Keir Hardie


James Keir Hardie, originally James Kerr, was the son of Mary Kerr, a Scottish farm servant. His father was probably William Aitken, a miner from Holytown, but Mary Kerr brought up her son alone before meeting David Hardie, a former ship’s carpenter, who she married in 1859. Hardie is said to have raised his wife’s first son as his own, and he became known as James Keir Hardie. The family moved between Glasgow and the nearby countryside, suffering periods of poverty caused by unemployment. Keir Hardie received no formal education and started work as a miner at the age of 10. His early experiences of poverty were formative to his politicization. At the age of 17, he joined the Temperance Movement, and soon afterwards he became involved in miners’ associations becoming secretary of the Hamilton District Branch of the Lanarkshire Miners’ Union at the age of 21. At a similar time, he became a committed Christian, joining the Evangelical Union, a branch of the United Secession Church, in 1877. It was through the church that he met his future wife, Lillias Balfour Wilson, who he married in 1879. The couple had four children.

Hardie left the mines for trade union work in 1879, eventually becoming secretary of the Ayrshire Miners’ Union. He then progressed to party politics, rejecting liberalism for socialism, and launching his own monthly paper, the Labour Leader. Having moved to London in 1891, Hardie was returned for West Ham South as an ‘independent Labour’ candidate in the General Election of 1892. Described by his biographer Kenneth O. Morgan as the ‘prophet and evangelist’ of the Labour Party, Hardie played a key role in the major events of its early history, including the founding of the Independent Labour Party in 1893 and that of the Labour Representation Committee in 1900 - which became the Labour Party in 1906. Defeated in 1896, he was elected MP to Merthyr Tudful in 1900. In 1906, he was elected first chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party but resigned from the post in 1907. Both within and outwith Parliament, he campaigned tirelessly for the unemployed, free schooling, pensions, Indian self-rule and, perhaps most of all, women’s rights. He had a close friendship with the Pankhurst family, particularly Sylvia who was probably his lover. Hardie was also a pacifist and outspoken in his criticism of the First World War.

Hardie was an internationalist and vociferous critic of the British Government in India, frequently calling for Indian self-rule in Parliament. On 20 July 1906, he made a particularly harsh denunciation of conditions in India, including death rates, low wages and the exclusion of Indians from local government, receiving support from many of his fellow Labour MPs. The following year, he toured India. He gave numerous speeches there, exposing the corruption of the Raj, speaking out in favour of Indian self-determination and against racism, advocating non-violent agitation, and encouraging the Congress Party. He was accompanied on his tours by the revolutionary Indian Nationalist B. G. Tilak as well as leaders of the swadeshi movement J. Chowdhury and Surendranath Banerjea, and is said to have peppered his speeches with the slogan ‘Bande Mataram’, even though he advocated a gradual extension of self-government rather than immediate withdrawal. Hardie’s tour of India alarmed the British authorities, and was stirred up by the press. There were calls for him to be deported and accusations of sedition. On his return, he continued speaking out for Indian self-rule in the House of Commons, campaigning (unsuccessfully) for the release from prison of Tilak, and publishing in 1909 India: Impressions and Suggestions which was formative to the Labour Party’s position on India for the next fifty years.

Published works: 


From Serfdom to Socialism (London: The Labour Ideal, 1907)

India: Impressions and Suggestions (London: Indendent Labour Party, 1909)

Several pamphlets including:

The Mines Nationalization Bill (1893)

The Unemployed Problem and Some Suggestions for Solving it (1904)

The Citizenship of Women: A Plea for Women’s Suffrage (1906)

Indian Budget Speech, Delivered in the House of Commons on July 22nd, 1908 (1908)

Socialism and Civilisation (1910)

Labour and Christianity (1910)

Killing No Murder! The Government and the Railway Strike (1911)

Radicals and Reform (1912)

Date of birth: 
15 Aug 1856

Surendranath Banerjea, Fenner Brockway (disciple), John Burns, J. Chowdhury, Charlotte Despard, Friedrich Engels, Michael Foot, S. K. Gokhale, Emrys Hughes (son-in-law), Ramsay MacDonald, John Morley, Christabel Pankhurst, Emmeline Pankhurst, Sylvia Pankhurst (friend and lover), George Bernard Shaw, B. J. Tilak, Beatrice Webb.

Independent Labour Party, Labour Party.

Contributions to periodicals: 

Wrote articles for several periodicals including:

International Socialist Review

Labour Prophet

New Liberal Review

Nineteenth Century

Socialist Review

Hardie also wrote weeky columns for the Labour Leader and the Merthyr Pioneer

Secondary works: 

Benn, Caroline, Keir Hardie (London: Hutchinson, 1992)

Cole, G. D. H., Keir Hardie (London: Victor Gollancz and the Fabian Society, 1941)

Hughes, Emrys (ed.), Keir Hardie’s Writings and Speeches, from 1888 to 1915, preface by Nan Hardie (Glasgow: Forward Publishing Company, 1928)

Hughes, Emrys, Keir Hardie (London: Allen & Unwin, 1956)

Morgan, Kenneth O., Keir Hardie: Radical and Socialist (London: Weidenfield & Nicolson, 1975)

Morgan, Kenneth O., ‘Keir Hardie’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004) []

Archive source: 

Correspondence and papers, Baird Institute History Centre and Museum