morris Gallery

As a child, Morris was kept largely housebound at Elm House by his mother; there, he spent much time reading, favouring the novels of Walter Scott.[6] Aged 6, Morris moved with his family to the Georgian Italianate mansion at Woodford Hall, Woodford, Essex, which was surrounded by 50 acres of land adjacent to Epping Forest.[7] He took an interest in fishing with his brothers as well as gardening in the Hall's grounds,[8] and spent much time exploring the Forest, where he was fascinated both by the Iron Age earthworks at Loughton Camp and Ambresbury Banks and by the Early Modern Hunting Lodge at Chingford.[9] He also took rides through the Essex countryside on his pony,[10] and visited the various churches and cathedrals throughout the country, marveling at their architecture.[11] His father took him on visits outside of the county, for instance to Canterbury Cathedral, the Chiswick Horticultural Gardens, and to the Isle of Wight, where he adored Blackgang Chine.[12] Aged 9, he was then sent to Misses Arundale's Academy for Young Gentlemen, a nearby preparatory school; although initially riding there by pony each day, he later began boarding, intensely disliking the experience.[13]

In 1847, Morris's father died unexpectedly. From this point, the family relied upon continued income from the copper mines at Devon Great Consols, and sold Woodford Hall to move into the smaller Water House.[14] In February 1848 Morris began his studies at Marlborough College in Marlborough, Wiltshire, where he gained a reputation as an eccentric nicknamed "Crab". He despised his time there, being bullied, bored, and homesick.[15] He did use the opportunity to visit many of the prehistoric sites of Wiltshire, such as Avebury and Silbury Hill, which fascinated him.[16] The school was Anglican in faith and in March 1849 Morris was confirmed by the Bishop of Salisbury in the college chapel, developing an enthusiastic attraction towards the Anglo-Catholic movement and its Romanticist aesthetic.[17] At Christmas 1851, Morris was removed from the school and returned to Water House, where he was privately tutored by the Reverend Frederick B. Guy, Assistant Master at the nearby Forest School.[18]

Oxford and the Birmingham Set: 1852–1856

In June 1852 Morris entered Oxford University's Exeter College, although since the college was full, he only went into residence in January 1853.[19] He disliked the college and was bored by the manner in which they taught him Classics.[20] Instead he developed a keen interest in Medieval history and Medieval architecture, inspired by the many Medieval buildings in Oxford.[21] This interest was tied to Britain's growing Medievalist movement, a form of Romanticism that rejected many of the values of Victorian industrial capitalism.[22] For Morris, the Middle Ages represented an era with strong chivalric values and an organic, pre-capitalist sense of community, both of which he deemed preferable to his own period.[23] This attitude was compounded by his reading of Thomas Carlyle's book Past and Present (1843), in which Carlyle championed Medieval values as a corrective to the problems of Victorian society.[24] Under this influence, Morris's dislike of contemporary capitalism grew, and he came to be influenced by the work of Christian socialists Charles Kingsley and Frederick Denison Maurice.[25]

At the college, Morris met fellow first-year undergraduate Edward Burne-Jones, who became his lifelong friend and collaborator. Although from very different backgrounds, they found that they had a shared attitude to life, both being keenly interested in Anglo-Catholicism and Arthurianism.[26] Through Burne-Jones, Morris joined a group of undergraduates from Birmingham who were studying at Pembroke College: William Fulford, Richard Watson Dixon, Charles Faulkner, and Cormell Price. They were known among themselves as the "Brotherhood" and to historians as the Birmingham Set.[27] Morris was the most affluent member of the Set, and was generous with his wealth toward the others.[28] Like Morris, the Set were fans of the poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and would meet together to recite the plays of William Shakespeare.[29]

William Morris self-portrait, 1856; Morris grew his beard that year, after leaving university.[30]

Morris was heavily influenced by the writings of the art critic John Ruskin, being particularly inspired by his chapter "On the Nature of Gothic Architecture" in the second volume of The Stones of Venice; he later described it as "one of the very few necessary and inevitable utterances of the century".[31] Morris adopted Ruskin's philosophy of rejecting the tawdry industrial manufacture of decorative arts and architecture in favour of a return to hand-craftsmanship, raising artisans to the status of artists, creating art that should be affordable and hand-made, with no hierarchy of artistic mediums.[32][33] Ruskin had achieved attention in Victorian society for championing the art of a group of painters who had emerged in London in 1848 calling themselves the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. The Pre-Raphaelite style was heavily Medievalist and Romanticist, emphasising abundant detail, intense colours and complex compositions; it greatly impressed Morris and the Set.[34] Influenced both by Ruskin and by John Keats, Morris began to spend more time writing poetry, in a style that was imitative of much of theirs.[35]

Both he and Burne-Jones were influenced by the Romanticist milieu and the Anglo-Catholic movement, and decided to become clergymen in order to found a monastery where they could live a life of chastity and dedication to artistic pursuit, akin to that of the contemporary Nazarene movement. However, as time went on Morris became increasingly critical of Anglican doctrine and the idea faded.[36] In summer 1854, Morris travelled to Belgium to look at Medieval paintings,[37] and in July 1855 went with Burne-Jones and Fulford across northern France, visiting Medieval churches and cathedrals.[38] It was on this trip that he and Burne-Jones committed themselves to "a life of art".[39] For Morris, this decision resulted in a strained relationship with his family, who believed that he should have entered either commerce or the clergy.[40] On a subsequent visit to Birmingham, Morris discovered Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, which became a core Arthurian text for him and Burne-Jones.[41] In January 1856, the Set began publication of The Oxford and Cambridge Magazine, designed to contain "mainly Tales, Poetry, friendly critiques and social articles". Mainly funded by Morris, who briefly served as editor and heavily contributed to it with his own stories, poems, reviews and articles, the magazine lasted for twelve issues, and garnered praise from Tennyson and Ruskin.[42]

Apprenticeship, the Pre-Raphaelites, and marriage: 1856–1859

Morris's 1858 painting La belle Iseult, also inaccurately called Queen Guinevere, is his only surviving easel painting, now in the Tate Gallery. The model is Jane Burden, who married Morris in 1859.

Having passed his finals and been awarded a BA, Morris began an apprenticeship with the Oxford-based Neo-Gothic architect George Edmund Street in January 1856. His apprenticeship focused on architectural drawing, and there he was placed under the supervision of the young architect Philip Webb, who became a close friend.[43] Morris soon relocated to Street's London office, in August 1856 moving into a flat in Bloomsbury, Central London with Burne-Jones, an area perhaps chosen for its avant-garde associations.[44] Morris was fascinated by London but dismayed at its pollution and rapid expansion into neighbouring countryside, describing it as "the spreading sore".[45]

Morris became increasingly fascinated with the idyllic Medievalist depictions of rural life which appeared in the paintings of the Pre-Raphaelites, and spent large sums of money purchasing such artworks. Burne-Jones shared this interest, but took it further by becoming an apprentice to one of the foremost Pre-Raphaelite painters, Dante Gabriel Rossetti; the three soon became close friends.[46] Through Rossetti, Morris came to associate with poet Robert Browning, and the artists Arthur Hughes, Thomas Woolner, and Ford Madox Brown.[47] Tired of architecture, Morris abandoned his apprenticeship, with Rossetti persuading him to take up painting instead, which he chose to do in the Pre-Raphaelite style.[48] Morris aided Rossetti and Burne-Jones in painting the Arthurian murals at Oxford Union, although his contributions were widely deemed inferior and unskilled compared to those of the others.[49] At Rossetti's recommendation, Morris and Burne-Jones moved in together to the flat at Bloomsbury's No. 17 Red Lion Square by November 1856. Morris designed and commissioned furniture for the flat in a Medieval style, much of which he painted with Arthurian scenes in a direct rejection of mainstream artistic tastes.[50]

Morris also continued writing poetry and began designing illuminated manuscripts and embroidered hangings.[51] In March 1857, Bell and Dandy published a book of Morris's poems, The Defence of Guenevere, which was largely self-funded by the author. It did not sell well and garnered few reviews, most of which were unsympathetic. Disconcerted, Morris would not publish again for a further eight years.[52] In October 1857 Morris met Jane Burden, a woman from a poor working-class background, at a theatre performance. Rosetti initially asked her to model for him. Controversially both Rosetti and Morris were smitten with her, however Morris entered into a relationship with her and they were engaged in spring 1858; Burden would later admit however that she never loved Morris.[53] They were married in a low-key ceremony held at St Michael at the North Gate church in Oxford on 26 April 1859, before honeymooning in Bruges, Belgium, and settling temporarily at 41 Great Ormond Street, London.[54]

Career and fame

Red House and the Firm: 1859–1865

Red House in Bexleyheath; it is now owned by The National Trust and open to visitors

Morris desired a new home for himself and his daughters resulting in the construction of the Red House in the Kentish hamlet of Upton near Bexleyheath, ten miles from central London. The building's design was a co-operative effort, with Morris focusing on the interiors and the exterior being designed by Webb, for whom the House represented his first commission as an independent architect.[55] Named after the red bricks and red tiles from which it was constructed, Red House rejected architectural norms by being L-shaped.[56] Influenced by various forms of contemporary Neo-Gothic architecture, the House was nevertheless unique,[57] with Morris describing it as "very mediaeval in spirit".[58] Situated within an orchard, the house and garden were intricately linked in their design.[59] It took a year to construct,[60] and cost Morris £4000 at a time when his fortune was greatly reduced by a dramatic fall in the price of his shares.[61] Burne-Jones described it as "the beautifullest place on Earth."[62]

After construction, Morris invited friends to visit, most notably Burne-Jones and his wife Georgiana, as well as Rossetti and his wife Lizzie Siddal.[63] They aided him in painting murals on the furniture, walls, and ceilings, much of it based on Arthurian tales, the Trojan War, and Geoffrey Chaucer's stories, while he also designed floral embroideries for the rooms.[64] They also spent much time playing tricks on each other, enjoying games like hide and seek, and singing while accompanied by the piano.[65] Siddall stayed at the House during summer and autumn 1861 as she recovered from a traumatic miscarriage and an addiction to laudanum; she would die of an overdose in February 1862.[66]

In April 1861, Morris founded a decorative arts company, Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co., with six other partners: Burne-Jones, Rossetti, Webb, Ford Madox Brown, Charles Faulkner, and Peter Paul Marshall. Operating from premises at No. 6 Red Lion Square, they referred to themselves as "the Firm" and were intent on adopting Ruskin's ideas of reforming British attitudes to production. They hoped to reinstate decoration as one of the fine arts and adopted an ethos of affordability and anti-elitism.[67] For additional staff, they employed boys from the Industrial Home for Destitute Boys in Euston, central London, many of whom were trained as apprentices.[68]

Although working within the Neo-Gothic school of design, they differed from Neo-Gothic architects like George Gilbert Scott who simply included certain Gothic features on modern styles of building; instead they sought to return completely to Medieval Gothic methods of craftmanship.[69] The products created by the Firm included furniture, architectural carving, metalwork, stained glass windows, and murals.[70] Their stained glass windows proved a particular success in the firm's early years as they were in high demand for the surge in the Neo-Gothic construction and refurbishment of churches, many of which were commissioned by the architect George Frederick Bodley.[71] Despite Morris's anti-elitist ethos, the Firm soon became increasingly popular and fashionable with the bourgeoisie, particularly following their exhibit at the 1862 International Exhibition in South Kensington, where they received press attention and medals of commendation.[72] However, they faced much opposition from established design companies, particularly those belonging to the Neo-Classical school.[73]

Design for Trellis wallpaper, 1862

Morris was slowly abandoning painting, recognising that his work lacked a sense of movement; none of his paintings are dated later than 1862.[74] Instead he focused his energies on designing wallpaper patterns, the first being "Trellis", designed in 1862. His designs would be produced from 1864 by Jeffrey and Co. of Islington, who created them for the Firm under Morris's supervision.[75] Morris also retained an active interest in various groups, joining the Hogarth Club, the Mediaeval Society, and the Corps of Artist Volunteers, the latter being in contrast to his later pacifism.[76]

Meanwhile, Morris's family continued to grow. In January 1861, Morris and Janey's first daughter was born: named Jane Alice Morris, she was commonly known as "Jenny".[77] Jenny was followed in March 1862 by the birth of their second daughter, Mary "May" Morris.[78] Morris was a caring father to his daughters, and years later they both recounted having idyllic childhoods.[79] However, there were problems in Morris's marriage as Janey became increasingly close to Rossetti, who often painted her. It is unknown if their affair was ever sexual, although by this point other members of the group were noticing Rossetti and Janey's closeness.[80]

Imagining the creation of an artistic community at Upton, Morris helped develop plans for a second house to be constructed adjacent to Red House in which Burne-Jones could live with his family; the plans were abandoned when Burne-Jones' son Christopher died from scarlet fever.[81] By 1864, Morris had become increasingly tired of life at Red House, being particularly unhappy with the 3 to 4 hours spent commuting to his London workplace on a daily basis.[82] He sold Red House, and in autumn 1865 moved with his family to No. 26 Queen Square in Bloomsbury, the same building to which the Firm had moved its base of operations earlier in the summer.[83]

Queen Square and The Earthly Paradise: 1865–1870

Portrait of William Morris by George Frederic Watts, 1870.

At Queen Square, the Morris family lived in a flat directly above the Firm's shop.[84] They were joined by Janey's sister Bessie Burton and a number of household servants.[85] Meanwhile, changes were afoot at the Firm as Faulkner left, and to replace him they employed a business manager, Warrington Taylor, who would remain with them till 1866. Taylor pulled the Firm's finances into order and spent much time controlling Morris and ensuring that he worked to schedule.[86] During these years the Firm carried out a number of high-profile designs; from September 1866 to January 1867, they redecorated the Armoury and Tapestry Room in St James's Palace,[87] in the latter year also designing the Green Dining Room at the South Kensington Museum (it is now the Morris Room at the Victoria and Albert Museum).[88] The Firm's work received increasing interest from people in the United States, resulting in Morris's acquaintance with Henry James and Charles Eliot Norton.[89] However, despite its success, the Firm was not turning over a large net profit, and this, coupled with the decreasing value of Morris' stocks, meant that he had to decrease his spending.[90]

Janey's relationship with Rossetti had continued, and by the late 1860s gossip regarding their affair had spread about London, where they were regularly seen spending time together.[91] Morris biographer Fiona MacCarthy argued that it was likely that Morris had learned of and accepted the existence of their affair by 1870.[92] In this year he developed an affectionate friendship with Aglaia Coronio, the daughter of wealthy Greek refugees, although there is no evidence that they had an affair.[93] Meanwhile, Morris's relationship with his mother had improved, and he would regularly take his wife and children to visit her at her house in Leyton.[94] He also went on various holidays; in the summer of 1866 he, Webb, and Taylor toured the churches of northern France.[95]

A caricature sketch of Morris by Rossetti, The Bard and Petty Tradesman, reflecting his behaviour at the Firm

In August 1866 Morris joined the Burne-Jones family on their holiday in Lymington, while in August 1867 both families holidayed together in Oxford.[96] In August 1867 the Morrises holidayed in Southwold, Suffolk,[97] while in the summer of 1869 Morris took his wife to Bad Ems in Rhineland-Palatinate, central Germany, where it was hoped that the local health waters would aid her ailments. While there, he enjoyed walks in the countryside and focused on writing poetry.[98]

Morris had continued to devote much time to writing poetry. In 1867 Bell and Dandy published Morris's epic poem, The Life and Death of Jason, at his own expense. The book was a retelling of the ancient Greek myth of the hero Jason and his quest to find the Golden Fleece. In contrast to Morris's former publication, The Life and Death of Jason was well received, resulting in the publishers paying Morris a fee for the second edition.[99] From 1865 to 1870, Morris worked on another epic poem, The Earthly Paradise. Designed as a homage to Chaucer, it consisted of 24 stories, adopted from an array of different cultures, and each by a different narrator; set in the late 14th century, the synopsis revolved around a group of Norsemen who flee the Black Death by sailing away from Europe, on the way discovering an island where the inhabitants continue to venerate the ancient Greek gods. Published in four parts by F. S. Ellis, it soon gained a cult following and established Morris' reputation as a major poet.[100]

Kelmscott Manor and Iceland: 1870–1875

Main Entrance to Kelmscott Manor

By 1870, Morris had become a public figure in Britain, resulting in repeated press requests for photographs, which he despised.[101] That year, he also reluctantly agreed to sit for a portrait by establishment painter George Frederic Watts.[102] Morris was keenly interested in Icelandic literature, having befriended the Icelandic theologian Eiríkr Magnússon. Together they produced prose translations of the Eddas and Sagas for publication in English.[103] Morris also developed a keen interest in creating handwritten illuminated manuscripts, producing 18 such books between 1870 and 1875, the first of which was A Book of Verse, completed as a birthday present for Georgina Burne-Jones. 12 of these 18 were handwritten copies of Nordic tales such as Halfdan the Black, Frithiof the Bold, and The Dwellers of Eyr. Morris deemed calligraphy to be an art form, and taught himself both Roman and italic script, as well as learning how to produce gilded letters.[104] In November 1872 he published Love is Enough, a poetic drama based on a story in the Medieval Welsh text, the Mabinogion. Illustrated with Burne-Jones woodcuts, it was not a popular success.[105] By 1871, he had begun work on a novel set in the present, The Novel on Blue Paper, which was about a love triangle; it would remain unfinished and Morris later asserted that it was not well written.[106]

By early summer 1871, Morris began to search for a house outside London where his children could spend time away from the city's pollution. He settled on Kelmscott Manor in the village of Kelmscott, Oxfordshire, obtaining a joint tenancy on the building with Rossetti in June.[107] Morris adored the building, which was constructed circa 1570, and would spend much time in the local countryside.[108] Conversely, Rossetti would be unhappy at Kelmscott, and eventually suffered a mental breakdown.[109] Morris divided his time between London and Kelmscott, however when Rossetti was there he would not spend more than three days at a time at the latter.[110] He was also fed up with his family home in Queen Square, deciding to obtain a new house in London. Although retaining a personal bedroom and study at Queen Square, he relocated his family to Horrington House in Turnham Green Road, West London, in January 1873.[111] This allowed him to be far closer to the home of Burne-Jones, with the duo meeting on almost every Sunday morning for the rest of Morris' life.[112]

Morris' Acanthus wallpaper design, (1875)

and a page from Morris' illuminated manuscript of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, illustrated by Edward Burne-Jones

Leaving Jane and his children with Rossetti at Kelmscott, in July 1871 Morris left for Iceland with Faulkner, W.H. Evans, and Magnússon. Sailing from the Scottish port of Granton aboard a Danish mail boat, they proceeded to the island via Tórshavn in the Faroe Islands before arriving at Reykjavik, where they disembarked. There they met the President of the Althing, Jón Sigurðsson, with Morris being sympathetic to the Icelandic independence movement. From there, they proceeded by Icelandic horse along the south coast to Bergþórshvoll, Thórsmörk, Geysir, Þingvellir, and then back to Reyjkavik, where they departed back to Britain in September.[113] In April 1873, Morris and Burne-Jones holidayed in Italy, visiting Florence and Siena. Although generally disliking the country, Morris was interested in the Florentine Gothic architecture.[114] Soon after, in July, Morris returned to Iceland, revisiting many of the sites he had previously seen, but then proceeding north to Varna glacier and Fljótsdalur.[115] His two visits to the country profoundly influenced him, in particular in his growing leftist opinions; he would comment that these trips made him realise that "the most grinding poverty is a trifling evil compared with the inequality of classes."[116]

Morris and Burne-Jones then spent time with one of the Firm's patrons, the wealthy George Howard, 9th Earl of Carlisle and his wife Rosalind, at their Medieval home in Naworth Castle, Cumberland.[117] In July 1874, the Morris family then took Burne-Jones' two children with them on their holiday to Bruges, Belgium.[118] However, by this point Morris' friendship with Rossetti had seriously eroded, and in July 1874 their acrimonious falling out led Rossetti to leave Kelmscott, with Morris' publisher F.S. Ellis taking his place.[119] With the company's other partners drifting off to work on other projects, Morris decided to consolidate his own control of the Firm and become sole proprietor and manager. In March 1875, he paid £1000 each in compensation to Rossetti, Brown, and Marshall, although the other partners waived their claims to financial compensation. That month, the Firm was officially disbanded and replaced by Morris & Co, although Burne-Jones and Webb would continue to produce designs for it in future.[120] This accomplished, he resigned his directorship of the Devon Great Consols, selling his remaining shares in the company.[121]

Textile experimentation and political embrace: 1875–1880

Two of Morris' designs: Snakeshead printed textile (1876)

and "Peacock and Dragon" woven wool furnishing fabric (1878)

Now in complete control of the Firm, Morris took an increased interest in the process of textile dyeing and entered into a co-operative agreement with Thomas Wardle, a silk dyer who operated the Hencroft Works in Leek, Staffordshire. As a result, Morris would spend time with Wardle at his home on various occasions between summer 1875 and spring 1878.[122] Deeming the colours to be of inferior quality, Morris rejected the chemical aniline dyes which were then predominant, instead emphasising the revival of organic dyes, such as indigo for blue, walnut shells and roots for brown, and cochineal, kermes, and madder for red.[123] Living and working in this industrial environment, he gained a personal understanding of production and the lives of the proletariat, and was disgusted by the poor living conditions of workers and the pollution caused by industry; these factors greatly influenced his political views.[124] After learning the skills of dyeing, in the late 1870s Morris turned his attention to weaving, experimenting with silk weaving at Queen's Square.[125]

In the Spring of 1877, the Firm opened a store at No. 449 Oxford Street and obtained new staff who were able to improve its professionalism; as a result, sales increased and its popularity grew.[126] By 1880, Morris & Co. had become a household name, having become very popular with Britain's upper and middle classes.[127] The Firm was obtaining increasing numbers of commissions from aristocrats, wealthy industrialists, and provincial entrepreneurs, with Morris furnishing parts of St James's Palace and the chapel at Eaton Hall.[128] As a result of his growing sympathy for the working-classes and poor, Morris felt personally conflicted in serving the interests of these individuals, privately describing it as "ministering to the swinish luxury of the rich".[127]

Continuing with his literary output, Morris translated his own version of Virgil's Aeneid, titling it The Aeneids of Vergil (1876). Although many translations were already available, often produced by trained Classicists, Morris claimed that his unique perspective was as "a poet not a pedant".[129] He also continued producing translations of Icelandic tales with Magnússon, including Three Northern Love Stories (1875) and Völuspa Saga (1876).[130] In 1877 Morris was approached by Oxford University and offered the largely honorary position of Professor of Poetry. He declined, asserting that he felt unqualified, knowing little about scholarship on the theory of poetry.[131]

In summer 1876 Jenny Morris was diagnosed with epilepsy. Refusing to allow her to be societally marginalised or institutionalised, as was common in the period, Morris insisted that she be cared for by the family.[132] When Janey took May and Jenny to Oneglia in Italy, the latter suffered a serious seizure, with Morris rushing to the country to see her. They then proceeded to visit a number of other cities, including Venice, Padua, and Verona, with Morris attaining a greater appreciation of the country than he had on his previous trip.[133] In April 1879 Morris moved the family home again, this time renting an 18th-century mansion on Hammersmith's Upper Mall in West London. Owned by the novelist George MacDonald, Morris would name it Kelmscott House and re-decorate it according to his own taste.[134] In the House's grounds he set up a workshop, focusing on the production of hand-knotted carpets.[135] Excited that both of his homes were along the course of the River Thames, in August 1880 he and his family took a boat trip along the river from Kelmscott House to Kelmscott Manor.[136]

Portrait of William Morris by William Blake Richmond

Morris became politically active in this period, coming to be associated with the radicalist current within British liberalism. He joined the Eastern Question Association (EQA) and was appointed the group's treasurer in November 1876. EQA had been founded by campaigners associated with the centre-left Liberal Party who opposed Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli's alliance with the Ottoman Empire; the Association highlighted the Ottoman massacre of Bulgarians and feared that the alliance would lead Disraeli to join the Ottomans in going to war with the Russian Empire.[137] Morris took an active role in the EQA campaign, authoring the lyrics for the song "Wake, London Lads!" to be sung at a rally against military intervention.[138] Morris eventually became disillusioned with the EQA, describing it as being "full of wretched little personalities".[139] He nevertheless joined a regrouping of predominantly working-class EQA activists, the National Liberal League, becoming their treasurer in summer 1879; the group remained small and politically ineffective, with Morris resigning as treasurer in late 1881, shortly before the group's collapse.[140]

However, his discontent with the British liberal movement grew following the election of the Liberal Party's William Ewart Gladstone to the Premiership in 1880. Morris was particularly angered that Gladstone's government did not reverse the Disraeli regime's occupation of the Transvaal, introduced the Coercion Bill, and oversaw the Bombardment of Alexandria.[141] Morris later related that while he had once believed that "one might further real Socialistic progress by doing what one could on the lines of ordinary middle-class Radicalism", following Gladstone's election he came to realise "that Radicalism is on the wrong line, so to say, and will never develope [sic] into anything more than Radicalism: in fact that it is made for and by the middle classes and will always be under the control of rich capitalists".[142]

In 1876, Morris visited Burford Church in Oxfordshire, where he was appalled at the restoration conducted by his old mentor, G.E. Street. He recognised that these programs of architectural restoration led to the destruction or major alteration of genuinely old features in order to replace them with "sham old" features, something which appalled him.[143] To combat the increasing trend for restoration, in March 1877 he founded the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB), which he personally referred to as "Anti-Scrape". Adopting the role of honorary secretary and treasurer, most of the other early members of SPAB were his friends, while the group's program was rooted in Ruskin's The Seven Lamps of Architecture (1849).[144] As part of SPAB's campaign, Morris tried to build connections with art and antiquarian societies and the custodians of old buildings, and also contacted the press to highlight his cause. He was particularly strong in denouncing the ongoing restoration of Tewkesbury Abbey and was vociferous in denouncing the architects responsible, something that deeply upset Street.[145] Turning SPAB's attention abroad, in Autumn 1879 Morris launched a campaign to protect St Mark's Basilica in Venice from restoration, garnering a petition with 2000 signatures, among whom were Disraeli, Gladstone, and Ruskin.[146]
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sat Mar 28, 2020 5:50 am

Part 2 of 3

Later life

Merton Abbey and the Democratic Federation: 1881–1884

The Pond at Merton Abbey by Lexden Lewis Pocock is an idyllic representation of the works in the time of Morris

In summer 1881, Morris took out a lease on the seven-acre former silk weaving factory at Merton Abbey Works, next to the River Wandle on the High Street at Merton, Southwest London (not to be confused with the site at Merton Abbey Mills, which was the home of the Liberty Print Works, an adjacent site in Merton, Southwest London.) Moving his workshops to the site, the premises were used for weaving, dyeing, and creating stained glass; within three years, 100 craftsmen would be employed there.[147] Working conditions at the Abbey were better than at most Victorian factories. However, despite Morris's ideals, there was little opportunity for the workers to display their own individual creativity.[148] Morris had initiated a system of profit sharing among the Firm's upper clerks, however this did not include the majority of workers, who were instead employed on a piecework basis. Morris was aware that, in retaining the division between employer and employed, the company failed to live up to his own egalitarian ideals, but defended this, asserting that it was impossible to run a socialist company within a competitive capitalist economy.[149] The Firm itself was expanding, opening up a store in Manchester in 1883 and holding a stand at that year's Foreign Fair in Boston.[150]

Janey's relationship with Rossetti had continued through a correspondence and occasional visits, although she found him extremely paranoid and was upset by his addiction to chloral. She last saw him in 1881, and he died in April the following year.[151] Morris described his mixed feelings toward his deceased friend by stating that he had "some of the very greatest qualities of genius, most of them indeed; what a great man he would have been but for the arrogant misanthropy which marred his work, and killed him before his time".[152] In August 1883, Janey would be introduced to the poet Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, with whom she embarked on a second affair, which Morris might have been aware of.[153]

In January 1881 Morris was involved in the establishment of the Radical Union, an amalgam of radical working-class groups which hoped to rival the Liberals, and became a member of its executive committee.[154] However, he soon rejected liberal radicalism completely and moved toward socialism.[155] In this period, British socialism was a small, fledgling and vaguely defined movement, with only a few hundred adherents. Britain's first socialist party, the Democratic Federation (DF), had been founded in 1881 by Henry Hyndman, an adherent of the socio-political ideology of Marxism, with Morris joining the DF in January 1883.[156] Morris began to read voraciously on the subject of socialism, including Henry George's Progress and Poverty, Alfred Russel Wallace's Land Nationalisation, and Karl Marx's Das Kapital, although admitted that Marx's economic analysis of capitalism gave him "agonies of confusion on the brain". Instead he preferred the writings of William Cobbett and Sergius Stepniak, although he also read the critique of socialism produced by John Stuart Mill.[157]

David's Charge to Solomon (1882), a stained-glass window by Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris in Trinity Church, Boston, Massachusetts.

In May 1883, Morris was appointed to the DF's executive, and was soon elected to the position of treasurer.[158] Devoting himself to the socialist cause, he regularly lectured at meetings across Britain, hoping to gain more converts, although was regularly criticised for doing so by the mainstream press.[159] In November 1883 he was invited to speak at University College, Oxford, on the subject of "Democracy and Art" and there began espousing socialism; this shocked and embarrassed many members of staff, earning national press coverage.[160] With other DF members, he travelled to Blackburn, Lancashire in February 1884 amid the great cotton strike, where he lectured on socialism to the strikers.[161] The following month he marched in a central London demonstration commemorating the first anniversary of Marx's death and the thirteenth anniversary of the Paris Commune.[162]

Morris aided the DF using his artistic and literary talents; he designed the group's membership card,[163] and helped author their manifesto, Socialism Made Plain, in which they demanded improved housing for workers, free compulsory education for all children, free school meals, an eight-hour working day, the abolition of national debt, nationalisation of land, banks, and railways, and the organisation of agriculture and industry under state control and co-operative principles.[158] Some of his DF comrades found it difficult to reconcile his socialist values with his position as proprietor of the Firm, although he was widely admired as a man of integrity.[164] The DF began publishing a weekly newspaper, Justice, which soon faced financial losses that Morris covered. Morris also regularly contributed articles to the newspaper, in doing so befriending another contributor, George Bernard Shaw.[165]

His socialist activism monopolised his time, forcing him to abandon a translation of the Persian Shahnameh.[166] It also led to him seeing far less of Burne-Jones, with whom he had strong political differences; although once a republican, Burne-Jones had become increasingly conservative, and felt that the DF were exploiting Morris for his talents and influence.[167] While Morris devoted much time to trying to convert his friends to the cause, of Morris' circle of artistic comrades, only Webb and Faulkner fully embraced socialism, while Swinburne expressed his sympathy with it.[168]

In 1884 the DF renamed itself the Social Democratic Federation (SDF) and underwent an internal reorganisation. However, the group was facing an internal schism between those (such as Hyndman), who argued for a parliamentary path toward socialism, and those (like Morris) who deemed the Houses of Parliament intrinsically corrupt and capitalist. Personal issues between Morris and Hyndman were exacerbated by their attitude to British foreign policy; Morris was staunchly anti-imperialist while Hyndman expressed patriotic sentiment encouraging some foreign intervention.[169] The division between the two groups developed into open conflict, with the majority of activists sharing Morris' position. In December 1884 Morris and his supporters – most notably Ernest Belfort Bax and Edward Aveling – left the SDF; the first major schism of the British socialist movement.[170]

Socialist League: 1884–1889

the cover of the Socialist League's manifesto of 1885 featured art by Morris.

detail of Woodpecker tapestry, 1885.

In December 1884, Morris founded the Socialist League (SL) with other SDF defectors.[171] He composed the SL's manifesto with Bax, describing their position as that of "Revolutionary International Socialism", advocating proletarian internationalism and world revolution while rejecting the concept of socialism in one country.[172] In this, he committed himself to "making Socialists" by educating, organising, and agitating to establish a strong socialist movement; calling on activists to boycott elections, he hoped that socialists would take part in a proletariat revolution and help to establish a socialist society.[173] Bax taught Morris more about Marxism, and introduced him to Marx's collaborator, Friedrich Engels; Engels thought Morris honest but lacking in practical skills to aid the proletariat revolution.[174] Morris remained in contact with other sectors of London's far left community, being a regular at the socialist International Club in Shoreditch, East London,[175] however he avoided the recently created Fabian Society, deeming it too middle-class.[176] Although a Marxist, he befriended prominent anarchist activists Stepniak and Peter Kropotkin,[177][178] and came to be influenced by their anarchist views, to the extent that biographer Fiona MacCarthy described his approach as being "Marxism with visionary libertarianism".[179]

As the leading figure in the League Morris embarked on a series of speeches and talks on street corners, in working men's clubs, and in lecture theatres across England and Scotland.[180] He also visited Dublin, there offering his support for Irish nationalism,[181] and formed a branch of the League at his Hammersmith house.[97] By the time of their first conference in July 1885, the League had eight branches across England and had affiliations with several socialist groups in Scotland.[182] However, as the British socialist movement grew it faced increased opposition from the establishment, with police frequently arresting and intimidating activists. To combat this, the League joined a Defence Club with other socialist groups, including the SDF, for which Morris was appointed treasurer.[183] Morris was passionate in denouncing the "bullying and hectoring" that he felt socialists faced from the police, and on one occasion was arrested after fighting back against a police officer; a magistrate dismissed the charges.[184] The Black Monday riots of February 1886 led to increased political repression against left-wing agitators, and in July Morris was arrested and fined for public obstruction while preaching socialism on the streets.[185]

Morris oversaw production of the League's monthly—soon to become weekly—newspaper, Commonweal, serving as its editor for six years, during which time he kept it financially afloat. First published in February 1885, it would contain contributions from such prominent socialists as Engels, Shaw, Paul Lafargue, Wilhelm Liebknecht, and Karl Kautsky, with Morris also regularly writing articles and poems for it.[186] In Commonweal he serialised a 13-episode poem, The Pilgrims of Hope, which was set in the period of the Paris Commune.[187] From November 1886 to January 1887, Morris' novel, A Dream of John Ball, was serialised in Commonweal. Set in Kent during the Peasants' Revolt of 1381, it contained strong socialist themes although proved popular among those of different ideological viewpoints, resulting in its publication in book form by Reeves and Turner in 1888.[188] Shortly after, a collection of Morris' essays, Signs of Change, was published.[189]

Our business[...] is the making of Socialists, i.e. convincing people that Socialism is good for them and is possible. When we have enough people of that way of thinking, they will find out what action is necessary for putting their principles in practice. Therefore, I say, make Socialists. We Socialists can do nothing else that is useful."

— William Morris.[190]

From January to October 1890, Morris serialised his novel, News from Nowhere, in Commonweal, resulting in improved circulation for the paper. In March 1891 it was published in book form, before being translated into Dutch, French, Swedish, German and Italian by 1900 and becoming a classic among Europe's socialist community.[191] Combining utopian socialism and soft science fiction, the book tells the tale of a contemporary socialist, William Guest, who falls asleep and awakes in the early 21st century, discovering a future society based on common ownership and democratic control of the means of production. In this society there is no private property, no big cities, no authority, no monetary system, no divorce, no courts, no prisons, and no class systems; it was a depiction of Morris' ideal socialist society.[192]

Morris had also continued with his translation work; in April 1887, Reeves and Turner published the first volume of Morris' translation of Homer's Odyssey, with the second following in November.[193] Venturing into new territory, Morris also authored and starred in a play, The Tables Turned; Or Nupkins Awakened, which was performed at a League meeting in November 1887. It told the story of socialists who are put on trial in front of a corrupt judge; the tale ends with the prisoners behind freed by a proletariat revolution.[194] In June 1889, Morris traveled to Paris as the League's delegate to the International Socialist Working Men's Congress, where his international standing was recognised by being chosen as English spokesman by the Congress committee. The Second International emerged from the Congress, although Morris was distraught at its chaotic and disorganised proceedings.[195]

At the League's Fourth Conference in May 1888, factional divisions became increasingly apparent between Morris' anti-parliamentary socialists, the parliamentary socialists, and the anarchists; the Bloomsbury Branch were expelled for supporting parliamentary action.[196] Under the leadership of Charles Mowbray, the League's anarchist wing were growing and called on the League to embrace violent action in trying to overthrow the capitalist system.[197] By autumn 1889 the anarchists had taken over the League's executive committee and Morris was stripped of the editorship of Commonweal in favour of the anarchist Frank Kitz.[198] This alienated Morris from the League, which had also become a financial burden for him; he had been subsidising its activities with £500 a year, a very large sum of money at the time.[199] By the autumn of 1890, Morris left the Socialist League, with his Hammersmith branch seceding to become the independent Hammersmith Socialist Society in November 1890.[200]

The Kelmscott Press and Morris' final years: 1889–96

Morris (right) with Burne-Jones, 1890

The work of Morris & Co. continued during Morris' final years, producing an array of stained glass windows designed by Burne-Jones and the six narrative tapestry panels depicting the quest for the Holy Grail for Stanmore Hall, Shropshire.[201] Morris' influence on Britain's artistic community became increasingly apparent as the Art Workers' Guild was founded in 1884, although at the time he was too preoccupied with his socialist activism to pay it any attention. Although the proposal faced some opposition, Morris would be elected to the Guild in 1888, and was elected to the position of master in 1892.[202] Morris similarly did not offer initial support for the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society, but changed his opinion after the success of their first exhibit, held in Regent Street in October 1888. Giving lectures on tapestries for the group, in 1892 he would be elected president.[203] At this time, Morris also re-focused his attentions on preservation campaigning; those causes he championed including the structures of St. Mary's Church in Oxford, Blythburgh Church in Suffolk, Peterborough Cathedral, and Rouen Cathedral.[204]

Although his socialist activism had decreased, he remained involved with the Hammersmith Socialist Society, and in October 1891 oversaw the creation of a short-lived newsletter, the Hammersmith Socialist Record.[205] Coming to oppose factionalism within the socialist movement, he sought to rebuild his relationship with the SDF, appearing as a guest lecturer at some of their events, and supporting SDF candidate George Lansbury when he stood in the Wandsworth by-election of February 1894.[206] In 1893 the Hammersmith Socialist Society co-founded the Joint Committee of Socialist Bodies with representatives of the SDF and Fabian Society; Morris helped draw up its "Manifesto of English Socialists".[207] He offered support for far-left activists on trial, including a number of militant anarchists whose violent tactics he nevertheless denounced.[208] He also began using the term "communism" for the first time, stating that "Communism is in fact the completion of Socialism: when that ceases to be militant and becomes triumphant, it will be communism."[209] In December 1895 he gave his final open-air talk at Stepniak's funeral, where he spoke alongside prominent far-left activists Eleanor Marx, Keir Hardie, and Errico Malatesta.[210] Liberated from internal factional struggles, he retracted his anti-Parliamentary position and worked for socialist unity, giving his last public lecture in January 1896 on the subject of "One Socialist Party."[33]

In December 1888, the Chiswick Press published Morris' The House of the Wolfings, a fantasy story set in Iron Age Europe which provides a reconstructed portrait of the lives of Germanic-speaking Gothic tribes. It contained both prose and aspects of poetic verse.[211] A sequel, The Roots of the Mountains, followed in 1890.[212] Over the coming years he would publish a string of other poetic works; The Story of the Glittering Plain (1890), The Wood Beyond the World (1894), The Well at the World's End (1896), The Water of the Wondrous Isles (1897) and The Sundering Flood (1898).[213] He also embarked on a translation of the Anglo-Saxon tale, Beowulf; because he could not fully understand Old English, his poetic translation was based largely on that already produced by Alfred John Wyatt. On publication, Morris' Beowulf would be critically panned.[214] Following the death of the sitting Poet Laureate of Great Britain and Ireland, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, in October 1892, Morris was offered the position, but turned it down, disliking its associations with the monarchy and political establishment; instead the position went to Alfred Austin.[215]

Morris' design for the Kelmscott Press' trademark

In January 1891, Morris began renting a cottage near to Kelmscott House, No. 16 Upper Mall in Hammersmith, which would serve as the first premises of the Kelmscott Press, before relocating to the neighbouring No. 14 in May, that same month in which the company was founded.When the press closed in 1898 it had produced over 50 works.[216] Devoted to the production of books which he deemed beautiful, Morris was artistically influenced by the illustrated manuscripts and early printed books of Medieval and Early Modern Europe.[217] Before publishing its first work, Morris ensured that he had mastered the techniques of printing and secured supplies of hand-made paper and vellum which would be necessary for production.[218] Over the next seven years, they would publish 66 volumes.[219] The first of these would be one of Morris' own novels, The Story of the Glittering Plain, which was published in May 1891 and soon sold out. The Kelmscott Press would go on to publish 23 of Morris' books, more than those of any other author.[220] The press also published editions of works by Keats, Shelley, Ruskin, and Swinburne, as well as copies of various Medieval texts.[221] A number of the Press' books contained illustrations provided by Burne-Jones.[222]

Kelmscott Chaucer

The Press' magnum opus would be the Kelmscott Chaucer, which had taken years to complete and included 87 illustrations from Burne-Jones.[223] Morris still remained firmly in an employer relation with those working at the Press, although organised outings for them and paid them above average wages.[224]

By the early 1890s, Morris was increasingly ill and living largely as an invalid; aside from his gout, he also exhibited signs of epilepsy.[225] In August 1891, he took his daughter Jenny on a tour of Northern France to visit the Medieval churches and cathedrals.[226] Back in England, he spent an increasing amount of time at Kelmscott Manor.[227] Seeking treatment from the prominent doctor William Broadbent, he was prescribed a holiday in the coastal town of Folkestone.[228] In December 1894 he was devastated upon learning of his mother's death; she had been 90 years old.[229] In July 1896, he went on a cruise to Norway with construction engineer John Carruthers, during which he visited Vadsö and Trondheim; during the trip his physical condition deteriorated and he began experiencing hallucinations.[230] Returning to Kelmscott House, he became a complete invalid, being visited by friends and family, before dying of tuberculosis on the morning of 4 October 1896.[231] Obituaries appearing throughout the national press reflected that at the time, Morris was widely recognised primarily as a poet. Mainstream press obituaries trivialised or dismissed his involvement in socialism, although the socialist press focused largely on this aspect of his career.[232] His funeral was held on 6 October, during which his corpse was carried from Hammersmith to Paddington rail station, where it was transported to Oxford, and from there to Kelmscott, where it was buried in the churchyard of St. George's Church.[233]

Personal life

The Salutation of Beatrice, Jane Morris portrayed by Dante Gabriel Rossetti as Dante Alighieri's muse, Beatrice, 1869

Morris' biographer E. P. Thompson described him as having a "robust bearing, and a slight roll in his walk", alongside a "rough beard" and "disordered hair".[234] The author Henry James described Morris as "short, burly, corpulent, very careless and unfinished in his dress ... He has a loud voice and a nervous restless manner and a perfectly unaffected and businesslike address. His talk indeed is wonderfully to the point and remarkable for clear good sense."[234] Morris' first biographer Mackail described him as being both "a typical Englishman" and "a typical Londoner of the middle class" albeit one who was transformed into "something quite individual" through the "force of his genius".[235] MacCarthy described Morris' lifestyle as being "late Victorian, mildly bohemian, but bourgeois",[236] with Mackail commenting that he exhibited many of the traits of the bourgeois Victorian class: "industrious, honest, fair-minded up their lights, but unexpansive and unsympathetic".[237] Although he generally disliked children,[238] Morris also exhibited a strong sense of responsibility toward his family.[61] Mackail nevertheless thought he "was interested in things much more than in people" and that while he did have "lasting friendships" and "deep affections", he did not allow people to "penetrate to the central part of him."[239]

Politically, Morris was a staunch revolutionary socialist and anti-imperialist,[240] and although raised a Christian he came to identify as a non-religious atheist.[241] He came to reject state socialism and large centralised control, instead emphasising localised administration within a socialist society.[242] Later political activist Derek Wall suggested that Morris could be classified as an ecosocialist.[243] Morris was greatly influenced by Romanticism, with Thompson asserting that Romanticism was "bred into his bones, and formed his early consciousness."[244] Thompson argued that this "Romantic Revolt" was part of a "passionate protest against an intolerable social reality", that of the industrial capitalism of Britain's Victorian era. However, he believed that it led to little more than a "yearning nostalgia or a sweet complaint" and that Morris only became "a realist and a revolutionary" when he adopted socialism in 1882.[245] However, Mackail was of the opinion that Morris had an "innate Socialism" which had "penetrated and dominated all he did" throughout his life.[246] Given the conflict between his personal and professional life and his socio-political views, MacCarthy described Morris as "a conservative radical".[247]

Morris's behaviour was often erratic.[248] He was of a nervous disposition, and throughout his life relied on networks of male friends to aid him in dealing with this.[76] Morris' friends nicknamed him "Topsy" after a character in Uncle Tom's Cabin.[249] He had a wild temper, and when sufficiently enraged could suffer seizures and blackouts.[250] Rossetti was known to taunt Morris with the intention of trying to enrage him for the amusement of himself and their other friends.[251] Biographer Fiona MacCarthy suggests that Morris might have suffered from a form of Tourette's syndrome as he exhibited some of the symptoms.[252] In later life he suffered from gout, a common complaint among middle-class males in the Victorian period.[253] Morris's ethos was that one should "have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."[254] He also held to the view that "No work which cannot be done with pleasure in the doing is worth doing",[255] and adopted as his personal motto "If I can" from the fifteenth-century Flemish painter Jan van Eyck.[256]



The Nature of Gothic by John Ruskin, printed by Kelmscott Press. First page of text, with typical ornamented border.

Troilus and Criseyde, from the Kelmscott Chaucer. Illustration by Burne-Jones and decorations and typefaces by Morris

William Morris was a prolific writer of poetry, fiction, essays, and translations of ancient and medieval texts. His first poems were published when he was 24 years old, and he was polishing his final novel, The Sundering Flood, at the time of his death. His daughter May's edition of Morris's Collected Works (1910–1915) runs to 24 volumes, and two more were published in 1936.[257]

Morris began publishing poetry and short stories in 1856 through the Oxford and Cambridge Magazine which he founded with his friends and financed while at university. His first volume, The Defence of Guenevere and Other Poems (1858), was the first book of Pre-Raphaelite poetry to be published.[257] The dark poems, set in a sombre world of violence, were coolly received by the critics, and he was discouraged from publishing more for a number of years. "The Haystack in the Floods", one of the poems in that collection, is probably now one of his better-known poems. It is a grimly realistic piece set during the Hundred Years War in which the doomed lovers Jehane and Robert have a last parting in a convincingly portrayed rain-swept countryside.[257] One early minor poem was "Masters in this Hall" (1860), a Christmas carol written to an old French tune.[258] Another Christmas-themed poem is "The Snow in the Street", adapted from "The Land East of the Sun and West of the Moon" in The Earthly Paradise.[259]

Morris met Eiríkr Magnússon in 1868, and began to learn the Icelandic language from him. Morris published translations of The Saga of Gunnlaug Worm-Tongue and Grettis Saga in 1869, and the Story of the Volsungs and Niblungs in 1870. An additional volume was published under the title of Three Northern Love Stories in 1873.[257][260]

Further information: English translations of Homer § Morris

In the last nine years of his life, Morris wrote a series of imaginative fictions usually referred to as the "prose romances".[261] These novels – including The Wood Beyond the World and The Well at the World's End – have been credited as important milestones in the history of fantasy fiction, because, while other writers wrote of foreign lands, or of dream worlds, or the future (as Morris did in News from Nowhere), Morris's works were the first to be set in an entirely invented fantasy world.[262] These were attempts to revive the genre of medieval romance, and written in imitation of medieval prose. Morris's prose style in these novels has been praised by Edward James, who described them as "among the most lyrical and enchanting fantasies in the English language."[263]

On the other hand, L. Sprague de Camp considered Morris's fantasies to be not wholly successful, partly because Morris eschewed many literary techniques from later eras.[264] In particular, De Camp argued the plots of the novels are heavily driven by coincidence; while many things just happened in the romances, the novels are still weakened by the dependence on it.[265] Nevertheless, large subgenres of the field of fantasy have sprung from the romance genre, but indirectly, through their writers' imitation of William Morris.[266]

Early fantasy writers like Lord Dunsany, E. R. Eddison[267] and James Branch Cabell[268] were familiar with Morris's romances. The Wood Beyond the World is considered to have heavily influenced C. S. Lewis' Narnia series, while J. R. R. Tolkien was inspired by Morris's reconstructions of early Germanic life in The House of the Wolfings and The Roots of the Mountains. The young Tolkien attempted a retelling of the story of Kullervo from the Kalevala in the style of The House of the Wolfings;[269] Tolkien considered much of his literary work to have been inspired by an early reading of Morris, even suggesting that he was unable to better Morris's work; the names of characters such as "Gandolf" and the horse Silverfax appear in The Well at the World's End.

Sir Henry Newbolt's medieval allegorical novel, Aladore, was influenced by Morris's fantasies.[270] James Joyce also drew inspiration from his work.[271]

Textile design

See also: William Morris textile designs and William Morris wallpaper designs

Cabbage and vine tapestry, 1879.

Design for "Tulip and Willow" indigo-discharge wood-block printed fabric, 1873.

A Wooden Pattern for Textile Printing from William Morris's Company

During his lifetime, Morris produced items in a range of crafts, mainly those to do with furnishing,[272] including over 600 designs for wall-paper, textiles, and embroideries, over 150 for stained glass windows, three typefaces, and around 650 borders and ornamentations for the Kelmscott Press.[256] He emphasised the idea that the design and production of an item should not be divorced from one another, and that where possible those creating items should be designer-craftsmen, thereby both designing and manufacturing their goods.[273] In the field of textile design, Morris revived a number of dead techniques,[274] and insisted on the use of good quality raw materials, almost all natural dyes, and hand processing.[275] He also observed the natural world first hand to gain a basis for his designs,[276] and insisted on learning the techniques of production prior to producing a design.[276]

Mackail asserted that Morris became "a manufacturer not because he wished to make money, but because he wished to make the things he manufactured."[277] Morris & Co.'s designs were fashionable among Britain's upper and middle-classes, with biographer Fiona MacCarthy asserting that they had become "the safe choice of the intellectual classes, an exercise in political correctitude."[278] The company's unique selling point was the range of different items that it produced, as well as the ethos of artistic control over production that it emphasised.[279]

It is likely that much of Morris's preference for medieval textiles was formed – or crystallised – during his brief apprenticeship with G. E. Street. Street had co-written a book on Ecclesiastical Embroidery in 1848, and was a staunch advocate of abandoning faddish woolen work on canvas in favour of more expressive embroidery techniques based on Opus Anglicanum, a surface embroidery technique popular in medieval England.[280]

He was also fond of hand-knotted Persian carpets[281] and advised the South Kensington Museum in the acquisition of fine Kerman carpets.[282]

Morris taught himself embroidery, working with wool on a frame custom-built from an old example. Once he had mastered the technique he trained his wife Jane, her sister Bessie Burden and others to execute designs to his specifications. When "embroideries of all kinds" were offered through Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. catalogues, church embroidery became and remained an important line of business for its successor companies into the twentieth century.[283] By the 1870s, the firm was offering both embroidery patterns and finished works. Following in Street's footsteps, Morris became active in the growing movement to return originality and mastery of technique to embroidery, and was one of the first designers associated with the Royal School of Art Needlework with its aim to "restore Ornamental Needlework for secular purposes to the high place it once held among decorative arts."[284]

Morris took up the practical art of dyeing as a necessary adjunct of his manufacturing business. He spent much of his time at Staffordshire dye works mastering the processes of that art and making experiments in the revival of old or discovery of new methods. One result of these experiments was to reinstate indigo dyeing as a practical industry and generally to renew the use of those vegetable dyes, such as the red derived from madder, which had been driven almost out of use by the anilines. Dyeing of wools, silks, and cottons was the necessary preliminary to what he had much at heart, the production of woven and printed fabrics of the highest excellence; and the period of incessant work at the dye-vat (1875–1876) was followed by a period during which he was absorbed in the production of textiles (1877–1878), and more especially in the revival of carpet-weaving as a fine art.[260][285]

Morris's patterns for woven textiles, some of which were also machine made under ordinary commercial conditions, included intricate double-woven furnishing fabrics in which two sets of warps and wefts are interlinked to create complex gradations of colour and texture.[286] Morris long dreamed of weaving tapestries in the medieval manner, which he called "the noblest of the weaving arts." In September 1879 he finished his first solo effort, a small piece called "Cabbage and Vine".[287][288]

Book illustration and design

Nineteenth and twentieth century avant-garde artistic movements took an interest in the typographical arts, greatly enriching book design and illustration. In the late nineteenth century, William Morris founded the Arts and Crafts movement, which emphasized the value of traditional craft skills that seemed to be disappearing in the mass industrial age. His designs, like the work of the Pre-Raphaelite painters with whom he was associated, referred frequently to medieval motifs. In 1891 he founded the Kelmscott Press, which by the time it closed in 1898 had produced over fifty works using traditional printing methods, a hand-driven press and hand-made paper. They included his masterpiece, an edition of the Works of Geoffrey Chaucer with illustrations by Edward Burne-Jones. Morris also invented three distinctive typefaces – Golden, Troy, and Chaucer, with the text being framed with intricate floral borders similar to illuminated medieval manuscripts. His work inspired many small private presses in the following century.[289]

Morris’s aesthetic and social values became a leading force in the Arts and Crafts Movement. The Kelmscott Press influenced much of the fine press movement in England and the United States during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It brought the need for books that were aesthetic objects as well as words to the attention of the reading and publishing worlds.[290]

At Kelmscott Press the perfection of book-making was under his constant supervision and practical assistance. It was his ambition to produce a perfect work to restore all the beauty of illuminated lettering, richness of gilding and grace of binding that used to make a volume the treasure of a king. His efforts were constantly directed towards giving the world at least one book that exceeded anything that had ever appeared. Morris designed his type after the best examples of early printers, what he called his “golden type” which he copied after Jenson, Parautz, Coburger and others. With this in mind, Morris took equal care on the choice of his paper which he adapted to his subject with the same care that governed his selection of material for binding. As a result, few but only the wealthy could purchase his lavish works, mainly due to how intrinsic his work was. However, he realized that creating works in the manner of the middle ages was difficult in a profit-grinding society.[291]


Morris family tombstone at Kelmscott, designed by Webb

President of the William Morris Society Hans Brill referred to Morris as "one of the outstanding figures of the nineteenth century",[292] while Linda Parry termed him the "single most important figure in British textile production".[274] At the time of Morris' death, his poetry was known internationally and his company's products were found all over the world.[293] In his lifetime, he was best known as a poet, although by the late twentieth century he was primarily known as a designer of wallpapers and fabrics.[292]

He was a major contributor to the revival of traditional British textile arts and methods of production.[294] Morris' ethos of production was an influence on the Bauhaus movement.[295] Another aspect of Morris's preservationism was his desire to protect the natural world from the ravages of pollution and industrialism, causing some historians of the green movement to regard Morris as an important forerunner of modern environmentalism.[296][297]

Aymer Vallance was commissioned to produce the first biography of Morris, published in 1897, after Morris' death, as per the latter's wishes.[298] This presented the creation of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings as Morris' greatest achievement.[299] Morris's next biographer was Burne-Jones' son-in-law John William Mackail, who authored the two-volume Life of William Morris (1899) in which he provided a sympathetic portrayal of Morris that largely omitted his political activities, treating them as a passing phase that Morris overcame.[300]

MacCarthy's biography, William Morris: A Life for Our Time, was first published in 1994 and a paperback edition was published by Faber and Faber in 2010.[301] For the 2013 Venice Biennale, artist Jeremy Deller selected Morris as the subject of a large-scale mural titled "We Sit Starving Amidst our Gold", in which Morris returns from the dead to hurl the yacht of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich into the waves of an ocean.[302][303]

MacCarthy curated the "Anarchy & Beauty" exhibition—a commemoration of Morris' legacy—for the National Portrait Gallery in 2014, for which she recruited around 70 artists who were required to undertake a test regarding Morris' News from Nowhere to be accepted.[302] Writing for The Guardian prior to the opening of the exhibition on 16 October 2014, MacCarthy asserted:

Morris has exerted a powerful influence on thinking about art and design over the past century. He has been the constant niggle in the conscience. How can we combat all this luxury and waste? What drove him into revolutionary activism was his anger and shame at the injustices within society. He burned with guilt at the fact that his "good fortune only" allowed him to live in beautiful surroundings and to pursue the work he adored.[302]

"Anarchy & Beauty"'s arts and crafts section featured Morris' own copy of the French edition of Karl Marx's Das Kapital handbound in a gold-tooled leather binding that MacCarthy describes as "the ultimate example of Morris's conviction that perfectionism of design and craftsmanship should be available to everyone."[302]
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Part 3 of 3

Notable collections and house museums

The blue plaque erected outside the Red House

A number of galleries and museums house important collections of Morris's work and decorative items commissioned from Morris & Co. The William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow, England, is a public museum devoted to Morris's life, work and influence.[304][305][306][307] The William Morris Society is based at Morris's final London home, Kelmscott House, Hammersmith, and is an international members society, museum and venue for lectures and other Morris-related events.[308] The Art Gallery of South Australia is "fortunate in holding the most comprehensive collection of Morris & Co. furnishings outside Britain".[309] The collection includes books, embroideries, tapestries, fabrics, wallpapers, drawings and sketches, furniture and stained glass, and forms the focus of two published works (produced to accompany special exhibitions).[309][310]

The former "green dining room" at the Victoria and Albert Museum is now its "Morris Room". The V&A's British Galleries house other decorative works by Morris and his associates.[311]

One of the meeting rooms in the Oxford Union, decorated with the wallpaper in his style, is named the Morris Room.[312]

Wightwick Manor in the West Midlands, England, is a notable example of the Morris & Co. style, with lots of original Morris wallpapers, fabrics, carpets, and furniture, May Morris art and embroidery, De Morgan tiles, and Pre-Raphaelite works of art, managed by the National Trust. Standen in West Sussex, England, was designed by Webb between 1892 and 1894 and decorated with Morris carpets, fabrics and wallpapers. The illustrator Edward Linley Sambourne chose to decorate his London family home 18 Stafford Terrace with many Morris & Co wallpapers, which have been preserved and can still be seen today. Morris's homes Red House and Kelmscott Manor have been preserved. Red House was acquired by the National Trust in 2003 and is open to the public. Kelmscott Manor is owned by the Society of Antiquaries of London and is open to the public.[313]

The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California, acquired the collection of Morris materials amassed by Sanford and Helen Berger in 1999. The collection includes stained glass, wallpaper, textiles, embroidery, drawings, ceramics, more than 2000 books, original woodblocks, and the complete archives of both Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. and Morris & Co.[314] These materials formed the foundation for the 2002 exhibition William Morris: Creating the Useful and the Beautiful and 2003 exhibition The Beauty of Life: William Morris and the Art of Design and accompanying publication.[315]

A Greater London Council blue plaque at the Red House commemorates Morris and architect Philip Webb.[316]

7, Hammersmith Terrace is the former home of Sir Emery Walker, a close friend and colleague of Morris. The house is decorated in the Arts & Crafts style, including with extensive collections of Morris wallpaper, furniture, and textiles. 7, Hammersmith Terrace is operated by the Emery Walker Trust, and is open to the public for tours.[317]

In 2013, the Cary Graphic Arts Collection at Rochester Institute of Technology bought William Morris's London-built Hopkinson & Cope Improved Albion press (No. 6551) at auction for $233,000.[318] This printing press was specially reinforced to produce Morris's Chaucer in 1896. Other owners of Morris's Albion press include Frederic Goudy and J. Ben Lieberman.[319]

Literary works

Morris's essay "Printing" as reprinted by the Village Press in Chicago run by Will Ransom and Frederic Goudy, c. 1903

Source: Morris Online Edition at William Morris Archive. Morris's literary works, translations, life and images, the Book Arts

Collected poetry, fiction, and essays

• The Hollow Land (1856)
• The Defence of Guenevere, and other Poems (1858)
• The Life and Death of Jason (1867)
• The Earthly Paradise (1868–1870)
• Love is Enough, or The Freeing of Pharamond: A Morality (1872)
• The Story of Sigurd the Volsung and the Fall of the Niblungs (1877)
• Hopes and Fears For Art (1882)
• The Pilgrims of Hope (1885)
• A Dream of John Ball (1888)
• Signs of Change (1888)
• A Tale of the House of the Wolfings, and All the Kindreds of the Mark Written in Prose and in Verse (1889)
• The Roots of the Mountains (1889)
• News from Nowhere (or, An Epoch of Rest) (1890)
• The Story of the Glittering Plain (1891)
• Poems By the Way (1891)
• Socialism: Its Growth and Outcome (1893) (With E. Belfort Bax)
• The Wood Beyond the World (1894)
• Child Christopher and Goldilind the Fair (1895)
• The Well at the World's End (1896)
• The Water of the Wondrous Isles (1897)
• The Sundering Flood (1897) (published posthumously)
• A King's Lesson (1901)
• The World of Romance (1906)
• Chants for Socialists (1935)
• Golden Wings and Other Stories (1976)


• Grettis Saga: The Story of Grettir the Strong with Eiríkr Magnússon (1869)
• The Story of Gunnlaug the Worm-tongue and Raven the Skald with Eiríkr Magnússon (1869)
• The Völsunga Saga: The Story of the Volsungs and Niblungs, with Certain Songs from the Elder Edda with Eiríkr Magnússon (1870) (from the Volsunga saga)
• Three Northern Love Stories, and Other Tales with Eiríkr Magnússon (1875)
• The Aeneids of Virgil Done into English (1876)
• The Odyssey of Homer Done into English Verse (1887)
• Of King Florus and the Fair Jehane (1893)
• The Tale of Beowulf Done out of the Old English Tongue (1895)
• Old French Romances Done into English (1896)

Published lectures and papers

• Lectures on Art delivered in support of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (Morris lecture on The Lesser Arts). London, Macmillan, 1882
• Architecture and History & Westminster Abbey". Papers read to the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings in 1884 and 1893. Printed at The Chiswick Press. London, Longmans, 1900
• Communism: a lecture London, Fabian Society, 1903


Morris & Co. stained glass









Morris & Co. textiles










Kelmscott Press



See also

• Poetry portal
• Fantasy portal
• Socialism portal
• Biography portal
• Merry England
• Robert Steele – medievalist who was a disciple of Morris
• Simple living
• Sydney Cockerell – friend of Morris and secretary of Kelmscott Press
• Victorian decorative arts
• William Morris wallpaper designs



1. Vallance 1897, p. 2; Mackail 1901, pp. 1–2; Thompson 1955, pp. 1–2; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 1–2; Rodgers 1996, p. 20.
2. Mackail 1901, pp. 2–3; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 1–2, 7.
3. Mackail 1901, p. 3; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 1–2, 10.
4. Mackail 1901, p. 4; MacCarthy 1994, p. 2; Rodgers 1996, p. 20.
5. Mackail 1901, p. 10; Thompson 1955, p. 2; MacCarthy 1994, p. 11.
6. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 5–6.
7. Mackail 1901, p. 5; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 6–7; Rodgers 1996, p. 20.
8. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 8–9.
9. Vallance 1897, pp. 2–3; Mackail 1901, p. 11; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 14–17; Rodgers 1996, pp. 21–22.
10. Mackail 1901, pp. 6–7; MacCarthy 1994, p. 13; Rodgers 1996, p. 20.
11. Mackail 1901, p. 10; Thompson 1955, pp. 4–5; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 17–18.
12. MacCarthy 1994, p. 9, 18.
13. Mackail 1901, p. 11; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 20–21.
14. Mackail 1901, pp. 11, 14, 18; Thompson 1955, p. 22; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 26–27; Rodgers 1996, p. 22.
15. Mackail 1901, pp. 15–16; Thompson 1955, pp. 3–5; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 29–34; Rodgers 1996, p. 22.
16. Mackail 1901, p. 16; Thompson 1955, p. 5; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 37–40; Rodgers 1996, p. 22.
17. Mackail 1901, p. 17; Thompson 1955, pp. 23–24; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 43–44.
18. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 48–50; Rodgers 1996, p. 23.
19. Mackail 1901, pp. 25–26; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 52–53.
20. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 53–55.
21. Thompson 1955, p. 6; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 53–55, 60–61.
22. Thompson 1955, pp. 9–10.
23. Thompson 1955, p. 28.
24. Thompson 1955, pp. 29–32; MacCarthy 1994, p. 71.
25. Thompson 1955, pp. 3, 40; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 64–65.
26. Vallance 1897, pp. 10–11; Mackail 1901, pp. 34–35; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 52, 56–58.
27. Mackail 1901, pp. 35–36, 41–42; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 59–60.
28. MacCarthy 1994, p. 65.
29. Mackail 1901, pp. 45, 47; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 61–62.
30. MacCarthy 1994, p. 112.
31. Mackail 1901, p. 38; Thompson 1955, pp. 32–35; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 69–71.
32. Thompson 1955, pp. 35–38.
33. Encyclopædia Britannica, 1911, "William Morris"
34. Vallance 1897, p. 11; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 73–74.
35. Mackail 1901, pp. 51–53; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 74–77.
36. Mackail 1901, pp. 62–64; Thompson 1955, pp. 25–26; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 65–68.
37. Mackail 1901, p. 48; MacCarthy 1994, p. 82.
38. Mackail 1901, pp. 71–78; Thompson 1955, pp. 26–27; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 82–94.
39. MacCarthy 1994, p. 95.
40. Mackail 1901, p. 83; MacCarthy 1994, p. 96.
41. Mackail 1901, p. 81; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 96–97.
42. Vallance 1897, pp. 20–23; Mackail 1901, pp. 88, 92; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 98–102.
43. Vallance 1897, pp. 16–20; Mackail 1901, pp. 82, 87, 102; Thompson 1955, p. 43; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 102–108.
44. Mackail 1901, pp. 102; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 108–110.
45. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 111–112.
46. Vallance 1897, pp. 12–15; Mackail 1901, pp. 100–102, 105; Thompson 1955, pp. 42–44; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 113–115.
47. Mackail 1901, pp. 106; MacCarthy 1994, p. 116.
48. Mackail 1901, pp. 105, 109; Thompson 1955, pp. 44–45; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 115, 122–123.
49. Mackail 1901, pp. 117–126; Thompson 1955, pp. 46–47; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 129–134.
50. Vallance 1897, p. 20; Mackail 1901, pp. 112–114; Thompson 1955, p. 45; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 117–122.
51. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 123–125.
52. Mackail 1901, pp. 129–135; Thompson 1955, pp. 76, 85; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 142–147.
53. Thompson 1955, pp. 48, 74–76; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 135–141.
54. Mackail 1901, pp. 138–139; Thompson 1955, p. 76; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 151–152.
55. Mackail 1901, pp. 129–130, 141; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 154–156.
56. Mackail 1901, pp. 141–142.
57. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 161–162.
58. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 154–156.
59. Mackail 1901, pp. 140–144; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 164–165.
60. MacCarthy 1994, p. 157.
61. MacCarthy 1994, p. 171.
62. Thompson 1955, p. 92.
63. Mackail 1901, pp. 159–160; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 157–158.
64. Mackail 1901, pp. 158–159; Thompson 1955, p. 92; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 158–160.
65. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 162–163.
66. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 186–187.
67. Mackail 1901, pp. 144–148; Thompson 1955, pp. 92–93; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 166–169.
68. MacCarthy 1994, p. 175.
69. Thompson 1955, pp. 99–100.
70. Mackail 1901, pp. 151–152; Thompson 1955, p. 94; MacCarthy 1994, p. 172.
71. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 176–177.
72. Mackail 1901, pp. 154–155; Thompson 1955, pp. 96–97; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 179–181.
73. Thompson 1955, p. 96.
74. MacCarthy 1994, p. 181.
75. Mackail 1901, p. 156; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 182–183.
76. MacCarthy 1994, p. 170.
77. Mackail 1901, pp. 160–161; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 185–186.
78. Mackail 1901, p. 161; MacCarthy 1994, p. 187.
79. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 192–193.
80. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 221–223.
81. Mackail 1901, p. 163; Thompson 1955, p. 94; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 193–195; Allen 2001, pp. 22–23.
82. Mackail 1901, p. 162; MacCarthy 1994, p. 193; Allen 2001, p. 22.
83. Mackail 1901, pp. 164–165; Thompson 1955, p. 94; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 196–197.
84. MacCarthy 1994, p. 198.
85. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 198–199.
86. Mackail 1901, pp. 175–176; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 207–210.
87. MacCarthy 1994, p. 211.
88. Mackail 1901, pp. 176–177; Thompson 1955, p. 96; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 212–213.
89. MacCarthy 1994, p. 229–230.
90. MacCarthy 1994, p. 241.
91. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 224, 253–254.
92. MacCarthy 1994, p. 259.
93. Mackail 1901, p. 290; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 270–273.
94. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 214–215.
95. MacCarthy 1994, p. 215.
96. MacCarthy 1994, p. 216.
97. MacCarthy 1994, p. 217.
98. Mackail 1901, pp. 401–204; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 231–246.
99. Mackail 1901, pp. 183–186; MacCarthy 1994, p. 204.
100. Mackail 1901, pp. 179–183, 192–197, 204–208; Thompson 1955, pp. 110–150; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 199–203, 259–264.
101. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 269–270.
102. Mackail 1901, p. 213; MacCarthy 1994, p. 270.
103. Mackail 1901, pp. 200–201; Thompson 1955, pp. 176–179; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 290–291, 325.
104. Mackail 1901, pp. 276–280; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 264–269.
105. Mackail 1901, pp. 280–288; Thompson 1955, pp. 151–153; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 323–324.
106. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 273–275.
107. Mackail 1901, p. 225; Thompson 1955, pp. 161, 173; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 275–276.
108. Mackail 1901, p. 225; Thompson 1955, pp. 174–175; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 311–314.
109. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 319–321.
110. MacCarthy 1994, p. 335.
111. Thompson 1955, p. 165; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 325–326.
112. Thompson 1955, p. 165; MacCarthy 1994, p. 361.
113. Mackail 1901, pp. 240–274; Thompson 1955, pp. 179–182; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 279–309.
114. Mackail 1901, pp. 293–294; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 307–308.
115. Mackail 1901, pp. 294–298; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 330–334.
116. Thompson 1955, p. 184; MacCarthy 1994, p. 278.
117. Mackail 1901, p. 304; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 336–340.
118. Mackail 1901, p. 304; MacCarthy 1994, p. 336.
119. Mackail 1901, p. 308; Thompson 1955, pp. 162–163; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 335–336.
120. Mackail 1901, pp. 305–308; Thompson 1955, p. 97; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 341–344.
121. Mackail 1901, p. 324; Thompson 1955, p. 192; MacCarthy 1994, p. 347.
122. Mackail 1901, pp. 311–317; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 348–350.
123. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 351–352.
124. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 350, 356–357.
125. Mackail 1901, p. 351; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 400–402.
126. Mackail 1901, p. 353; MacCarthy 1994, p. 409.
127. MacCarthy 1994, p. 412.
128. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 411–412.
129. Mackail 1901, pp. 320–323; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 361–362.
130. Mackail 1901, pp. 310–311, 330–335; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 371–372.
131. Mackail 1901, pp. 336–337; MacCarthy 1994, pp. pp=374–375.
132. Mackail 1901, pp. 328–330; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 368–371.
133. Mackail 1901, pp. 359, 366–370; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 387–390.
134. Mackail 1901, pp. 371–373; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 391–398.
135. Mackail 1901, p. 373; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 403–406.
136. Mackail 1899, pp. 8–16; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 424–428.
137. Mackail 1901, pp. 347–351; Thompson 1955, pp. 192–193, 202–225; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 378–382.
138. Mackail 1901, p. 351; MacCarthy 1994, p. 384.
139. Mackail 1901, pp. 362; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 385–386.
140. Mackail 1899, p. 7; Thompson 1955, pp. 261–265; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 421–422.
141. Mackail 1899, pp. 7–8; Thompson 1955, pp. 264–266; MacCarthy 1994, p. 423.
142. Mackail 1899, p. 103; Thompson 1955, pp. 266–267; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 422–423.
143. Mackail 1901, p. 340; Thompson 1955, pp. 226–228; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 375–377.
144. Mackail 1901, pp. 339–346; Thompson 1955, p. 228; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 375–377.
145. Thompson 1955, p. 229; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 377–378.
146. Mackail 1899, pp. 5–6; Thompson 1955, p. 229; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 415–416.
147. Mackail 1899, pp. 31–37; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 429–433.
148. MacCarthy 1994, p. 453.
149. Mackail 1899, p. 61; Thompson 1955, pp. 319–322; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 454–458.
150. MacCarthy 1994, p. 452.
151. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 438–442.
152. MacCarthy 1994, p. 442.
153. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 447–451.
154. MacCarthy 1994, p. 423.
155. Mackail 1901, p. 351; MacCarthy 1994, p. 462.
156. Mackail 1899, pp. 82–84; Thompson 1955, pp. 269, 292–297; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 462–467.
157. Mackail 1899, p. 89; Thompson 1955, pp. 269, 306; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 467–471.
158. MacCarthy 1994, p. 472.
159. Mackail 1899, p. 123; Thompson 1955, pp. 308–311; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 274–275.
160. Mackail 1899, pp. 117–120; Thompson 1955, pp. 270–271; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 477–479.
161. Thompson 1955, p. 314; MacCarthy 1994, p. 487.
162. MacCarthy 1994, p. 488.
163. MacCarthy 1994, p. 484.
164. MacCarthy 1994, p. 471.
165. Mackail 1899, p. 121; Thompson 1955, pp. 313; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 485–497.
166. Mackail 1899, p. 92; MacCarthy 1994, p. 482.
167. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 481–482.
168. Thompson 1955, p. 274.
169. Mackail 1899, pp. 125–128; Thompson 1955, pp. 331–357; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 493–496.
170. Thompson 1955, pp. 357–365; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 499–503.
171. Mackail 1899, pp. 131–132, 140; Thompson 1955, p. 366; MacCarthy 1994, p. 504.
172. Mackail 1899, p. 140; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 504–505.
173. MacCarthy 1994, p. 532.
174. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 506–507, 509.
175. MacCarthy 1994, p. 541.
176. MacCarthy 1994, p. 510.
177. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 543–545.
178. Kropotkin P. In Memory of William Morris // Freedom. 1896. Vol. 10, № 110. Nov.
179. MacCarthy 1994, p. 509.
180. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 510, 520.
181. Mackail 1899, pp. 156–157; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 540–541.
182. MacCarthy 1994, p. 524.
183. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 526–530.
184. Vallance 1897, p. 1; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 527–528.
185. Mackail 1899, pp. 151–153, 161, 190–191; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 533–538.
186. Mackail 1899, p. 139; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 504, 511–514.
187. MacCarthy 1994, p. 512.
188. Mackail 1899, pp. 168, 205; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 546–549.
189. Mackail 1899, p. 205.
190. Mackail 1899, p. 236.
191. Holland, Owen (Summer 2015). "Revisiting Morris's internationalism: reflections on translations and colonialism (with an annotated bibliography of translations of 'News from Nowhere', 1890-1915)" (PDF). The Journal of William Morris Studies: 26–52.
192. Mackail 1899, pp. 243–244; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 583–588.
193. Mackail 1899, pp. 164, 180–181; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 562–564.
194. Mackail 1899, pp. 187–190; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 564–566.
195. Mackail 1899, p. 223; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 579–580.
196. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 576–577.
197. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 577–578.
198. Mackail 1899, p. 230; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 580–581.
199. Mackail 1899, p. 231; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 581.
200. Mackail 1899, pp. 238–239; MacCarthy 1994, p. 583.
201. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 646–647.
202. Mackail 1899, pp. 198–199; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 592–595, 598.
203. Mackail 1899, pp. 199–203, 212, 225; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 596–598.
204. Mackail 1899, pp. 269–270, 285–286, 313, 315–316; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 598, 653.
205. MacCarthy 1994, p. 640.
206. MacCarthy 1994, p. 645.
207. Mackail 1899, pp. 288–289; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 645–646.
208. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 641–642.
209. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 642–643.
210. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 655–656.
211. Mackail 1899, pp. 212–213; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 606–608.
212. Mackail 1899, pp. 213–214, 218; MacCarthy 1994, p. 608.
213. MacCarthy 1994, p. 633.
214. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 648–649.
215. Mackail 1899, pp. 287–288; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 631–633.
216. Lyons, M. (2013). Books: a living history. London: Thames & Hudson.
217. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 589, 608–609, 620.
218. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 609–611.
219. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 589.
220. Mackail 1899, pp. 241–242, 255; MacCarthy 1994, p. 615.
221. Mackail 1899, pp. 280–284; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 615–617.
222. MacCarthy 1994, p. 618.
223. Mackail 1899, pp. 306, 325–326; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 647–648.
224. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 621–622.
225. MacCarthy 1994, p. 624.
226. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 626–627.
227. MacCarthy 1994, p. 627.
228. Mackail 1899, p. 329; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 658–662.
229. Mackail 1899, p. 300; MacCarthy 1994, p. 652.
230. Mackail 1899, p. 330; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 664–666.
231. Mackail 1899, pp. 331, 335; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 667–670; Rodgers 1996, pp. 10, 15.
232. MacCarthy 1994, p. 671.
233. Mackail 1899, pp. 347–349; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 673–676; Rodgers 1996, pp. 10–15.
234. Thompson 1955, p. 89.
235. Mackail 1901, p. 214.
236. MacCarthy 1994, p. 602.
237. Mackail 1899, pp. 94–95.
238. Mackail 1899, p. 308.
239. Mackail 1899.
240. MacCarthy 1994, p. 47.
241. MacCarthy 1994, p. 309; Rodgers 1996, p. 15.
242. Mackail 1899, pp. 244–245.
243. Wall 2010, p. 18.
244. Thompson 1955, p. 1.
245. Thompson 1955, pp. 1–2.
246. Mackail 1901, p. 338.
247. MacCarthy 1994, p. 605.
248. MacCarthy 1994, p. 213.
249. Thompson 1955, p. 47.
250. Mackail 1901, pp. 215–216; MacCarthy 1994, pp. 77–78.
251. MacCarthy 1994, p. 128.
252. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 49–50.
253. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 388–390.
254. Mackail 1899, pp. 62–63; MacCarthy 1994, p. 185.
255. Mackail 1899, p. 64.
256. Rodgers 1996, p. 16.
257. Faulkner, Peter, "The Writer". In Parry, William Morris, p. 44-45
258. "The words were written for the old French carol tune shortly before 1860 by Morris, who was in Street's office with Edmund Sedding (architect and compiler of carols, brother of the more famous J. D. Sedding; he died early, in 1868). Sedding had obtained the tune from the organist at Chartres Cathedral, and he published the words and tune in his Antient Christmas Carols, 1860." – The Oxford Book of Carols, 1928, p. 277.
259. Set to music by composers including Ralph Vaughan Williams. The Oxford Book of Carols, 1928, p. 406.
260. Dictionary of National Biography, 1901, "William Morris"
261. Faulkner, Peter, "The Writer". In Parry, William Morris, p. 47
262. Lin Carter, ed. Kingdoms of Sorcery, p. 39 Doubleday and Company Garden City, NY, 1976.
263. Edward James, "Morris, William" in the St. James Guide To Fantasy Writers, ed. David Pringle, St. James Press, 1996, ISBN 1-55862-205-5, p. 426-9.
264. L. Sprague de Camp, Literary Swordsmen and Sorcerers: The Makers of Heroic Fantasy, p. 46. ISBN 0-87054-076-9
265. L. Sprague de Camp, Literary Swordsmen and Sorcerers, p. 40.
266. L. Sprague de Camp, Literary Swordsmen and Sorcerers, p. 26.
267. David Pringle, The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Fantasy, London, Carlton, 1998. (p. 36)
268. John R. Pfeiffer, "William Morris" in Supernatural Fiction Writers: Fantasy and Horror, ed. E. F. Bleiler, Scribner, 1985. ISBN 0-684-17808-7 (p 299-306).
269. Hammond and Scull, The J. R. R. Tolkien Companion and Guide, p. 816.
270. Robert Reginald, "Sir Henry Newbolt's Aladore", inXenograffiti: Essays On Fantastic Literature. Wildside Press, 1996 ISBN 0-8095-1900-3 (p.95-99).
271. Hero, Stephen, "Morris and James Joyce," The Journal of William Morris Studies, 6.3 (Summer 1985): 36, p. 11.
272. MacCarthy 1994, p. 590.
273. Parry 1983, p. 6; MacCarthy 1994, p. 590.
274. Parry 1983, p. 6.
275. Parry 1983, p. 9.
276. Parry 1983, p. 8.
277. Mackail 1899, p. 60.
278. MacCarthy 1994, p. 413.
279. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 409–410.
280. Parry, William Morris Textiles, pp. 10–11.
281. Parry, Linda (1983). William Morris textiles. Viking Press. p. 89. ISBN 978-0-670-77075-5.
282. Wearden, Jennifer Mary; Thomas, Ian (1983). Oriental carpets and their structure: highlights from the V&A collection. Harry N. Abrams. ISBN 978-0-8109-6610-9.
283. Parry, William Morris Textiles, pp. 16–17.
284. Quoted in Parry, William Morris Textiles, pp. 18–19.
285. Parry, William Morris Textiles, pp. 36–46.
286. Waggoner, The Beauty of Life, p. 54.
287. Parry, William Morris Textiles, pp. 103–104.
288. Waggoner, The Beauty of Life, p. 86.
289. Lyons, Martyn (2011). Books A Living History. United States: Getty Publications. pp. 190–191. ISBN 978-1-60606-083-4.
290. Horowitz, Sarah (Fall 2006). "The Kelmscott Press and William Morris: A Research Guide". Art Documentation: Journal of the Art Libraries Society of North America. The University of Chicago Press. 25 (2): 60–65. doi:10.1086/adx.25.2.27949442.
291. "William Morris, Artist, Poet, Craftsman". Bradley, His Book. 2: 7–11. November 1896.
292. Brill 1996, p. 7.
293. Vallance 1897, p. 1.
294. Bennett, Phillippa; Miles, Rosie (2010). William Morris in the Twenty-First Century. Oxford: Peter Lang. p. 136. ISBN 9783034301060.
295. MacCarthy 1994, pp. 604–605.
296. Wall, Derek. Green History: A Reader. London, Routledge, (pgs. 9–12,240, 242–3).
297. Guha, Ramachandra. Environmentalism: A Global History. London, Longman 2000 (pgs. 15–6).
298. Vallance 1897, p. vii.
299. Vallance 1897, p. 267.
300. MacCarthy 1994, pp. viii, x.
301. "William Morris: A Life for Our Time". The Guardian Bookshop. 5 August 2010. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
302. Fiona MacCarthy (3 October 2014). "William Morris: Beauty and anarchy in the UK". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
303. Adrian Searle (28 May 2013). "Venice Biennale: Jeremy Deller's British pavilion declares war on wealth". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
304. "News from Waltham Forest". The Guardian. 21 April 2007.
305. Archived 4 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine, William Morris Gallery Development Project.
306. Archived 12 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Support the William Morris Gallery Development Project.
307. William Morris Gallery Development ProjectArchived 4 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine
308. "The William Morris Society". Retrieved 10 August 2018.
309. Menz, Christopher, (2002) Morris & Co., Adelaide : Art Gallery of South Australia
310. Menz, Christopher (1994), Morris & Company: Pre-Raphaelites and the Arts & Crafts Movement, Art Gallery of South Australia : Adelaide
311. "William Morris at the Victoria and Albert Museum". Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 22 August 2008.
312. "The Oxford Union". Conference Oxford. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
313. About Kelmscott Manor
314. "Crafts Cornered", Los Angeles Times, 15 December 1999, p. F1.
315. "Huntington Library: "William Morris: Creating the Useful and the Beautiful"". Archived from the original on 16 April 2008. Retrieved 22 August 2008.
316. "MORRIS, WILLIAM (1834–1896) & WEBB, PHILIP (1831–1915)". English Heritage. Retrieved 22 October2012.
317. "Emery Walker's House". Emery Walker's House. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
318. "RIT Wins Auction of the Kelmscott-Goudy Press". American Printing History Association. 10 December 2013. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
319. "Christie's to Auction Famed Kelmscott-Goudy Hand Press". American Printing History Association. 16 October 2013. Retrieved 10 August 2018.


• Allen, Rob (2001). "Why William Morris left his Joyous Gard" (PDF). The Journal of William Morris Studies. 14 (3): 21–30. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 April 2015.
• Brill, Hans (1996). "Foreword". In David Rodgers (ed.). William Morris at Home. London: Ebury Press. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-09-181393-2.
• Thompson, E. P. (1955). William Morris: Romantic to Revolutionary. London: Lawrence & Wishart.
• MacCarthy, Fiona (1994). William Morris: A Life for Our Time. London: Faber. ISBN 978-0-571-14250-7.
• Mackail, J. W. (1901). The Life of William Morris: Volume One (new ed.). London, New York, and Bombay: Longmans, Green & Co.
• Mackail, J. W. (1899). The Life of William Morris: Volume Two. London, New York, and Bombay: Longmans, Green & Co.
• Marsh, Jan (2005). William Morris and Red House: A Collaboration Between Architect and Owner. Not published: National Trust Books. ISBN 978-1-905400-01-0.
• Parry, Linda (1983). William Morris Textiles. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 978-0-297-78196-7.
• Rodgers, David (1996). William Morris at Home. London: Ebury Press. ISBN 978-0-09-181393-2.
• Vallance, Aymer (1897). William Morris: His Art, His Writings and His Public Life. London: George Bell and Sons.
• Wall, Derek (2010). No-Nonsense Guide to Green Politics. Oxford: New Internationalist. ISBN 978-1-906523-39-8.

Further reading

• Arscott, Caroline (2008). William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones: Interlacings. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-14093-4.
• Bennett, Phillippa; Miles, Rosie (2010). William Morris in the Twenty-First Century. Peter Lang. ISBN 978-3-0343-0106-0.
• Coote, Stephen (1995). William Morris: His Life and Work. Smithmark. ISBN 978-1-85833-479-0.
• Cotton, Albert Louis (1898). "The Kelmscott Press and the New Printing". The Contemporary Review. LXXIV.
• Daly, Gay (1989). The Pre-Raphaelites in Love. Ticknor and Fields. ISBN 978-0-89919-450-9.
• Donovon, Andrea Elizabeth (2007). William Morris and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-95595-9.
• Fairclough, Oliver; Leary, Emmeline (1981). Textiles by William Morris and Morris & Co. 1861–1940. Thames and Hudson. ISBN 978-0-500-27225-1.
• Fiell, Charlotte; Fiell, Peter M. (1999). William Morris. Taschen. ISBN 978-3-8228-6617-7.
• Freudenheim, Leslie M. (2005). Building with Nature: Inspiration for the Arts and Crafts Home. Gibbs M. Smith. ISBN 978-1-58685-463-8.
• Goodway, David (2012). Anarchist Seeds Beneath the Snow: Left-Libertarian Thought and British Writers from William Morris to Colin Ward. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-1-84631-025-6.
• Harvey, Charles; Press, Jon (1991). William Morris: Design and Enterprise in Victorian Britain. Manchester University Press. ISBN 978-0-7190-2419-1.
• Harvey, Charles; Press, Jon (1996). Art, Enterprise and Ethics: The Life and Works of William Morris. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-7146-4258-1.
• Hemingway, Andrew (2006). Marxism and the History of Art: From William Morris to the New Left. Pluto Press. ISBN 978-0-7453-2329-9.
• Henderson, Philip (1967). William Morris: His Life, Work and Friends. Thames and Hudson.
• Le Bourgeois, John (2006). Art and Forbidden Fruit: Hidden Passion in the Life of William Morris. Cambridge: Lutterworth Press. ISBN 978-0-7188-3059-5.
• LeMire, Eugene (2006). A Bibliography of William Morris. British Library. ISBN 978-0-7123-4926-0.
• Marsh, Jan; Sharp, Frank C. (2013). The Collected Letters of Jane Morris. Boydell Press. ISBN 978-1-84383-676-6.
• Meier, Paul (1977). William Morris: The Marxist Dreamer. Volume I. Harvester. ISBN 978-0-85527-474-0.
• Meier, Paul (1978). William Morris: The Marxist Dreamer. Volume II. Harvester.
• Menz, Christopher (2003). Morris & Co. South Australia State Government Publications. ISBN 978-0-7308-3029-0.
• Miele, Chris (2005). From William Morris: Building Conservation and the Arts and Crafts Cult of Authenticity, 1877–1939. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-10730-2.
• Morris, Brian (31 May 2012). "The Revolutionary Socialism of William Morris". Social Anarchism (45): 5–21.
• Morris, William; Kelvin, Norman (2014). The Collected Letters of William Morris, Volume I: 1848–1880. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-61279-9.
• Morris, William; Kelvin, Norman (2014). The Collected Letters of William Morris, Volume II, Part A: 1881–1884. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-60369-8.
• Morris, William; Kelvin, Norman (2014). The Collected Letters of William Morris, Volume II, Part B: 1881–1884. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-60764-1.
• Morris, William; Kelvin, Norman (2014). The Collected Letters of William Morris, Volume III: 1889–1892. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-60272-1.
• Morris, William; Kelvin, Norman (2014). The Collected Letters of William Morris, Volume IV: 1893–1896. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-60818-1.
• Parry, Linda (1989). William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement: A Design Source Book. Studio Editions. ISBN 978-1-85170-275-6.
• Parry, Linda (1996). William Morris. Philip Wilson Publishers. ISBN 978-0-85667-441-9.
• Peterson, William S. (1984). A Bibliography of the Kelmscott Press. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-818199-6.
• Peterson, William S. (1992). Kelmscott Press: A History of William Morris's Typographical Adventure. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-06138-5.
• Pinkney, Tony (2007). William Morris in Oxford: The Campaigning Years 1879–1895. Illuminati Books. ISBN 978-0-9555918-0-8.
• Reason, Robert (2003). Morris & Co.: Designs & Patterns from the Art Gallery of South Australia. Art Gallery of South Australia. ISBN 978-0-7308-3037-5.
• Robinson, Duncan (1982). William Morris, Edward Burne-Jones and the Kelmscott Chaucer. Gordon Fraser. ISBN 978-0-86092-038-0.
• Salmon, Nick; Baker, Derek W. (1996). The William Morris Chronology. Thoemmes Continuum. ISBN 978-1-85506-504-8.
• Stacey, Robert (1994). The Earthly Paradise: Arts and Crafts by William Morris and His Circle from Canadian Collections. Key Porter. ISBN 978-1-55013-450-6.
• Stanksy, Peter (1983). William Morris. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-287571-6.
• Thompson, Susan Otis (1996). American Book Design and William Morris (second ed.). Oak Knoll. ISBN 978-1-884718-26-7.
• Todd, Pamela (2001). The Pre-Raphaelites at Home. Pavilion Books. ISBN 978-1-86205-444-8.
• Vaninskaya, Anna (2010). William Morris and the Idea of Community: Romance, History and Propaganda, 1880–1914. Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 978-0-7486-4149-9.
• Waithe, Marcus (2006). William Morris's Utopia of Strangers: Victorian Medievalism and the Ideal of Hospitality. Boydell & Brewer. ISBN 978-1-84384-088-6.
• Waggoner, Diane; Kirkham, Pat (2003). The Beauty of Life: William Morris and the Art of Design. Thames and Hudson. ISBN 978-0-500-28434-6.
• Watkinson, Ray (1990). William Morris as Designer. London: Trefoil Books. ISBN 978-0-86294-040-9.

External links


• William Morris at the Encyclopædia Britannica
• Morris Online Edition at William Morris Archive. Morris's literary works, translations, life and images, the Book Arts
• Works by William Morris at Project Gutenberg
• Works by William Morris at Faded Page (Canada)
• Works by or about William Morris at Internet Archive
• Works by William Morris at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
• Works by William Morris at The Online Books Page
• Works by William Morris at Open Library
• Works by William Morris at, including full text of The Earthly Paradise
• Works by William Morris at The Anarchist Library
• William Morris Index Entry at Poets' Corner
• The William Morris Internet Archive at Marxists Internet Archive
• The tale of Beowulf (Sel.3.231); a digital edition of the proof-sheets with manuscript notes and corrections by William Morris in Cambridge Digital Library
• Archive of William Morris Papers at the International Institute of Social History


• William Morris Stained Glass
• William Morris at Art Passions
• William Morris – The Soul of Arts and Crafts
• The William Morris Gallery official website
• The William Morris Gallery (London Borough of Waltham Forest)
• The William Morris Society
• The William Morris Society in the United States
• A Morris and De Morgan tile panel at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London
• William Morris online exhibition at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin
• Examples of pages from the Kelmscott Chaucer
• Morris Online Edition.
• Morris's translations
• Morris's literary writings The Morris Online Edition includes images of first editions and Kelmscott editions, as well as online texts and supplementary materials.
• William Morris at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
• "Archival material relating to William Morris". UK National Archives.
• Portraits of William Morris at the National Portrait Gallery, London
• Victorian printing and William Morris’s Kelmscott Press
• William Morris Facebook
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sat Mar 28, 2020 8:50 am

From Olympia to Hyde Park: British anti-fascism in the summer of 1934
by Dr. Evan Smith
Research Fellow in the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at Flinders University, South Australia
September 9, 2018


I met Sylvia Scaffardi, who was one of the people who risked her life to protest Moseley.[sic] She went on to found the National Council for Civil Liberties. I don't think she would have supported 'No Platform' policies. She fought for free speech. (Her papers are collected at Hull U)

-- by JamesHeartfield@JamesHeartfield, Sep 9, 2018

On 9 September 1934, a BUF [British Union of Fascists] rally at Hyde Park was opposed by a massive anti-fascist counter-demonstration, coming a few months after anti-fascists attempted to disrupt a BUF rally at Olympia and after a summer of similar confrontations across a number of metropolitan areas in England. This post is based on an early chapter from my book project on the history of no platform, to be published by Routledge’s Fascism and Far Right series.

Daily Worker: Workers of All Lands, Unite!
Organ of the Communist Party of Great Britain (Section of Communist International
Tuesday, September 11, 1934
Drowning The Blackshirts In a Sea of Organised Working-Class Activity

The British Union of Fascists (BUF) was formed by Oswald Mosley in late 1932 and it grew exponentially in its first years, with nearly 50,000 members allegedly joining.[1] Enjoying support from Lord Rothmere’s Daily Mail and other sections of the Conservative right, Mosley attempted to establish the BUF through a series of public meetings, demonstrating its supposed mass support at rallies, inspired by Mussolini and Hitler. There were frequent mobilisations by anti-fascists against these public meetings and rallies in the early years of the BUF, culminating in two events in 1934 that solidified the militant anti-fascist approach of physical confrontation and also revealed the violent nature of the BUF.

Robert Skidelsky suggested ‘[f]or both fascists and anti-fascists Olympia was the epic battle of the 1930s’, explaining:

Fascists looked back with satisfaction on the ‘beating’ they had given the ‘Reds’ and claimed that it had restored ‘free speech’ in Britain. Anti-fascists regarded it as the moment when they unambiguously exposed the brutal face of fascism and condemned it thereafter in the eyes of all decent Englishmen.[2]

Olympia was to be a demonstration of the strength of the British Union of Fascists. As mentioned above, its membership growth had been strong throughout its first 18 months. After several well-attended meetings at the Albert Hall, Mosley believed that a larger venue, such as that of Olympia Stadium, was necessary. Around 10,000 people filled the stadium, with anti-fascists (primarily members of the Communist Party) securing around 500 tickets. The Communist Party portrayed Olympia as a chance to build the anti-fascist movement and confront the growing BUF. Regarding threats made in the run up to the meeting by Mosley, the Daily Worker declared:

Already the Blackshirts have used provocative threats against the workers…

They have made such threats at many meetings, but [past] events have shown that all their thuggish methods were unable to prevent the workers having their say. To-night will again prove this rule…

[T]he workers’ counter-section will cause them to tremble. All roads lead to Olympia to-night.[3]

A counter-demonstration by anti-fascists was held outside the venue, while anti-fascists heckled the speakers, including Mosley, and sought to disrupt the meeting. These disruptions were staggered over the evening, so to ensure the maximum disruptive effect. As The Times reported the following day, ‘The campaign of interruption had been well planned so that it should affect every part of the meeting in the course of the evening’.[4]

BUF bodyguards violently ejected the anti-fascist protestors, with The Times stating the constant interruptions were ‘countered with similar thoroughness and with a uniformity of treatment which suggested a prescribed technique of violence’.[5]The newspaper continued:

Stewards at once made for the offenders. If they resisted ejection the incident at once became an affair of fisticuffs and, if the victim remained standing at the end of his resistance he was seized ju-jitsu fashion and dragged out. Quite a number were borne out limp bodies after the frays.[6]

Once ejected, there were a number of arrests of anti-fascists outside the venue, where further violence was meted out by the police. The Daily Worker reported that outside Olympia, ‘seething crowds of thousands of workers kept up a continual anti-Fascist uproar, despite the enormous special concentration of police forces which had been gathered… for the Blackshirts’ protection’.[7] The following day, the newspaper stated that 24 anti-fascists had been arrested, compared to one BUF supporter, claiming that this was ‘a striking fact, which [spoke] volumes’ about the differing treatment by the police towards the BUF and the CPGB.[8]

Mosley and the BUF complained about the tactics used by the anti-fascists, described as ‘highly organized groups of Reds’, to break up the public meeting. Quoted in The Times, Mosley claimed:

For over three weeks certain Communist and Socialist papers have published incitements to their readers to attack this meeting. The result was that a large Red mob gathered outside the hall for the purpose of intimidating those who entered, and very many of the audience were in fact jostled before they managed to enter the meeting at all.[9]

In the BUF press, the violence was blamed on the Communists, but the fascist response was also celebrated, with A.K. Chesterton declaring it a ‘fascist victory’ and the ‘Red Terror Smashed’.[10] On the other hand, the Communist Party also claimed a victory as Olympia, with the Daily Worker declaring the following day:

Terrific scenes were witnessed at Olympia last night, when the workers of London staged a mighty counter-demonstration to the Mosley Fascists. Mosley’s carefully-planned arrangements were turned into a complete fiasco.[11]

There was an outcry by some in the press and some politicians at the violence witnessed at Olympia, which has been documented by a number of scholars. For example, The Times quoted Conservative MP Geoffrey Lloyd as declaring, ‘I am not very sympathetic to Communists who try to break up meetings, but I am bound to say that I was appalled by the brutal conduct of the Fascists last night’.[12] Although a number argued that the tactics of the anti-fascist protestors was just as deplorable as the actions of the BUF stewards. The Times reported on debates in the House of Commons in the aftermath of Olympia, summarising that ‘members were about equally divided between unqualified condemnation of alleged Fascist brutality towards interrupters, and the feeling that allowances must be made for those who had been sorely provoked by Communists’.[13] Rajani Palme Dutt, a leading CPGB figure, wrote in his editorial for Labour Monthly that it was only because of the anti-fascist demonstrators that ‘the eyes of millions’ had been opened ‘to the real character of Fascism’.[14] Dutt proclaimed, ‘It is solely thanks to their stand that the present universal outcry against Fascism has developed, where before there was silence or indifference or amused toleration’.[15]

Scholars have debated whether the violence had a negative effect on the popularity of the BUF in 1934. David Renton has written that after Olympia, Lord Rothmere withdrew his support and that ‘BUF membership fell from 40,000 to 5,000 by the summer of 1935’.[16] Both Martin Pugh and Stephen Dorril have shown that some were put off by the violence on display at Olympia, but to some BUF supporters, the violent confrontations with the Communists solidified their dedication to Mosley.[17] The columns of the mainstream newspapers were filled with both expressions of horror at the violence and letters of praise for Mosley’s tactics. As Pugh has explained:

The truth is that while the violence alienated some people, it also added to the appeal of the BUF among the young and militant anti-Communists, with the result that the organisation experienced a major turnover of membership during 1934-35.[18]

Whether the violence turned people away from the BUF or attracted them to it, it was clear that violence was an inherent part of the BUF’s programme.

The violence meted out to anti-fascists who broke up the meeting at Olympia roused the anti-fascist movement. Dave Hann wrote, ‘[a]nti-fascists had certainly taken a beating at Olympia but their growing movement responded in force, with an increase in the number of BUF public appearances interrupted by anti-fascists and the number of people involved in anti-fascist activity.[19] By the latter months of 1934, the anti-fascist movement was confident of disrupting the BUF’s staged rallies and while expecting fascist violence and police intimidation, were also confident that popular sentiment (particularly amongst workers) was turning against Mosley.

Fascists at Olympia
Statements From:
The Injured,
Doctors Who Attended the Injured,
And From
Eyewitnesses, Including
Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd, M.P.
Mr. Gerald Barry
Mr. A.E. Coppard
Mr. A.J. Cummings
Mr. Aldous Huxley
The Very Rev. H.R.L. Sheppard
Miss Vera Brittain
Price 6d. net

After Olympia, there had been in-roads made by the Communist Party, the Independent Labour Party and some trade unions to form a broad anti-fascist front. The Communist Party, transitioning from the ideas of ‘social fascism’ and ‘Class Against Class’ of the previous half decade to the Popular Front against fascism and imperialism of the mid-to-late 1930s,[20] sought to lead the anti-fascist movement and work with the ILP, while criticising the timidness of the Labour Party and the TUC [Trade Union Congress].[21] As the General Council of the TUC debated its approach towards fascism in September 1934, the Daily Worker rhetorically asked, ‘who was it that had led the struggle in Olympia? Who was going to lead the struggle at Hyde Park on September 9?’[22]

On September 9, 1934, the BUF planned to hold a massive outdoor rally in Hyde Park, London. Taking the initiative seized at Olympia and continued through the summer of 1934, the CPGB and ILP attempted to mobilise a large contingent of workers and anti-fascists to Hyde Park. In the lead up to the event at Hyde Park, the CPGB warned:

Incitement to violence and the carrying out of the most bestial brutality is the stock-in-trade of the Blackshirt thugs of Mosley.

Olympia showed this plain for all to see.[23]

‘Should any violence take place on Sunday with regard to the great anti-Fascist demonstration’, the Daily Worker editorial declared, ‘then the responsibility for this rests on Mosley’s gang’. With the experience of Olympia in recent memory, the CPGB readied itself for potential violence, while at the same time, it warned against unnecessary violence. Jon Lawrence has suggested that this was part of the CPGB’s attempts to build the United Front with the ILP and a general shift away from violent confrontation by the Party leadership.[24] However it could also be argued that the CPGB (and the ILP) had learnt the lessons of Olympia and did not want individual anti-fascist protestors from suffering the same level of violence at the hand of BUF stewards or from the police. In the end, there was a massive turnout against the BUF at Hyde Park (between 60-150,000), with ‘much booing, heckling and ridicule from anti-fascists’, but ‘no serious disorder’.[25] Two days later, the Daily Worker reported that 18 people had been charged with a variety of offences after being arrested at the Hyde Park demonstration,[26] down from around 24 after Olympia, but with much larger number of anti-fascist demonstrators.

The Daily Worker called the demonstration at Hyde Park a ‘great blow against fascism’ and that Mosley’s rally had been ‘an utter fiasco’.[27] Despite the Labour Party and the TUC not supporting the demonstration and the police presence to maintain order (or to protect Mosley’s Blackshirts), the large crowd swamped the BUF rally ‘in a sea of organised working-class activity’.[28] On the other hand, the BUF claimed this was ‘the most remarkable display of the strength of Fascism ever seen in Britain’, but complained about the ‘intimidation of the opposition and the most definite attempts to create an impression that there would be considerable disorder in the Park’.[29] Even if the large crowds were not dedicated anti-fascists as the CPGB proclaimed, the BUF were vastly outnumbered and failed to win over those who had assembled in Hyde Park.

The momentum shifted away from the BUF after 1934, towards the anti-fascist movement, but also towards the National Government. As a number of a scholars have shown, the events of 1934 had led the National Government to debate laws regarding the policing of political meetings and public order, but shelved at the time. This was partly due to a reluctance by some politicians to curtail the freedom of political expression and partly because the BUF began to co-operate with the police.[30] Martin Pugh also suggests that the BUF avoided large urban cities where there was more likely to be an anti-fascist mobilisation, preferring to hold meetings across provincial England.[31] It was not until 1936, when Mosley and the BUF shifted tactics towards explicit anti-Semitism and trying to attract more working class supporters in the East End of London, that confrontations between anti-fascists, the police and the National Government reached a new crescendo with the ‘Battle of Cable Street’.

The mainstream media’s take on events at Hyde Park
Monday, September 10, 1934
Moon Rises 8.8 a.m. Sets 7.26
P.C. Bull: "Stopping My Leave for This! -- Don't Let Me See You Here Again"



[1]Michael A. Spurr, ‘“Living the Blackshirt Life”: Culture, Community and the British Union of Fascists, 1932-1940’, Contemporary European History, 12/3 (2003) p. 309.

[2]Robert Skidelsky, Oswald Mosley (London: Papermac, 1990) p. 365.

[3]Daily Worker, 7 June, 1934, p. 1.

[4]The Times, 8 June, 1934, p. 14.

[5]The Times, 8 June, 1934, p. 14.

[6]The Times, 8 June, 1934, p. 14.

[7]Daily Worker, 8 June, 1934, p. 1.

[8]Daily Worker, 9 June, 1934, p. 1.

[9] The Times, 9 June, 1934, p. 11.

[10]The Blackshirt, 15 June, 1934, p. 3.

[11]Daily Worker, 8 June, 1934, p. 1.

[12]The Times, 9 June, 1934, p. 11.

[13]The Times, 12 June, 1934, p. 14.

[14]R. Palme Dutt, ‘Notes of the Month’, Labour Monthly, July 1934, p. 390.

[15]Dutt, ‘Notes of the Month’, p. 390.

[16]David Renton, This Rough Game: Fascism and Anti-Fascism (Stroud: Sutton Publishing, 2001) p. 139.

[17] Stephen Dorril, Blackshirt: Sir Oswald Mosley and British Fascism (London: Penguin 2007), pp. 298-301; Martin Pugh, ‘Hurrah for the Blackshirts!’: Fascists and Fascism in Britain Between the Wars (London: Pimlico, 2005), pp. 156-163.

[18]Pugh, ‘Hurrah for the Blackshirts!’, p. 162.

[19] Dave Hann, Physical Resistance: A Hundred Years of Anti-Fascism (Winchester: Zero Books, 2013) p. 46.

[20]See: Matthew Worley, Class Against Class: The Communist Party in Britain Between the Wars (London: IB Tauris, 2017).

[21] Nigel Copsey, Anti-Fascism in Britain (London: Routledge, 2017) pp. 21-24.

[22]Daily Worker, 5 September, 1934, p. 1.

[23]Daily Worker, 8 September, 1934, p. 2.

[24]Jon Lawrence, ‘Fascist Violence and the Politics of Public Order in Inter-War Britain: The Olympia Debate Revisited’, Historical Research, 76/192 (May 2003) pp. 259-261.

[25]Copsey, Anti-Fascism in Britain, p. 26.

[26]Daily Worker, 11 September, 1934, p. 1.

[27]Daily Worker, 10 September, 1934, p. 1.

[28]Daily Worker, 11 September, 1934, p. 1.

[29]The Blackshirt, 14 September, 1934, p. 1.

[30]Richard C. Thurlow, ‘The Straw that Broke the Camel’s Back: Public Order, Civil Liberties and the Battle of Cable Street’, in Tony Kushner & Nadia Valman, Remembering Cable Street: Fascism and Anti-Fascism in British Society (London: Valentine Mitchell, 2000) pp. 83-84; Lawrence, ‘Fascist Violence and the Politics of Public Order in Inter-War Britain’, p. 263,

[31]Pugh, ‘Hurrah for the Blackshirts!’, pp. 169-170.

About the Author:

This is the blog/website of Dr Evan Smith. I am currently a Research Fellow in History in the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at Flinders University, South Australia. Between 2013 and 2015, I was a Vice-Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of International Studies at Flinders University. I have previously held positions at the Australian Institute of Criminology, the South Australian Office of Crime Statistics and Research and the Australian Taxation Office.

I have a PhD in History on the Communist Party of Great Britain and anti-racist politics in the post-war period from the Department of History at Flinders University. A revised version of my thesis was recently published as British Communism and the Politics of Race by Brill/Haymarket as part of its Historical Materialism series. I have published widely on the history of the left, anti-racism/anti-colonialism and national/border security in the Anglophone world.
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Papers of Sylvia Scaffardi c.1910- 2001 (nee Crowther-Smith)
by Hull History Centre

Biographical background:

Sylvia Crowther-Smith was born on 20 January 1902 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Her father, Sydney James Crowther-Smith, emigrated from England to Brazil around 1888, where he met and married the daughter of wealthy Brazilian landowners in the late 1890s. By 1914, the family had moved to England, and settled in Eastbourne, in order for Sylvia and her sister Lydia to be educated in an English boarding school. After the First World War, Sylvia won a scholarship to Royal Holloway College, where she read English and became involved in the college dramatic society. Through the dramatic society, she met Lena Ashwell, a former West End star, and joined the Lena Ashwell Players. She then travelled the country working for touring companies and provincial repertory theatres. Sylvia first met Ronald Kidd, the founder of the National Council for Civil Liberties, when she joined a theatre company in Hertfordshire for a production of Ashley Duke's The man with a load of mischief (1926). Kidd had been engaged as stage manager and also played the part of the nobleman.

Ronald Hubert Kidd was born in 1889 into a medical family and grew up in Hampstead. He read science at University College London, but did not obtain a degree. He then lectured for the Workers' Educational Association and became involved in the campaign for women's suffrage. He was conscripted during the First World War, but never saw active service, being discharged for health reasons. He worked for a year as secretary to the Wellcome Historical Medical Museum, before entering the civil service, firstly in the Ministry of Labour and then the Ministry of Pensions. However his career ended when he resigned in protest at the cuts in pensions for shell-shocked war veterans. Thereafter he found work as a freelance journalist, publicist, actor and stage director. By the time he met Sylvia, he was estranged from his wife Isadora and daughter Anne in Bristol, and living in lodgings in London.

Sylvia moved to London and began living with Kidd in the late 1920s, and entered his Bohemian and radical circles. She began to work as a freelance editor around this time, whilst Kidd opened the Punch and Judy bookshop at 43 Villiers Street. The origins of the National Council for Civil Liberties lie in the work which Kidd began in 1932 of observing the Hunger Marches as they arrived in London and reporting on the policing of the events. Sylvia joined him in this work (including at an anti-Nazi demonstration on 17 December 1933), and when the committee which formed the nucleus of the National Council for Civil Liberties first met on 22 February 1934, she was elected Honorary Treasurer.

In July 1934, she began to receive a salary for her work and the title of Assistant Secretary. Effectively, the organisation's first office was the room at no.3 Dansey Yard, off Shaftesbury Avenue, where Kidd and Crowther-Smith lodged. They ran the NCCL together in its early years, with Kidd as General Secretary, supported by an Executive Committee which included Vera Brittain, Claud Cockburn, Rev. Dick Shepherd, Harold Laski and Kingsley Martin, and by the lawyers DN Pritt and WH Thompson on the General Purposes Committee. However the volume of work put pressure on Kidd's health and from 1938 onwards, the number of office staff employed by the organisation had to be gradually increased. The issues dealt with by the NCCL during the 1930s and early 1940s included the Incitement to Disaffection Bill of 1934, the banning of 'nonflam' films, the operation of the Special Powers Acts in Northern Ireland, the rise of fascism and anti-semitism (especially the British Union of Fascists meeting at Olympia on 7 June 1934), the Public Order Act of 1936, political bias in the letting of public halls and by the police, the Harworth Colliery dispute of 1937, the case of Major Wilfred Foulston Vernon, the freedom of the press and the BBC, and the impact on civil liberties of the outbreak of war.

Sylvia resigned as Assistant Secretary of the NCCL in August 1941, at a time when her mother was dying of cancer and Kidd was suffering from a recurrence of heart problems. In November, Kidd had to give up the post of General Secretary and was made Director of NCCL instead, in an effort to reduce his workload. However he did not recover his health and died at the age of 53 on 12 May 1942.

A few months before Kidd's death, Sylvia entered the civil service, working in the Planning Division of the Ministry of Works on the White Paper on rural land utilisation in wartime. The Division was then formed into an independent Ministry of Town and Country Planning, where she remained until 1944 and her move into the wartime propaganda work of the Publications Division of the Ministry of Information. She was employed in the post-war Central Office of Information until 1952, when she was made redundant in a wave of cuts to temporary civil servant posts by the Conservative government. Using her redundancy money as security, she began to work as a freelance journalist. She also trained as a teacher and worked for a period in a secondary modern school in south London.

In 1958, at the age of 56, Sylvia married John Scaffardi and they lived together in Carshalton in Buckinghamshire. She was widowed in 1971. She wrote two autobiographical books, the first, an account of her work with Ronald Kidd during the 1930s, Fire under the carpet (Lawrence & Wishart, 1986) and the second, about her Brazilian childhood, Finding my way (Quartet Books, 1988). Sylvia died on 27 January 2001. She continued her association with and her support for the NCCL until her death.

Custodial History:

Donated by the Estate of Sylvia Scaffardi, via Liberty, 18 September 2001


This collection contains material gathered together by Scaffardi from several sources in the process of writing her autobiography, Fire Under the Carpet (Lawrence & Wishart, 1986); it includes papers of Ronald Kidd, research papers of Brian Cox and records of the National Council for Civil Liberties, as well as a range of publications. An artificial arrangement has been imposed on the collection, and there is a large amount of overlap between the sections.

National Council for Civil Liberties

This material complements, and in some instances duplicates, the main Liberty archive [U DCL]. There is a bound volume of early annual reports, dating from 1934 to 1957 [U DSF/1/1]; this is significant because there do not appear to be any annual reports before 1938 in the main archive [U DCL/73A]. The early minutes of the NCCL have been lost [a microfilm of minutes dating from 1944 onwards is the earliest survival at U DCL/102] and hence the few bundles in this collection which contain Executive Committee minutes from the 1930s and early 1940s, and some correspondence of Ronald Kidd as General Secretary, are valuable in piecing together the work of Kidd and other founder members [U DSF/1/7-9]. There are also examples of draft articles and speeches by Kidd and Crowther-Smith in these bundles, as well as material about Kidd having to give up the role of General Secretary and the question of who was to replace Henry Nevinson as President [related papers on these last two topics can also be found at U DSF/2/6]. The NCCL pamphlets in the collection span 1935 to 1995, but are concentrated in the 1930s and 1940s [U DSF/1/17-62]. A large proportion can also be found in the main Liberty archive, but this set has been kept together to illustrate the interests of Kidd and Crowther-Smith.

Ronald Kidd

There is very little surviving material on Ronald Kidd in the main Liberty archive and therefore, although these papers are far from extensive, they still comprise a useful source. There are two files relating to Kidd's tour of Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Austria in 1938 [U DSF/2/2-3] and these contain a variety of material, ranging from letters of introduction and correspondence with those involved in the movement in defence of human rights and against anti-semitism in Czechoslovakia, to Kidd's itinerary and notes made during his journey. There is also a set of photographs of Jasina and other places in Sub Carpathian Russia and Slovakia, sent by Dr Maximilián Ryšánek in Brno, photographs of anti-semitic graffiti [possibly in London] and contemporary travel brochures and maps of the region. The only surviving example of a personal letter from Kidd to Crowther-Smith dates from this tour and was sent from Bratislava [see file U DSF/2/6]. After his return to England, Kidd travelled the country holding public meetings on Czechoslovakia and this is documented by correspondence, publicity leaflets and cuttings of reports in the press [U DSF/2/3].

Kidd's work for the NCCL in the early 1940s focussed on areas such as editing and writing articles for the journal Civil Liberty, and writing pamphlets. Examples of this can be found at U DSF/2/4-5, including drafts of his pamphlet on The fight for a free press (1942) [there is a printed copy at DSF/1/34]. There are four surviving pocket diaries, detailing the meetings and appointments which Kidd attended in 1934, 1935, 1936 and 1938 [U DSF/2/9], along with his passport, issued in 1936, and a number of undated photographs of Kidd [U DSF/2/10-11]. Unusual items include some photographs of political posters on display in wartime France, a publicity leaflet for the Soho Literary Group, organised by Kidd, and the annotated script of a play by Lennox Robinson, 'The lost leader', which Kidd must either have directed or played a part in [U DSF/2/14, 13, 12].

Sylvia Scaffardi

There is a small amount of material relating personally to Sylvia Scaffardi and her work, namely evidence submitted to Lord Justice Scott's Committee on Land Utilisation for Rural Areas in the early 1940s, which she gathered in her role as a civil servant in the Planning Division of the Ministry of Works [U DSF/3/1], and papers about her childhood in Brazil and her Brazilian grandparents [U DSF/3/3].

Barry Cox

Barry Cox was commissioned by the NCCL in the late 1960s to write a history of the organisation and this was published in 1975 as Civil liberties in Britain (Penguin). In the course of his research, he undertook a large number of interviews with founder members and contemporary figures in the NCCL, and the interviews were transcribed from tape by Sylvia Scaffardi. The annotated transcripts are included in this collection and include interviews with people such as Elizabeth Acland Allen, DN Pritt, Kingsley Martin, Claud Cockburn, Sylvia Scaffardi herself, Martin Ennals and Tony Smythe [U DSF/4/2-4].


This set of pamphlets and periodicals has been kept together within the collection (rather than being transferred to library stock), again as an illustration of the interests of Kidd and Scaffardi. There are a number of significant items in the fields of politics and literature, such as the August 1914 edition of the journal English Review containing part 5 of a serialised story by HG Wells, 'The world set free: a story of mankind' [U DSF/5/2]; a typescript on civil liberties in 1918 by Monica Ewer of the first National Council for Civil Liberties (founded in 1915 as the National Council Against Conscription) [U DSF/5/3]; two anti-semitic publications in German dating from 1937 and 1938, the second published by the National Socialist German Workers [Nazi] Party [U DSF/5/33 & 44]; two photographic compilations about the Spanish Civil War, issued by the Spanish Embassy in London in 1937 and 1938 [U DSF/5/34-35]; and the classic 1949 pamphlet, The time of the toad, by Dalton Trumbo, about the anti-Communist blacklist of Hollywood writers [U DSF/5/72]. The vast majority of these publications date from the 1930s and 1940s.


U DSF/1 National Council for Civil Liberties, 1934 - 2001
U DSF/2 Ronald Kidd, 1916 - 1985
U DSF/3 Sylva Scaffard, 1930s - 1975
U DSF/4 Barry Cox, 1965 - 1971
U DSF/5 Publications, circa 1910 - 1978

Extent: 1.5 linear metres

Related Material:

Records of Liberty (National Council for Civil Liberties) [U DCL]

Access Conditions:

Access will be granted to any accredited reader.

U DSF/1 National Council for Civil Liberties U DSF/1/1-6 Annual reports U DSF/1/7-12 Files U DSF/1/13-16 Periodicals U DSF/1/17-62 Pamphlets and memoranda 1934 - 2001

U DSF/1/1 Bound vol. of published annual reports and reports of AGMs From 1939, these are mainly printed in Civil Liberty 1 volume 1934 – 1957

U DSF/1/2 Cc. ts. draft of ‘The first year’s work’ by Elizabeth Acland Allen 1 item [1935]

U DSF/1/3 Ts. annual report 1 item 1940

U DSF/1/4 Secretary’s report for the year 1 item 1944

U DSF/1/5 Ts. drafts of two annual reports 2 items post 1945

U DSF/1/6 Published annual reports 11 items 1957 - 1994

U DSF/1/7 Artificial file of miscellaneous papers Including constitution and rules (1946); speech on civil rights for colonial peoples; draft submission about the BBC; annotated typescript by IO Evans, ‘For boys and girls who think freedom worth having’ (May Day 1935); speech on press freedom by Sylvia Crowther-Smith (1953); Executive Committee minutes; circular letters from Ronald Kidd as NCCL General Secretary; editorial for Civil Liberty (1941); letters from Stefan Zweig (1), JBS Haldane (1) (with Kidd’s reply), WR Hooper and others; ms. notes by Kidd about the management of the NCCL office; leaflets about NCCL’s 21st anniversary; ms. transcripts of anti-Semitic letters received by Lilian Felt and Rose Silverman (1939); decisions of AGM (1953) 1 file 1935 - 1953

U DSF/1/8 Artificial file of miscellaneous papers Including NCCL briefings and leaflets; Executive Committee minutes; circulars; correspondence; papers for conferences on war (1934) and freedom of the press (1941); note by Ronald Kidd about observing a strikers’ march in the East End (26.1.1936); postcard of Kidd; postcard to Kidd from Friedrich R[?] in Moscow; ms. notes on AP Herbert and free speech; leaflets and letters to Sylvia Scaffardi about the Civil Liberties Development Fund (1980); press release about a British report on the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; ms. notes and drafts on the history of the NCCL 1 file 1936 - 1998

U DSF/1/9 Artificial file of miscellaneous papers Including leaflets; notices of meetings; circulars and memoranda; papers about the presidency sub committee (1942); minutes of Executive Committee, General Purposes Committee and Finance and Appeals Sub Committee; papers for International Conference on Human Rights (1947); reports; information sheets and policy statements; letters, including from A Francis James (RAF Ternhill) (1), Elaine Martin (Ronald Kidd’s sister) (1), A Koehler (International Federation of Leagues against Racism and Anti-Semitism) (2), Hertha Christie-Curwen (1), and Arthur Clegg (Colonial Information Bureau) (1), and from Ronald Kidd (2) 1 file 1938 - 1959

U DSF/1/10 Artificial file of miscellaneous papers Including motions for AGM (1964); black and white photograph of a man addressing a meeting [? mass meeting on press freedom, April 1942]; report of conference on the state of civil liberties in Britain (1952); letters and circulars; annotated typescript by Ronald Kidd/Sylvia Crowther-Smith on freedom of opinion and the BBC; examples of headed paper used by Kidd, with testimonials and curriculum vitae; ts. drafts of history of the origins of the NCCL 1 file 1930s - 1964  

U DSF/1/11 Artificial file of miscellaneous papers Including press releases (1972); report to 1968 AGM by General Secretary Tony Smythe; ts. ‘The pattern of repression’, issued by Action for People’s Justice; typescripts about Jersey and the Harworth Colliery strike; notes about Ronald Kidd’s health; ms. and ts. notes about the history of the NCCL; transcripts of letters (2) from Sylvia Crowther-Smith to EM Forster (1955); typescript article for Civil Liberty on ‘The democratic retreat in France’ (1940); speech by Ronald Kidd on ‘The question of legislation against racial incitement’ (1937) 1 file 1930s - 1972

U DSF/1/12 File. Correspondence between Fionnuala Ni Aolain, Liberty and various publishers about her research and the publication of her book, The politics of force. Including a fax copy of the agreement to undertake the research for Liberty and her curriculum vitae 1 file 1994 - 1999

U DSF/1/13 Issues of Civil Liberty (journal) 97 items 1937 - 1951

U DSF/1/14 Issues of Civil Liberty (monthly bulletin) 78 items 1965 - 1976

U DSF/1/15 Issues of Rights (journal) 32 items 1976 - 1984

U DSF/1/16 Issues of Civil Liberty Agenda (later Liberty) (newsletter) 11 items 1991 - 2001

U DSF/1/17 Ts. ‘Speakers’ notes on fascism and anti-Semitism’ 1 item 1930s

U DSF/1/18 Pamphlet. Non-flam films 1 item 1935

U DSF/1/19 Pamphlet. Police methods 1 item c 1935

U DSF/1/20 Report of a Commission of Inquiry into certain disturbances at Thurloe Square, South Kensington on March 22, 1936 1 item 1936

U DSF/1/21 Report of a Commission of Inquiry appointed to examine the purpose and effect of the Civil Authorities (Special Powers) Acts (Northern Ireland) 1922 and 1923 1 item 1936

U DSF/1/22 The Harworth Colliery strike. A report to the Executive Committee of the National Council for Civil Liberties 1 item 1937

U DSF/1/23 Pamphlet. The strange case of Major Vernon 1 item c. 1937

U DSF/1/24 Pamphlet. Freedom of the press and the challenge of the Official Secrets Act 1 item 1938

U DSF/1/25 Pamphlet. Your freedom in danger 1 item 1940s

U DSF/1/26 Pamphlet. Civil liberties offended 1 item 1940s

U DSF/1/27 Pamphlet. This freedom (Civil Service branch) 1 item 1940s

U DSF/1/28 Conference report. Civil liberty in the colonial Empire 1 item 1941

U DSF/1/29 Pamphlet. The press and the war (Press Freedom Committee) 1 item 1941

U DSF/1/30 Pamphlet. The internment and treatment of aliens 1 item May 1941

U DSF/1/31 Pamphlet. Civil liberties defended 1 item Aug1941

U DSF/1/32 Pamphlet. Harold Laski, Freedom of the press in wartime 1 item c. 1941

U DSF/1/33 Pamphlet. Press freedom 1 item 1942

U DSF/1/34 Pamphlet. Ronald Kidd, The fight for a free press (two different editions) 2 items 1942  

U DSF/1/35 Pamphlet. Angela Tuckett, Civil liberty and the industrial worker 1 item c. 1942

U DSF/1/36 Pamphlet. Elizabeth Acland Allen, It shall not happen here 1 item 1943

U DSF/1/37 Pamphlet. Tom Driberg, Absentees for freedom 1 item 1944

U DSF/1/38 Pamphlet. DN Pritt, Defence regulation 1AA 1 item 1944

U DSF/1/39 Pamphlet. RJ Spector, Freedom for the forces 1 item 1940s

U DSF/1/40 Pamphlet. The War Office and the Official Secrets Act: attack on trade union freedom 1 item 1940s

U DSF/1/41 Pamphlet. Elizabeth Acland Allen, Local government and civil liberty 1 item 1945

U DSF/1/42 Pamphlet. The National Council for Civil Liberties. The record of a decade of work 1934 – 1945 for democracy and liberty 1 item 1945

U DSF/1/43 Pamphlet. Civil liberties and the colonies 1 item 1945

U DSF/1/44 Pamphlet. It isn’t colour bar, but… 1 item post 1945

U DSF/1/45 Pamphlet. Geoff Parsons, Black chattels: the story of the Australian aborigines 1 item c. 1946

U DSF/1/46 Conference report, International Conference on Human Rights 1 item Jun 1947

U DSF/1/47 Leaflet on fascism and anti-Semitism 1 item Sep 1948

U DSF/1/48 Pamphlet. Civil servants and politics (Civil Service branch) 1 item c. 1950

U DSF/1/49 Ts. ‘Evidence to the Royal Commission on the Press’ 1 item 1950s

U DSF/1/50 The journey to Berlin. Report of a Commission of Inquiry 1 item 1951

U DSF/1/51 Ts. ‘Memorandum on repressive legislation in the Dominions’ 1 item 1952

U DSF/1/52 Ts. ‘Civil liberties in Kenya’ 1 item 1953

U DSF/1/53 Ts. ‘Civil liberties and the scheme for federation in Central Africa’ 1 item 1953

U DSF/1/54 Ts. Memorandum and supplement, being the NCCL submission to the Royal Commission on the Law relating to Mental Illness and Mental Deficiency 1 item Jan 1955

U DSF/1/55 Pamphlet. 50,000 outside the law 1 item c. 1955

U DSF/1/56 Ts. ‘Anti-Semitism and colour bar. A warning’ 1 item c. 1959

U DSF/1/57 Pamphlet. Civil liberty 1961 1 item 1961

U DSF/1/58 Pamphlet. Public order and the police 1 item 1961

U DSF/1/59 Ts. ‘Report on the demonstration in Grosvenor Square, London, on Mar 17, 1968’ 1 item 1968

U DSF/1/60 Pamphlet. The use of the police for political purposes 1 item mid 20th cent

U DSF/1/61 Pamphlet. 1992 and you 1 item pre 1992

U DSF/1/62 Pamphlet. Northern Ireland: human rights and the peace dividend 1 item 1995

U DSF/2 Ronald Kidd 1916 - 1985

U DSF/2/1 Photocopies of papers from Ronald Kidd’s file as employee of the Wellcome Historical Medical Museum, with correspondence from John Symons of the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine 1 bundle 1916 – 1985

U DSF/2/2 File. Tour of Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Austria by Ronald Kidd Travel and tourist brochures for Czechoslovakia and Hungary, maps of Central Europe, black and white negatives of [? Prague] (8) and black and white photographs of anti-Semitic graffiti in [? London] (10) 1 file 1937 – 1938

U DSF/2/3 File. Tour of Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Austria by Ronald Kidd Correspondence (including about travel arrangements); letters of introduction; names and addresses of contacts; ts. itinerary; ms. notes made during the visit; pamphlets; black and white photographs (30) of Jasina and other places in Sub Carpathian Russia and Slovakia; ts. lecture notes on Czechoslovakia; letters arranging public meetings in Britain, with related leaflets and cuttings.

Includes letters from Dr O Frey (Czech Legation, London) (3), Sylvia Eltz (German Social Democratic Workers’ Party, Prague) (1), Victor Gollancz (1), Kingsley Martin (2), Dr Maxmilián Ryšánek (Brno) (2), Secretary General of Ligue Française pour la Défense des Droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen (1), Willy Werner (Hradec Králové) (1), Czech League against Anti-Semitism, Area Committee for Mähren and Schliesen (1), A Koehler (International Federation of Leagues against Racism and Anti-Semitism) (1) 1 file 1938

U DSF/2/4 File. Articles by Ronald Kidd and editorial work on Civil Liberty Including ms. drafts, cc. typescripts, cuttings and correspondence, with letters from Kingsley Martin (1), Ladipo Solanke (West African Students Union), DN Pritt (2) and Harold Laski (1) 1 file 1940 – 1942

U DSF/2/5 File. ‘Historical pamphlets no.1. The struggle for a free press’ Ms. notes; ms. and ts. drafts of pamphlet by Ronald Kidd; letter from Elizabeth Acland Allen; published pamphlet, The press and the war (NCCL Press Freedom Committee, circa 1942) 1 file circa 1942

U DSF/2/6 File. Miscellaneous papers Bundle of cards left at Ronald Kidd’s graveside; letter from Kidd to Sylvia Crowther-Smith from Bratislava (16 August 1938); correspondence, reports and recommendations about Ronald Kidd’s retirement as General Secretary and appointment as Director of NCCL, and about the question of a new president. Includes letters from DN Pritt (2), Elizabeth Acland Allen (4), Henry Miller (Secretary, Cambuslang Branch of National Unemployed Workers Movement) (1), Kingsley Martin (1) and Mary Kidd (1) 1 file 1938 - 1942

U DSF/2/7 Letters and statement about Ronald Kidd’s health 3 items 1941

U DSF/2/8 Ts. copies of press notices and obituaries of Ronald Kidd after his death on 12/05/1942 1 bundle 1942

U DSF/2/9 Pocket diaries (with details of meetings and appointments) 4 volumes 1934 - 1938

U DSF/2/10 Passport of Ronald Kidd, with one spare photograph 2 items 11 Mar 1936

U DSF/2/11 Black and white photographs of Ronald Kidd, including one signed 7 items mid 20th cent

U DSF/2/12 Bound ts. script of play, ‘The lost leader’, by Lennox Robinson 1 item 1930s

U DSF/2/13 Publicity leaflet for the Soho Literary Group, organised by Ronald Kidd mid 20th cent

U DSF/2/14 Black and white photographs of political posters on display in wartime France 3 items 1940s

U DSF/2/15 Postcards a) Map of the Mediterranean, showing Italian plans for regional domination, with text on reverse about Spanish Civil War, no date b) ‘Forces de paix et forces de guerre’ [comparative chart], no date c) Display on agriculture at the Spanish pavilion, 1937 Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne, Paris, 1937 d) ‘No pasaran!’, issued by the Propaganda Commissariat, Autonomous Government of Catalonia, 1937 4 items 1930s

U DSF/3 Sylvia Scaffardi (nee Crowther-Smith) 1930s - 1975

U DSF/3/1 Bundle. Committee on Land Utilisation for Rural Areas, Ministry of Works and Buildings (Lord Justice Scott’s Committee) Evidence submitted by Association of British Chambers of Commerce, County Councils Association, Pennine Way Association, Mr SW Smedley, Bolton Chamber of Commerce, Garden Cities and Town Planning Association, Benjamin Seebohm Rowntree and the Ramblers Association; related pamphlets; minutes of Executive Committee of County Councils Association (28.1.1942); report of Committee (Cmd. 6378) 1 bundle 1939 – 1942

U DSF/3/2 File of photocopied press cuttings about fascism in the 1930s Collected for Fire under the carpet (1986) 1 file 1930s

U DSF/3/3 Ts. annotated talk, ‘Childhood in Brazil’ With letters (2) from Olivia Chalmers about the Brazilian origins of Sylvia Scaffardi’s grandparents 3 items 1973

U DSF/3/4 Ms. and ts. notes about Robert Skidelsky’s 'Oswald Mosley' (Macmillan) 1 item 1975  

U DSF/4 Barry Cox 1965 - 1971

U DSF/4/1 File. Correspondence of Barry Cox setting up interviews with key figures in the NCCL Including letters from DN Pritt (2), Tony Smythe (1), AP Herbert (1), Julian Huxley (1), PMS Blackett (1), Kingsley Martin (1), JB Priestley (1), EM Forster (2), Sylvia Scaffardi (2), Ritchie Calder (1) and John Platts-Mills (1). With cc. ts. agreement between Cox and the NCCL to produce a manuscript history of the organisation, and ms. notes 1 file 1968 – 1971

U DSF/4/2 File. Ts. transcripts of interviews undertaken by Barry Cox of key figures in the NCCL Including Neil Lawson, Elizabeth Acland Allen, DN Pritt, Geoffrey Bing, Kingsley Martin, Claud Cockburn, Sylvia Scaffardi, George Catlin, Malcolm Purdie and [?] Adams 1 file late 1960s

U DSF/4/3 File. Ts. transcripts of interviews undertaken by Barry Cox of key figures in the NCCL Including Dingle Foot, DN Pritt, Geoffrey Bing, Kingsley Martin (with comments by Sylvia Scaffardi), Claud Cockburn, Sylvia Scaffardi and Martin Ennals. Also ts. ‘Ronald Kidd’s politics. Political standing of NCCL up to 1941. Red smear’ and transcripts of letters from Kingsley Martin and EM Forster 1 file late 1960s

U DSF/4/4 Bundle of ts. transcripts and ms. notes of interviews undertaken by Barry Cox of key figures in the NCCL Including Tony Smythe, Martin Ennals, Kingsley Martin, Harry Street and David Williams. Also ms. notes on miscellaneous topics and annotated ts. paper by Tony Smythe on ‘The role of the NCCL’, at a symposium on direct action and democratic representation 1 bundle late 1960s

U DSF/4/5 File. Race relations/racial equality NCCL bulletins, circulars and letters; photocopies, cuttings and offprints of journal articles; quarterly bulletin of Race Relations Board; details of legal cases under section 6: incitement to racial hatred, of Race Relations Act 1965 (compiled by Anthony Dickey); ms. notes 1 file 1965 – 1971  

U DSF/5 Pamphlets and periodicals by other organisations c1910 - 1978

U DSF/5/1 Pamphlet. Ronald Kidd, For freedom’s cause: an appeal to working men (Women’s Social and Political Union) 1 item c 1910

U DSF/5/2 The English Review, edited by Austin Harrison Includes part 5 of ‘The world set free: a story of mankind’, by HG Wells 1 item Apr 1914

U DSF/5/3 Monica Ewer, ts. ‘Civil liberties 1918’ (Record Office, National Council for Civil Liberties), with photocopy 2 items Jan 1918

U DSF/5/4 The immortal hour: music-drama by Rutland Broughton…from the play and poems of Fiona Macleod 1 item c 1923

U DSF/5/5 Pamphlet. GDH Cole, William Cobbett (Fabian Tract no.215) 1 item 1925

U DSF/5/6 Ashley Dukes, The acting edition of The Man with a Load of Mischief: a comedy in three acts 1 item 1926

U DSF/5/7 Germinal (literary magazine), no.2, edited by Sylvia Pankhurst 1 item 1924

U DSF/5/8 Pamphlet. Harold Laski, Socialism and freedom (Fabian Tract no.216) 1 item 1930

U DSF/5/9 Pamphlet. Lord Hewart of Bury, Law, ethics and legislation (BBC) 1 item 1930

U DSF/5/10 Pamphlet. A national policy: an account of the emergency policy advanced by Sir Oswald Mosley MP (Macmillan) 1 item 1931

U DSF/5/11 Pamphlet. To fascism or communism? (Communist Party of Great Britain) 1 item 1931  

U DSF/5/12 Pamphlet. Douglas Goldring, Liberty and licensing (Hobby-Horse series no.1) 1 item 1932

U DSF/5/13 Pamphlet. The secret international. Armament firms at work (Union of Democratic Control) 1 item 1932 U DSF/5/14 The Golden Bowl (an occasional magazine devoted to the restoration of human values), no.7 1 item 1932 - 1933

U DSF/5/15 Pamphlet. CLR James, The case for West- Indian self government (Day to Day Pamphlets no.16 - Leonard and Virginia Woolf) 1 item 1933

U DSF/5/16 Pamphlet. TA Innes & Ivor Castle, Covenants with death (Daily Express) 1 item 1934

U DSF/5/17 Pamphlet. A souvenir of the Great Empire Air Day of 1934 (Union of Democratic Control) 1 item 1934

U DSF/5/18 Pamphlet. The Prudential and its money (Labour Research Department) 1 item 1934

U DSF/5/19 Pamphlet. Ivor Montagu, Blackshirt brutality: the story of Olympia 1 item 1934

U DSF/5/20 Pamphlet. ‘Vindicator’, Fascists at Olympia. A record of eye-witnesses and victims (Victor Gollancz Ltd.) 1 item 1934

U DSF/5/21 Life and letters. The Florin magazine 1 item May 1934

U DSF/5/22 Pamphlet. P Glading, How Bedaux works (Labour Research Department) 1 item Nov 1934

U DSF/5/23 Pamphlet. G Bernard Shaw, HG Wells, JM Keynes & Ernst Toller, Stalin-Wells talk The verbatim record and a discussion (New Statesman and Nation) 1 item Dec 1934  

U DSF/5/24 Pamphlet. Ten points against fascism (Young Communist League) 1 item c 1934

U DSF/5/25 Pamphlet. W Fox, Taximen and taxi-owners (Labour Research Department) 1 item Feb 1935

U DSF/5/26 Left Review (5 issues) 5 items Mar 1935 - Feb 1937

U DSF/5/27 Artists International Association, Bulletin, no. 10 With circular about attempt to form a new association affiliated to the International of Revolutionary Writers 2 items Nov 1935

U DSF/5/28 Pamphlet. DN Pritt, The Zinoviev trial (Victor Gollancz Ltd.) 1 item 1936

U DSF/5/29 Pamphlet. Sean Murray, The Irish revolt: 1916 and after (Communist Party of Great Britain) 1 item 1936

U DSF/5/30 Pamphlet. Herbert Read, Essential Communism (Pamphlets on the New Economics series no.12) Social Credit publication 1 item Apr 1936

U DSF/5/31 Pamphlet. The trial of Luiz Carlos Prestes (Association Juridique Internationale) 1 item c 1936

U DSF/5/32 Pamphlet. The case for Cyprus (Committee for the Autonomy of Cyprus) 1 item c 1937

U DSF/5/33 Book. Elvira Bauer, Trau keinen Fuchs auf grüner Heid und keinen Jud bei seinem Eid: ein Bilderbuch für gross und klein (Stürmer Publishing House, Nuremberg, 1936) Anti-Semitic publication, with ts. English translation, stamped ‘National Council for Civil Liberties’, January 1937 2 items 1936 - Jan 1937

U DSF/5/34 Book. A Ramos Oliveira, La lucha del pueblo Espanol por su libertad (Spanish Embassy, London) 1 volume 1937  

U DSF/5/35 Book. A Ramos Oliveira, Work and War in Spain (Spanish Embassy, London) 1 volume 1938

U DSF/5/36 Pamphlet. Czechoslovakia – a deserted nation. A woman writes ‘Goodbye’ (News Chronicle Czech Relief Fund) 1 item 1938

U DSF/5/37 Pamphlet. The facts. Czechoslovakia’s martyrdom (European Association and League of Nations Union, 1938) 1 item 1938

U DSF/5/38 Miscellaneous no.7 (1938). Correspondence respecting Czechoslovakia September 1938 (Cmd. 5847) (HMSO) 1 item 1938

U DSF/5/39 Miscellaneous no.8 (1938). Further documents respecting Czechoslovakia including the agreement concluded at Munich on September 29, 1938 (Cmd. 5848) (HMSO) 1 item 1938

U DSF/5/40 Pamphlet. Writers declare against fascism (Association of Writers for Intellectual Liberty) 1 item 1938

U DSF/5/41 Pamphlet. How the rich live: sidelights on the Cunningham Reid case (Communist Party of Great Britain) 1 item 1938

U DSF/5/42 Pamphlet. Eternal vigilance. The story of civil liberty 1937-1938 (American Civil Liberties Union) 1 item 1938

U DSF/5/43 Pamphlet. RST Chorley, The threat to civil liberty (Haldane Society) 1 item 1938

U DSF/5/44 Book. Dr Hans Diebow ed., Der ewige Jude (Zentralverlag der NSDAP) Anti-Semitic publication issued by the Nazi Party 1 volume 1938

U DSF/5/45 Pamphlet. Hands off the Protectorates (International African Service Bureau) 1 item c 1938 Hull History Centre: Papers of Sylvia Scaffardi page 19 of 21

U DSF/5/46 Pamphlet. Kingsley Martin, Fascism, democracy and the press (New Statesman) 1 item c 1939

U DSF/5/47 Pamphlet. Eric Gill, All that England stands for (Peace Pledge Union) 1 item post 1939

U DSF/5/48 The British Subject, vol.I, no.5 1 item Feb 1940

U DSF/5/49 Pamphlet. Native races, the war and peace aims (Anti-Slavery and Aborigines Protection Society) With covering letter 2 items Mar 1940

U DSF/5/50 Pamphlet. Barbed wire in France. They fought for freedom. Their reward – concentration camps (International Brigade Association) 1 item early 1940

U DSF/5/51 Pamphlet. Where are you going? An open letter to Communists by Victor Gollancz 1 item 9 May 1940

U DSF/5/52 Pamphlet. U DMWP [?], France faces fascism (Fabian Society Research Series no.52) 1 item Oct 1940

U DSF/5/53 Pamphlet. Why France fell: the lessons for us (Union of Democratic Control) 1 item c1940

U DSF/5/54 Pamphlet. Morrison’s prisoners. The story of the Czechoslovakian anti-fascist fighters interned in Britain (National Council for Democratic Aid) 1 item 1941

U DSF/5/55 Pamphlet. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The strength of our ally (Lawrence and Wishart) 1 item c1941

U DSF/5/56 Pamphlet. The Anglo-Soviet Treaty 26 May 1942 (Society for Cultural Relations with the Soviet Union) 1 item 1942

U DSF/5/57 Pamphlet. Who’s who in Nazi Germany (British government publication) [copy no.14] 1 item 15 Dec 1942

U DSF/5/58 Pamphlet. A pocket guide to India (United States War and Navy Departments) 1 item c 1942

U DSF/5/59 Art and Industry (2 issues) 2 items Jul - Aug 1943

U DSF/5/60 Pamphlet. André Marty, L’heure de la France a sonné (Communist Party of Great Britain) 1 item c 1943

U DSF/5/61 Pamphlet. For Liberty Exhibition. Exhibition of paintings by members of the AIA 1 item c 1943

U DSF/5/62 Pamphlet. Robert E Cushman, Our constitutional freedoms. Civil liberties: an American heritage (National Foundation for Education in American Citizenship) 1 item Jan 1944

U DSF/5/63 Central Board for Conscientious Objectors, Bulletin, no.55 1 item Sep 1944

U DSF/5/64 Britânia, vol.I, nos. III, V & VII 3 items Sep 1944 - Jan 1945

U DSF/5/65 Pamphlet. John Price, British trade unions and the war (Ministry of Information) 1 item 1945

U DSF/5/66 Pamphlet. Town planning and housing. What can I do? (Town and Country Planning Association) 1 item 1945

U DSF/5/67 Choix: les écrits du mois à travers le monde, no.11 1 item Dec 1945

U DSF/5/68 Greek News, vol.1, no.7 (League for Democracy in Greece) 1 item Sep 1946

U DSF/5/69 Civil Rights, vol.1, nos. 1 & 2 (Emergency Committee for Civil Liberty, Canada) 2 items 15 Aug - 15 Sep 1946  

U DSF/5/70 Pamphlet. Ashwin Choudree & PR Pather, A commentary on the Asiatic land tenure and Indian Representation Act (South African Congress) 1 item 1 May 1946

U DSF/5/71 Écho Revue Internationale: écrits, faits et idées de tous pays 1 item Jun 1947

U DSF/5/72 Pamphlet. Dalton Trumbo, The time of the toad: a study of the inquisition in America (The Hollywood Ten) 1 item 1949

U DSF/5/73 Pamphlet. Discrimination: a study in injustice to a minority (All Party Anti-Partition Conference, Dublin) 1 item c. 1950

U DSF/5/74 Pamphlet. Bertrand Russell, How near is war? (Derricke Ridway) 1 item 1952

U DSF/5/75 Pamphlet. Seretse Khama and the Bamangwato people (Seretse Khama Campaign Committee) 1 item c 1952

U DSF/5/76 Pamphlet. Kenneth Kaunda, Dominion status for Central Africa? (Union of Democratic Control/Movement for Colonial Freedom) 1 item c 1959

U DSF/5/77 Pamphlet. The Black Paper. Report to the nation: H bomb war (Peace News) 1 item 1960s

U DSF/5/78 Pamphlet. This is apartheid (International Defence and Aid Fund for Southern Africa) 1 item 1978

U DSF/5/79 Bundle of photocopies of extracts from pamphlets and books relating to fascism, antifascism and the 1930s in Britain Including from Phil Piratin’s Our flag stays red, They did not pass: A souvenir of the East London workers’ victory over fascism (Independent Labour Party), The BUF by the BUF (Communist Party of Great Britain) and Tom Driberg’s Mosley? No! 1 bundle late 20th cent.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sat Mar 28, 2020 10:05 am

The Eugenics Society archives in the Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine
by Lesley A Hall

When the Wellcome Trust first set up the Contemporary Medical Archives Centre (now subsumed into Archives and Manuscripts) within the Wellcome Institute Library in 1979, it was with the aim of collecting and preserving records illuminating twentieth century developments in medicine, biomedical science and healthcare. It was clear that a good deal of important material was falling through existing systems of preservation. The initial assumption was that the focus of collecting policy would be the papers of individual scientists and doctors, along the lines already being pursued by the Contemporary Scientists Archive Centre in Oxford (now the National Cataloguing Unit for the Archives of Contemporary Scientists and relocated to Bath). However, it emerged at an early stage of the CMAC’s activities that there was equal urgency to preserve the archives of voluntary organisations operating within the medical/health/welfare field. These shed an important light on these issues within the British context, given the importance of voluntarism. The Wellcome now holds records of numerous professional bodies, learned societies, research institutions, charities, campaigning organisations and propagandist associations (and bodies which either simultaneously or at different phases of their existence performed several of these functions).

Although the papers of a few organisations had already been placed in the Wellcome Institute prior to the appointment of an archivist, the first organisational archive actively acquired by the newly established CMAC was that of the Eugenics Society, early in 1980. The CMAC has already received an important collection of papers of Dr Marie Stopes which had been rejected by the (then) British Museum Reading Room (now the Department of Manuscripts, British Library), although it had accepted substantial portions of her extremely large archive of personal papers and material relating to the birth control clinics she established. These two accessions laid the foundations for one of the major strengths of our collections, birth control and reproductive health more generally. The Wellcome now holds the most important archive on the birth control movement in the UK.

The Eugenics Society archive has been one of the most popular collections in the Wellcome: files were being made available to researchers even before cataloguing had been fully completed, such was the demand. As an archive it is extremely rich, and is of major interest well beyond research into the internal activities and politics of the Society, and indeed extending beyond the study of eugenics as an intellectual and political phenomenon. Over the past 10 years it has consistently been among both the most heavily-used collections we hold, with an average number of 18 readers per year, and among the collections from which the greatest numbers of items have been produced, with an average of over 500 productions each year. In the light of the latter statistic, the decision was recently taken to make researchers use the microfiche copies of the most heavily used portions of the collection for reasons of conservation. While many users are students undertaking dissertation projects, or individuals looking up one or two files bearing on a tangential subject of research, there have been major studies done, and still currently in progress, making extensive use of this archive. Some international scholars return year after year.

The Society was founded in 1907 with the by then very elderly Sir Francis Galton as President. The record for the early years of the Eugenics Education Society, as it was known until 1926, is relatively sparse compared to what survives for the period after approximately 1920. However, there is a complete run of Annual Reports from 1908, and before 1915, when they became much slimmer for reasons of wartime economy, these are extremely full and detailed and include membership lists (there are a number of irregular discrete membership lists for subsequent years). There are also minutes of Council from 1907, which include those of the Executive Council from 1913. The solid core of minute books continues to the 1960s (later volumes still being retained by the Society). Besides Council, Executive and Finance Committee minutes, increasing numbers of committees were set up from the 1920s for specific purposes (long and short-term), or to study and report on particular issues. These included Film, 1927; Propaganda, 1932-1940; Family Allowances, 1932-1934; Birth Control, 1932-1934; Research, 1923-1931, 1946-1956; and Editorial, 1936-1967.

Figure 1

The wider context within which the Society was established is well-documented in a series of volumes of newspaper cuttings, 1907-1910. These form part of a substantial group of press-cuttings within the collection, in both chronological and subject sequences, up to the 1970s. There are a number of gaps in the coverage, in particular the 1910s and 1920s represent a major lacuna, and there is also relatively little for the 1950s, although two files of cuttings concerning the 1958 debates on artificial insemination contextualise the Society’s own files on the subject and the audiotapes of doctors who were practising it recorded by the AID Investigation Council which it set up.

A very few files survive from the early years, including a substantial number of press-cuttings about the First International Eugenics Conference held in London in 1912, and one file on ‘Feeblemindedness’, which was, of course, an area in which the Society was particularly anxious to influence policy. However, on the whole this early material reflects propaganda activities rather than impact on policy, with items on conferences, notices of lectures, and minutes of the Summer School on Civics and Eugenics.

Figure 2

After 1920 an ever-increasing number of files, containing correspondence and other materials, survive. Two main sequences are particularly heavily used as they demonstrate the extraordinarily broad range of the Society’s interests and spheres of contact. There are 22 boxes of correspondence arranged by individual correspondent (‘People’): some of these were members or officers of the Society, but a considerable number were individuals with whom the Society was in contact for various reasons -– liaison on matters of mutual interest, requests to address meetings –- and even members of the general public. These files include many distinguished names, and even a few noted antagonists of eugenics feature, such as Dr Letitia Fairfield, feminist, socialist, Roman Catholic convert, and first female senior medical officer of the London County Council. There are slightly more boxes of ‘General’ files, containing materials either on specific subjects of interest to the Society, or pertaining to their relations with other organisations.

A number of other groups of material are also of considerable research interest. There is a single box of files on Branches and Other Societies, which include both provincial and regional branches and societies in the UK, organisations in other countries, and international bodies. The collection includes some material on family histories and pedigrees. The propaganda activities of the Society from the mid-1920s are well reflected in the archive. Increasing financial stability enabled it to support a small team of lecturers to go about the country addressing meetings of a wide range of organisations, from Women’s Co-operative Guilds to Rotary Clubs, and to take stands at exhibitions, health weeks and conferences. Reports were returned [see Figure 1] and these provide a very useful source about responses from audiences and their preconceptions. There also survive various visual aids prepared for exhibitions and lectures, including charts demonstrating heredity -– there is a particularly attractive one on the antirrhinum [see Figure 2] -– magic lantern slides, and posters. Besides their main purpose these also typify contemporary graphic design [see Figure 3: ‘Healthy Seed]. Two versions of the film made in the 1930s, with narration by Sir Julian Huxley, survive: the longer From Generation to Generation, and the abbreviated Heredity in Man. These are made available for viewing on video subject to the usual conditions of access (see below). Other visual materials include cartoons, a sketch of an armorial achievement deemed appropriate to the Society, the design for the ‘Eugenic family’ extensively used on the Society’s literature during the 1930s [see Figure 4], and some portrait photographs of individuals associated with the Society, including several members of Sir Francis Galton’s own family.

Figure 3

Figure 4

The financial position of the Society was rendered particularly solid by the 1929 bequest from the wealthy and eccentric Australian sheep-farmer Henry Twitchin. The collection includes not only a substantial amount of correspondence between Twitchin and Major Leonard Darwin (when the latter was President of the Society) prior to his death, but material on his family background and on the administration of his estate.

Embedded within this collection are various items originating with specific individuals or organisations who or which were connected with the Society. There are two boxes of papers of Sir Bernard Mallet, President of the Society, 1929-1932, created in his personal rather than his official capacity. On her death in 1958, Marie Stopes left her birth control clinic (and her library) to the Society. The collection therefore includes some clinic administrative material and other correspondence of Stopes’s, presumably found on the premises, as well as the records of the Marie Stopes Memorial Centre set up by the Eugenics Society to administer the clinic.

Because this clinic was not constrained by the various limitations of the Family Planning Association, it was able to do innovative work in the provision of contraception for the unmarried
(one is not quite sure whether the late Dr Stopes would have approved of this!). A number of items were given by Dr G. C. Bertram from his own collection of papers accumulated during his years of association with the Society. The Society provided support to the Birth Control Investigation Committee, 1927-1932, and the Joint Committee on Voluntary Sterilisation, 1934-1938, and records of both these bodies can be found in the archive. There is a good deal generally on the campaign to obtain Parliamentary legislation enabling voluntary sterilisation in the early 1930s, including letters from members of the general public trying to obtain this operation in the face of medical indifference or outright refusal, and as already mentioned, the Society took an active part in the debates on artificial insemination by donor in the period after World War II.

Besides the archives of the Society itself, a number of other collections in the Wellcome Library shed light on its activities and fill out the picture. The papers of Carlos Paton Blacker, FRCP, who was General Secretary from 1931 to 1952 and Honorary Secretary 1952-1961, contain correspondence with and about the Society, and also illuminate his less formal contacts with other members and officers of the Society, many of whom were or became personal friends. They also document his wider involvement in the birth control movement, from the Birth Control Investigation Committee in the 1920s, in which he played a leading role, to his work with the Simon Population Trust on vasectomy provision in the 1960s and 70s. After the Second World War Blacker was asked to comment on the ‘experimental work on eugenics performed in concentration camps by the medical profession in Germany’ and his papers include both notes from 1947, and his article ‘"Eugenic" Experiments Conducted by the Nazis on Human Subjects’, published in The Eugenics Review in 1952. The papers of the biologist Sir Alan Parkes also contain some items on the Society. The copious Family Planning Association archives contain material directly dealing with its relationship with the Eugenics Society, including further records of the Birth Control Investigation Committee, as well as correspondence with individuals such as Blacker and Baker, and discussions in committee about relations between the two bodies. The Marie Stopes papers, which consist predominantly of correspondence received from the general public who had read her books or seen her name in the press, include letters asking about questions of ‘breeding’ in the light of family health issues, as well as specifically on birth control. Most of her correspondence with the Society and with C. P. Blacker is to be found among the papers in the British Library Department of Manuscripts. The papers of the long-lived physician Frederick Parkes Weber FRCP (1863-1962) contain items testifying to his personal interest in the topic of eugenics (among the very many subjects in which he was interested), and, due to his particular medical concerns, this collection is actually a better resource for the study of the developing understanding of, and attitudes towards, genetic disorders within the medical profession between c. 1890 and 1960, than the archives of the Eugenics Society itself. Two files of copy correspondence from the Rockefeller Archive Centre, Tarrytown, New York, USA, about Rockefeller funding for research projects of the Society, mainly for John R. Baker’s spermicide research, 1934-1940, are also held.

What we do not have at the Wellcome are the papers of Sir Francis Galton: due to occasional misunderstandings about the relationship between the Galton Institute and this eminent late-nineteenth century polymath we sometimes receive requests for information relating to, e.g., Galton’s meteorological research or criminological investigations. His papers are, in fact, held just across the road in the Library of University College London (as are the papers of his disciple Karl Pearson), and UCL also houses a small museum of Galton artefacts.

The Wellcome Library holds the books and pamphlets formerly in the Eugenics Society Library, transferred in 1988 at the time of the move out of the Eccleston Square offices. These include many associational copies, especially for Marie Stopes, as a result of her bequest to the Society: numerous volumes formerly in her possession have been annotated by her in her dashing and unmistakable handwriting, which adds considerably to their interest. The Library catalogue (which includes the books and pamphlets from the Society Library) can be consulted online at

The Eugenics Society archives are open to researchers by appointment with Archives and Manuscripts, once they have gained the prior permission of the Galton Institute, and completed both an undertaking for the use of archives and manuscripts and a request to see restricted access material, which includes information as to exactly what they wish to see and how they propose to use it. Material is ordered, at present, using the references provided by a word-processed handlist (finding aids are currently being converted into a CALM 2000 database, which will enable them to be made available for searching online), produced by the archivists, and consulted under supervision in the Poynter Room (rare materials reading area) of the Wellcome Library. The archivists are always happy to answer queries (though we do not undertake research) and to provide copies of lists.

Contact details:
Archives and Manuscripts
Research and Special Collections
Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine
183 Euston Road
London NW1 2BE
England UK
Phone 0207-611-8483/8486
Fax 0207-611-8703
Wellcome Library website:
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sat Mar 28, 2020 10:59 am

Henry Twitchin: An Account of the Society's Most Generous Benefactor
by Major Leonard Darwin, D.Sc.
Eugenics Review, Vol. XXII, No. 2.
1930 Jul; 22(2): 91–97

Henry Twitchin
Birth: 21 Feb 1867, Australia
Death: 19 Mar 1930 (aged 63), England
Burial: Golders Green Crematorium, Golders Green, London Borough of Barnet, Greater London, England

Up to this spring, a generous member of our Society had been in the habit of giving us £1,000 a year, a fact not widely known because, respecting his earnest desire that his name should not be disclosed, as little as possible was said about it. This reason for our silence, however, no longer exists; for our benefactor, Mr. Henry Twitchin, died on March 19th last, quite unexpectedly after an operation for appendicitis. By his will the Society becomes the residuary legatee of his estate, thus probably more than trebling the income to be received by us from this source. As he is likely for long, or for ever, to head the list of our benefactors, it is fitting that some account of the man himself should accompany this expression of deep gratitude for what he has done for eugenics.

Henry Twitchin was born on February 22st, 1867, at Shaw-cum-Donnington in Berkshire, his father and grandfather having been farmers in good circumstances, the latter indeed being described as 'gentleman' in the death certificate. There was in Berkshire a family of this name, which traced back to the middle of the seventeenth century, with arms on the tomb of one of them; and with this family our Twitchins were most probably connected, since the name of Andrew occurs in both pedigrees of this uncommon surname. Henry Twitchin's mother's name was Lovelock, her father being a maltster, this being the surname of yeoman families in Berkshire back to Elizabethan times; and the same is true of Northway, his paternal grandmother's name. We may, in a future issue, be able to give a pedigree of the Twitchin family for those interested in such matters. His immediate ancestry nearly all lived to advanced old age, and for the most part left no recorded signs of ill health. It is true that his father, another Henry, though living to the age of eighty-seven, retired from work when comparatively young, and was reported to have been always an invalid and very irritable, though with dignified, aristocratic manners when in a good temper. He was both a reader and an independent thinker, holding views considered very advanced in his days. Our Henry Twitchin also had an uncle who was deformed and not at all a desirable character. His mother was an amusing and courageous old lady of strong character; whilst his two sisters, who completed the family, and of whom he was very fond, both died young of consumption. Our benefactor himself suffered constantly from periods of depression, but must have been physically very strong. He left no near relatives. These details are here given with reference to his remarks, to be quoted later on, with regard to his own hereditary tendencies.


Henry Twitchin was educated at Newbury Grammar School, and then at Downton Agricultural College, where he did well, winning several prizes. His training on the land led him to think of emigrating, and the fact that his father was strict and unsympathetic confirmed his determination to leave England in spite of the opposition of all the family. Who supplied the funds is unknown, possibly a certain well-to-do relative with no children; but certain it is that he was able to sail for Western Australia before he was twenty-two years of age and to start sheep farming soon after his arrival. His stocks suffered heavily in some of the droughts; but, after visiting England to raise further funds, he sunk a large number of artesian wells on his property, which then began to prosper greatly. When in 1924 he sold his estates of Towera and Lyndon, comprising over a million acres of pastoral leases, it was described as the biggest sale of such property ever negotiated in Western Australia. In fact, after thirty-four years hard work he returned to England, having made a considerable fortune, but with his health seriously impaired.

In spite of his trying and constant occupations, Henry Twitchin evidently had time to think, and did think deeply on many problems, though with little assistance of any kind. Judging from certain notes found amongst papers, philosophy and religion occupied his thoughts a good deal at one time; though, as we shall see, it was to eugenics that his mind was most constantly directed. But to show that he looked to environment as well as to heredity it may be mentioned that by his will the British and the Western Australian societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals received legacies, whilst the following extract from these early rough notes may also be quoted with the same object. "I am quite aware that a vast proportion of human suffering is mainly due to preventable causes and in too many instances is perhaps a just penalty for their own delinquencies; but I have also seen in my own family connection an amount of suffering patiently endured, for which no cause could be assigned and by those who to our view were least deserving of it, that has made a deep impression on me." Amongst these papers was found the telegram, which he had kept for thirty-eight years, announcing the death of his sister; and we may guess that it was her he had in his mind when he wrote these words.


Turning to the advantages which will accrue to the Society under the terms of Mr. Twitchin's will, some paragraphs of which will be quoted later on, the Society is placed under no "legal obligations" as to the way in which his magnificent bequest is to be spent. Nevertheless, I wish to take this opportunity of appealing to our Councils in the future, when deciding on the uses to which this income shall be put, always at all events to take into consideration -- I say no more than that -- what were the wishes and views of our great benefactor. Though I make this appeal, it is, I am sure, unnecessary, because all members of our Society are sure always to regard the matter in this light. What is desirable is to ascertain what these wishes and views really were.

As to the general opinions held by Mr. Twitchin in regard to eugenics, and his reason for holding them, they may perhaps best be gathered from the following extracts from his private correspondence with me. In reading them it must, however, be remembered that the earliest letters were written from Towera, a remote pastoral station in Western Australia, that none of them were intended for publication, and that if he had had the least idea that they would ever appear in print, he would probably have expressed himself more guardedly. His first letter to me was dated April 4, 1922, and deals largely with questions of business. The passages which concern us here run as follows:


"I first became interested in Eugenics about 25 years ago, when the idea of applying the principle we had for a long time made use of in improving our farm stock to the improvement of the human family occurred to me just as originally as it did to the Founder of our Society, or the Greeks of old, and no doubt to many others. This is not to be wondered at when it is known that I am descended from a long line of countrymen at home, some of whom helped to make our domestic animals what they are to-day, that I was live stock prizeman at the Downton Farming School in 1888, and since then have devoted my whole life to the breeding of live stock (over 40,000 last year), in which as you know, under the best practice, the principle of eugenics is the controlling factor.

"Although my occupation alone would naturally have led me to this conclusion, it was the fact that I was born of unsound parents and inherited their weaknesses and consequently have suffered thereby, that first forced this question upon me. Isolated as I was in what was then the Back Country here, I had no opportunity of discussing it with people who were likely to know what had already been done to make the idea of use to the world, although it was certainly explained to one or two of my more enlightened neighbours, and it was years afterwards that I met with a reference in some paper (The Times Weekly probably) to the work of the late Henry [Francis] Galton, and of the founding of the Eugenics Education Society.

"Applying the great principle, as I was constantly doing in my work, it was natural perhaps for me to see no difficulty in doing the same at once with men and women. And I was then advocating the immediate introduction of legislation in all civilised countries prohibiting the propagation of the unfit from any cause. But after reading some of the publications by the Society and other works on the subject, I realized that the great majority of the people were not ready for such a revolutionary change, and that the best course to bring about the desired improvement was to do as the Society was doing and educate, if possible, the masses to see the inestimable advantage of adopting the principle and gradually enforce control.

"Believing in practice as well as in principle, I never married
, although better fitted to do so probably than fully one-half of those who do -- and being the last of my family I have no relatives having any claim on my property I, in 1912, made my Will -- after providing for certain legacies -- in favour of our Society, for the carrying on of the propaganda which I believe to be by far the most urgent and important work possible in human endeavour. . . .


As it is of some importance to show in what ways Mr. Twitchin was led to believe that his bequest would be spent, it may be as well here to quote part of my reply to the above letter. It was dated June 9th, 1922, and ran as follows:

"As to the methods of utilising any further funds coming under the influence or control of our Society, that is a point on which I could say a great deal, and is one on which you will probably wish to hear something. We now often miss an opportunity of getting a lecture delivered on eugenics because we cannot afford to give any remuneration to our lecturers. If we could pay even a moderate fee, we should soon get together a capable band of lecturers, and, being able to comply with any demand, the work in this direction would soon be largely increased. Our Review, as a method of propaganda, would be improved if we could afford to pay something to our contributors. Research in certain directions is at a standstill for want of funds. I have in my mind especially certain half-finished work in connection with the pedigrees of London pauper stock, which would be valuable from a scientific point of view, and most helpful to lecturers to illustrate existing evils due to heredity. Lastly, our staff is ill-paid and inadequate, which makes all progress difficult. This is perhaps sufficient to show how greatly the whole position might be strengthened were more funds available. There is no institution throughout the world known to me which is carrying on such an active eugenic propaganda as we should desire to initiate had we the means; and for any Society to set a proper example in this respect might produce beneficial results to posterity of incalculable magnitude."

It must be remembered that in 1922 we were not receiving £1,000 a year as a gift from Mr. Twitchin, as we did in many later years.

A few more extracts from Mr. Twitchin's letters will now be given:

Perth, W. Australia, Nov. 19th, 1923. -- "You gave me some account of your more recent endeavours in the great cause, more particularly in securing a share of the Rockefeller bequest for the closer study of heredity in England, which was an excellent idea. But I suppose the money would have to be devoted to the purpose specified and might not be used for general propaganda. I trust the special effort you were making to increase the membership of the Society was successful, as it is more important to have many people interested in our teaching than to have the money of the few....

The last sentence is interesting as coming from one who has bequeathed such a large sum for the furtherance of eugenics.

The next quotation is dated April 30th, 1926, by which time he had come to live at the Villa Eugene at Nice. (He told me laughingly that the name of his house, though appropriate, was not given to it by himself.)

"The cinema and broadcasting seem to me to be the best means of reaching the largest number of people, though articles in the popular press would be read by a good many."


Villa Eugene, Dec. 20th, 1926. -- "Progress in practical eugenics measures is still very slow, although it appears to be dawning on some public authorities that sterilization is the only means to help them out of their financial difficulties in the case of the feeble-minded. Perhaps after thinking about it for another ten years it will be adopted. This is thoroughly British. Of course, we cannot begin operating until the spirit moves a sufficient majority to vote for it. In the meantime, as the Government will not do anything to establish public clinics for teaching birth control methods, there is nothing, as I understand the law, to prevent private effort in this direction. There seems little doubt that the poor are quite ready to practise contraception if they are only taught how to do it; although I fear that only the best of the poor would trouble to learn. Those we really want to stop breeding are too careless and improvident. Some day perhaps they will be sterilized without their consent."

Villa Eugene, April 10th, 1927. -- "Referring to your long letter on the subject, you quote Pearson as saying that 'the effect of Birth Control up till now [the time he wrote] has been simply disastrous.' But at that time only the better classes practised it, and withholding the knowledge from the inferior classes will not stop the practice in the higher. It would in fact have a tendency to increase the latter, as the support of the unemployed falls on them and renders them less able to keep their own families. I quite agree with the principles laid down in the Society's outline of a Eugenic Policy under Conception Control [this has been somewhat modified since these words were written]. Paragraph 3 covers the whole question as far as Britain is concerned. The time has come when owing to economic changes -- loss of trade, etc. -- which are likely to be permanent, the children of so many people cannot be raised 'in accordance with a certain minimum (decent) standard of civilization.' Perhaps no one but those who have had the management of large stock farms fully realize the practical side of this question. We know the utter madness of going on breeding up when the Ranch is fully stocked and there is no, or insufficient, outlet for the surplus....If it is to do any good we must banish sentiment and act drastically. We must not consider the rights of individuals over-much -- a lunatic in my opinion has no rights -- when the vital interests of the State are at stake."


Chambord, France, Aug. 26th, 1927. -- "I should not if I were you condemn 'stockyard methods,' so called, so severely. What are they but the practice of the very essence of eugenic principles -- the prevention of the breeding of the unfit and making it possible for only the best types to do so. It may be good policy for the present not to go too far, but if eugenic teaching is ever to do any practical good for the human family, stronger measures will have to be taken than any so far advocated."

Villa Eugene, Oct. 30th, 1928. -- "I have read your new book [What is Eugenics?] and agree with most of the arguments in it, but still think that in combating a great social evil we should not be over scrupulous as to the means by which we hope to bring about an improvement, and that as birth control in some form is the only practicable way to this end, it should be enforced by the authority of the nation regardless of the likes and dislikes of those who haven't the intelligence to know what is good for them or the contrary. Pro bono is still supposed to be a principle of democracies. Your smaller book is undoubtedly more suitable for the great majority of readers than the larger one and ... I should be glad to subscribe for say 1,000 copies to be sent to distributing centres in large towns, if you approve the proposal."

It gives me great pleasure to think that this plan was carried out, the copies being sent at his suggestion to public and other libraries at home and in the Dominions.
Of course he may have been mistaken as to the value of that book; but we cannot be mistaken in believing that his object was to place a book capable of being widely understood where it would be widely accessible.

Villa Eugene, June 18th, 1929. -- "The other book you sent me, Posterity, is I think a most useful contribution to the subject, very clearly and concisely stated and going a little further than you do in suggesting immediate remedies. . . . The late Health Minister could only propose keeping mental deficients (300,000) in colonies and after some training letting them out under supervision as though they could then be prevented from propagating. Could anything be more childish? ... Progress is slow, but the only way is to keep pegging away like a patient fisherman hoping for a bite sooner or later. I think we must look for the greatest developments in the newer countries like America, where deep-rooted prejudice is not so strong as it is in our country; and yet it is here that eugenic reform is most needed to get rid of the great burden of the unemployed."

Geneva, July 21st, 1929. -- "I certainly agree with you that our Society should advocate all measures likely to improve the race rather than concentrate on one only."


Passing on to consider what were Mr. Twitchin's more definitely expressed wishes, several wills were made by him in which his intentions of benefiting eugenics were expressed, the first one being signed in 1912. At about that same time he wrote a letter, from which the following extracts are taken, to be held for safe keeping with that will by the Public Trustee:

"Lest it should be considered that in bequeathing the whole of the residue of my estate, as I have done, for the purposes of furthering the knowledge and, I trust, in time securing the adoption of the principles of eugenics both in England and throughout the world, I have acted hastily.... I am desirous of mentioning by letter to you that .... I have for nearly 20 years past taken the keenest interest in all aspects of eugenics and have read and thought much upon the subject and, in the result, I am thoroughly convinced that to the extent the knowledge of the science is brought home to the people and its principles acted on and enforced, enormous beneficial results must inevitably follow, and it is to aid and assist in this that I very thankfully devote the bulk of my property."

When all the available evidence has been considered, it will be agreed, I believe, that the word "furthering," which occurs at the beginning of this last extract, is used in much the same sense as the phrase about bringing "home to the people," which is used later on. In fact I submit that it was the wish for a wide dissemination of already accepted eugenic truths which mainly actuated the writer of this letter.

In this will of 1912, and also in one of 1919, both of which were cancelled, Mr. Twitchin gave power to the Public Trustee as sole executor to pass on any part of the residuary estate to the Eugenics Education Society or to any society having the same or similar objects [the italics are mine] or, if the Society was not carrying on its work efficiently, to form a trust the income from which should at all times "be employed in the furtherance of the knowledge and principles of the science of eugenics." Whatever may have been the exact meaning intended to be attached to these last quoted words, they are not repeated in the will of 1926, in which the Eugenics Education Society was made residuary legatee in an unqualified manner. In 1922 a codicil was signed making the President of our Society a co-executor with the Public Trustee, who was at the same time authorized to discuss the terms of the will with myself. In the will of 1926 I was personally appointed, together with Sir Ernest Allen, to be co-executors with the Public Trustee, the President of the Society to act in my place if I failed. Finally, Mr. Twitchin signed a codicil on the day of his death which added his French estate to the property passing to our Society. Thus we see in these 18 years, from 1912 to 1930, signs of a steady increase both in his wish that his property should be used in "furthering the objects of the Society" and in his trust in our efficiency. The production of such an effect on the mind of an impartial and intensely interested observer cannot, to say the least, be made the foundation for an argument in favour of any drastic change in our policy or in our objects.


But what are our objects? Or rather, what had Mr. Twitchin been induced to believe them to be? In our Memorandum of Association they are set forth in the most authoritative manner under a number of headings, most of them dealing only with the business aspects of our proceedings. The first four of these headings, which alone concern us here, runs as follows:

"(1) The promotion of the science of eugenics; this science including the study of the laws of human life in so far as they concern human heredity and the conservation, evolution, and progress of the human race." These words were doubtless put in to permit any research being undertaken in connection with any eugenic question. But they cannot be quoted as giving any indication of Mr. Twitchin's views or wishes; for they were written after he signed his last will, and I have no reason to suppose that he ever saw them.

In the Memorandum then follow three other headings, which are both in substance and in words nearly identical with the statement of our objects which has appeared almost unchanged in every issue of our Review since its publication began. It was from that source that Mr. Twitchin most probably obtained his first information about us, and it is to these words in our Review that we ought to look if we wish to know what our benefactor had been led to regard as being our objects. They run as follows: -- "(1) Persistently to set forth the National importance of eugenics in order to modify public opinion and create a sense of responsibility in respect of bringing all matters pertaining to parenthood under the dominion of eugenic ideals. (2) To spread a knowledge of the laws of heredity so far as they are surely known and so far as that knowledge may effect the improvement of the race. (3) To further eugenic teaching at home, in the schools, and elsewhere."

We can here find no foundation for a belief that research was held by us to be one of our objects. Knowledge in so far as surely known is alluded to, but no mention is made of any increase in our knowledge. If we undertake research, which we are certainly at liberty to do, we must do so under the powers given us by our Memorandum of Association, which Mr. Twitchin probably never saw.

The words in the REVIEW concerning "all matters pertaining to parenthood" certainly indicate that we are very practical in many of our aims. That this is so is confirmed by the statement concerning the furtherance of teaching "at home, in the schools, and elsewhere." Home comes first, and does not this give the idea that our first object is to spread eugenic thought broadcast and as widely as possible? Schools come next and universities are not mentioned. May not Mr. Twitchin have been led to suppose that we regarded universities as centres from which eugenic light would automatically flow in all directions and not as dark places needing illumination by independent societies? To encourage the production, publication, and distribution of literature suitable both for schools and for the spread of eugenic thought in homes certainly comes within the declared scope of our work.


The following are the operative words of Mr. Twitchin's will of 1926 as far as it affects the "Eugenics Education Society": "It is my desire that the aforesaid bequest should constitute a permanent fund and that the income derived therefrom should alone be used for furthering the objects of the Society, including the support of branches of the Society, but I expressly direct that such desire shall not impose a legal obligation on the Society or prevent the expenditure of capital if such expenditure is deemed expedient at any time." Our Society cannot now change its objects as set forth in the Memorandum of Association, whilst when these words were written they could be altered by a two-thirds majority at any annual or special meeting of the Society. Hence I submit that the words of the will may be fairly interpreted as expressing a hope, but not a command, that we shall as a general rule not part with the control over the income arising from this bequest, and that we shall expend it in what were then declared to be the objects of the Society.

What Mr. Twitchin evidently desired was that the income derived from the money which he had won by many years of hard work in a trying climate should be used for the promotion of effective measures of eugenic reform. He knew that our knowledge of the laws of heredity had been sufficient to enable us to maintain and improve the qualities of our cattle; and this led him to feel sure that it was also sufficient to justify practical steps being taken in order to improve the inborn qualities of our nation. The main difficulty which he foresaw was the persuasion of the public of the immense advantages thus to be obtained; and he held that, to overcome popular prejudices, a persistent propaganda should be maintained by persons who had given the subject adequate attention. The choice between many legitimate ways of spending our newly-acquired income will always be open to our Council; for Mr. Twitchin showed his confidence in our judgment by not tying our hands at all tightly. This trust in us, however, merely strengthens the obligation of honour to follow the path indicated by him so long as we agree that it leads to the end he had in view, namely the advancement of mankind in the future.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sat Mar 28, 2020 11:24 am

Pirbright Institute
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/28/20

The Pirbright Institute (Previously: Institute for Animal Health)
Abbreviation: N/A
Formation: 1987
Legal status Government-funded research institute (registered charity)
Purpose Farm animal health and diseases in the UK
Ash Road, Pirbright, Surrey, England
Region served: UK
Membership: Around 350 staff - half researchers, half operations
Director: Dr Bryan Charleston
Parent organization: BBSRC
Affiliations: DEFRA [Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs]
Budget: c. £30 m

The Pirbright Institute (formerly the Institute for Animal Health) is a research institute in Surrey, England, dedicated to the study of infectious diseases of farm animals. It forms part of the UK government's Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). The Institute employs scientists, vets, PhD students and operations staff.


It began in 1914 to test cows for tuberculosis. More buildings were added in 1925. Compton was established by the Agricultural Research Council in 1937. Pirbright became a research institute in 1939 and Compton in 1942. The Houghton Poultry Research Station at Houghton, Cambridgeshire was established in 1948. In 1963 Pirbright became the Animal Virus Research Institute and Compton became the Institute for Research on Animal Diseases. The Neuropathogenesis Unit (NPU) was established in Edinburgh in 1981. This became part of the Roslin Institute in 2007.

In 1987, Compton, Houghton and Pirbright became the Institute for Animal Health, being funded by BBSRC. Houghton closed in 1992, operations at Compton are being rapidly wound down with the site due to close in 2015.

The Edward Jenner Institute for Vaccine Research was sited at Compton until October 2005.

Significant investment (over £170 million) is taking place at Pirbright with the development of new world class laboratory and animal facilities. The Institute has been known as "The Pirbright Institute" since October 2012.

On 14 June 2019 the largest stock of the rinderpest virus was destroyed at the Pirbright Institute.[1]

Directors of note

Dr John Burns Brooksby 1964 until 1980[2]


The work previously carried out at Compton has either moved out to the university sector, ended or has been transferred to the Pirbright Site. The Compton site currently carries out work on endemic (commonplace) animal diseases including some Avian Viruses and a small amount of Bovine Immunology whilst Pirbright works on exotic (unusual) animal diseases (usually caused by virus outbreaks). Pirbright has National and International Reference Laboratories of diseases.


25% of its income comes from a core grant from the BBSRC of around £11m. Around 50% comes from research grants from related government organisations, such as DEFRA, or industry and charities (such as the Wellcome Trust). The remaining 25% comes from direct payments for work carried out.


The Pirbright Institute carries out research, diagnostics and surveillance viruses carried by animals, such as foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV), African swine fever, bluetongue, lumpy skin disease and avian and swine flu farm animals. Understanding of viruses comes from molecular biology.

It carries out surveillance activities on farm animal health and disease movement in the UK.


The Institute had two sites at:

• Compton in Berkshire - This was closed in early 2016 and services relocated to Pirbright where new facilities had been constructed.
• Pirbright in Surrey — shared with commercial company Merial

See also

• 2007 United Kingdom foot-and-mouth outbreak
• World Organisation for Animal Health
• Bluetongue disease
• Veterinary Laboratories Agency (now part of the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency)
• Animal Health (now part of the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency)
• Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (an Executive Agency of the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)


1. "Killer virus destroyed by UK lab". 14 June 2019. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
2. ... 7.full.pdf

External links

• Official website
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sat Mar 28, 2020 11:41 am

A. K. Chesterton
by Wikipedia

A. K. Chesterton, MC
Personal details
Born: Arthur Kenneth Chesterton, 1 May 1899, Krugersdorp, South African Republic
Died: 16 August 1973 (aged 74), London, United Kingdom
Political party: British Union of Fascists (1933–1938); National Front (from 1967)
Relations: G. K. Chesterton (second cousin)

Arthur Kenneth Chesterton MC (1 May 1899 – 16 August 1973) was a journalist and political activist, born at Krugersdorp, near Johannesburg, in the Transvaal Republic. He was involved in the founding of several far-right movements in opposition to the break-up of the British Empire. He supported a strong anti-immigration stance thereafter as increasing numbers of former British subjects migrated to the United Kingdom.

The author G. K. Chesterton was his second cousin.

Early life

Born in Krugersdorp, South African Republic, A. K. Chesterton was sent to Berkhamsted School in England but persuaded his parents to let him return to South Africa in 1915. In October 1915 he added four years to his age and joined the British Army, who posted him to German East Africa, where he almost died of malaria and dysentery. After being commissioned as a second lieutenant in August 1918,[1] he served on the Western Front with the London Regiment and won the Military Cross.[2] His war experience was crucial to his repudiation of democracy.

After the war, he worked as a journalist for The Star in Johannesburg. He then secured a job with the Stratford-upon-Avon Herald in England, where, as theatre critic from 1925 to 1929, he cultivated his aesthetic sense of societal decadence and cultural decline.

For the next four years, according to Chesterton's biographer, David Baker:

"he tilted at windmills and sharpened his skills as a controversialist while the Great Depression deepened and the bankruptcy of liberal and capitalist democracy became apparent. The corporate state, he came to believe, would rule in the interests of the whole nation, whereas democracy was the plaything of special interests and privilege."[3]


Moving to London and marrying a Fabian socialist and pacifist, Chesterton lived near the headquarters of Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists (BUF). He took to dropping by for conversation and argument, and by late 1933 he had joined the movement. He became the director of publicity and propaganda and chief organiser for the Midlands.

In 1936, alcoholism and overwork led to a nervous breakdown. He consulted a German neurologist and during 1936 and 1937 lived in Germany. After returning to Britain he was appointed editor of the Blackshirt, the official BUF newspaper. This position provided a pulpit for his increasingly anti-Semitic rhetoric.

He left the BUF in 1938, disillusioned, but continued to be active in far-right politics by joining the Nordic League and serving as editor of Lord Lymington's right-wing journal, the New Pioneer.

The Nordic League was a far right organisation in the United Kingdom from 1935 to 1939 that sought to serve as a co-ordinating body for the various extremist movements whilst also seeking to promote Nazism.

-- Nordic League, by Wikipedia

Chesterton became a member of the Right Club, a group founded in May 1939 to consolidate existing right-wing British organizations into a unified body. Archibald Ramsay, founder of the Right Club, explained its ideology and purpose:

"The main object of the Right Club was to oppose and expose the activities of Organized Jewry, in the light of the evidence which came into my possession in 1938. Our first objective was to clear the Conservative Party of Jewish influence, and the character of our membership and meetings were strictly in keeping with this objective."[4]

In 1939, Chesterton re-enlisted in the British Army after the outbreak of war. He served in East Africa, but was invalided out in 1943 due to poor health. He returned to Britain and launched the short-lived National Front after Victory Group, a coalition that included the British Peoples Party. He became deputy editor of the publication Truth.

He lived again in Africa for a short time, but soon returned to Britain where he established the League of Empire Loyalists in 1954. The League was a pressure group against the increasing dissolution of the British Empire, and was known at the time for stunts at Conservative Party meetings and conferences. These included hiding underneath the platform overnight to emerge during the conference to put across points. The League had support from some Conservative Party members, but they were disliked by the leadership.

About this time, Chesterton was appointed by Lord Beaverbrook as a literary adviser, contributing to the Daily Mail and the Sunday Express. He also wrote Beaverbrook's autobiography, Don't Trust to Luck.[5]

Chesterton founded and edited the magazine Candour, which he issued for the rest of his life, and which is still published today.[6]

Chesterton co-founded the National Front (NF) in 1967, and later became its Policy Director.[7] He tried to exclude neo-Nazis from movements such as the National Socialist Movement and the Greater Britain Movement from joining the NF, but was unsuccessful. Upon stepping down the first of several long, inter-factional disputes took place within the NF which frequently affected its policies in ways of which Chesterton did not approve. Today, the NF describes itself as a "white nationalist organisation founded in 1967 in opposition to multi-racialism and immigration".[8]


Amongst Chesterton's works are Portrait of a Leader (1937), a hagiography of Mosley; Why I left Mosley (1938), which broke from his earlier work; The Tragedy of Anti-Semitism (1948) in which he distanced himself from this form of prejudice; and The New Unhappy Lords, a diatribe against international finance.

Later life and death

The last 30 years of Chesterton's life were spent in a modest flat in South Croydon with his wife, Doris. He died on 16 August 1973.

See also

• Candour


1. "No. 30824". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 July 1918. p. 9101.
2. "No. 31480". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 July 1919. p. 9722.
3. David Baker Ideology of Obsession: A. K. Chesterton and British Fascism, 1996, I. B. Tauris (UK)/Macmillan (US)ISBN 1-86064-073-7
4. Archived 27 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine, article on Hugh Grosvenor, 2nd Duke of Westminister, retrieved 30 August 2012,
5. Hugh McNeile (2014). The history of the League of Empire Loyalists and Candour. The A.K Chesterton Trust. p. 14. ISBN 0957540345.
6. Candour, BM Candour, London, WC1N 3XX
7. —
 Sue Onslow (10 September 2009). Cold War in Southern Africa: White Power, Black Liberation. Routledge. p. 91. ISBN 978-1-135-21933-8.
 David Butler (1 February 1986). British Political Facts 1900–1985. Palgrave Macmillan UK. p. 169. ISBN 978-1-349-18083-7.
8. Julia Verse (March 2014). Undoing Irishness: Antirassistische Perspektiven in der Republik Irland. transcript Verlag. p. 65. ISBN 978-3-8394-1682-2.

External links

• Amok-Run of the Sexologist Chapter 6 of A. K. Chesterton's, Facing the Abyss.
• Candour & A.K. Chesterton Trust Website
• The New Unhappy Lords - A.K. Chesterton's book online at the Internet Archive
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sat Mar 28, 2020 11:54 am

Nordic League
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/28/20

The Nordic League was a far right organisation in the United Kingdom from 1935 to 1939 that sought to serve as a co-ordinating body for the various extremist movements whilst also seeking to promote Nazism. The League was a private organisation that did not organise any public events.[1]


The Nordic League (NL) originated in 1935 when agents of Alfred Rosenberg's Nordische Gesellschaft arrived in Britain to establish a UK version of their movement.[2] The main force behind this new group was Unionist MP Archibald Maule Ramsay who chaired the group's 14-man leadership council.[3] The group's constitution described it as an "association of race conscious Britons" and sought to co-ordinate all far-right and fascist movements whilst giving particular emphasis to anti-Semitism.[3]

The League sought to unite leading figures from across the far right, as demonstrated in April 1939 when a meeting addressed by Ramsay was chaired by a member of the British Union of Fascists who was supported by former British Fascists president R. B. D. Blakeney and Imperial Fascist League member E. H. Cole.[1] Other leading members included J. F. C. Fuller, the United Empire Fascist Party leader and Nazi agent Serocold Skeels, Henry Hamilton Beamish, Arnold Leese and P. J. Ridout.[3] The latter was credited with helping to popularise the NL's slogan "Perish Judah", which was frequently rendered "P.J." in public.[4]

BUF leader Oswald Mosley, fearful of being too closely associated with the League's extremist rhetoric, did not join but he permitted party members to do so which the likes of Fuller, Robert Gordon-Canning and Oliver C. Gilbert did readily.[2] As a result of these links the BUF was able to absorb the National Socialist Workers Party, a small group led by NL member Lieutenant-Colonel Graham Seton-Hutchison.[5]

Front groups

The NL was closely linked to the White Knights of Britain, a secret society otherwise known as the Hooded Men with ritual initiation based on Freemasonry and compared to the Ku Klux Klan that was active from 1935 to 1937.[6]The White Knights and the NL shared the same building as their headquarters.[2] Another group, the Militant Christian Patriots, that was active after the Munich Crisis urging Neville Chamberlain not to become involved in a "Jewish war", was also closely connected to the NL and said by MI5 to be a front organisation.[3] By using this group and another front organisation, the Liberty Restoration League, the NL was able to ensure that high-ranking figures such as the Duke of Wellington, the Duchess of Hamilton, Baron Brocket, and Michael O'Dwyer became involved in their movement.[5]

Response and demise

The NL came under increasing scrutiny after Kristallnacht, particularly for the violence of Ramsay, William Joyce and A. K. Chesterton in their anti-Semitic speeches.[7] Others such as Elwin Wright, who until 1937 was secretary of the Anglo-German Fellowship, called for the shooting of Jews, whilst Commander E. H. Cole condemned the House of Commons as being full of "bastardised Jewish swine".[7] However, such extremist language worked against the NL because its speakers were seen by the public at large as quite mad and so their pro-appeasement arguments were ignored.[8]

Following the outbreak of the Second World War, two leading members, T. Victor-Rowe and Oliver Gilbert, were interned, and the NL largely went into abeyance, with members joining other, more public, anti-war groups.[8] The League had officially disbanded as soon as war was declared although it continued to meet secretly at Gilbert's house until his arrest in late September 1939.[9] Two of its members, Joyce and Margaret Bothamley, left Britain for Nazi Germany after the outbreak of war.[10] Given the association of the NL with Nazism, BUF organiser Alexander Raven Thomson even suggested that Mosley publicly denounce the League as traitors in an attempt to present a more patriotic image, although Defence Regulation 18B came into force before this could be attempted.[11]


1. Benewick, p. 289
2. Dorril, p. 425
3. Thurlow, p. 80
4. Thurlow, p. 81
5. Dorril, p. 426
6. Thurlow, pp. 80-81
7. Thurlow, p. 82
8. Thurlow, p. 83
9. Dorril, p. 465
10. Thurlow, pp. 170-171
11. Dorril, p. 493


• Benewick, Robert, Political Violence and Public Order, Allan Lane, 1969
• Dorril, Stephen, Blackshirt: Sir Oswald Mosley & British Fascism, Penguin Books, 2007
• Thurlow, Richard, Fascism in Britain: A History, 1918-1985, Basil Blackwell, 1987

External links

• Spartacus on the Nordic League
• Chronicles of the British Far Right on the White Knights of Britain and Nordic League
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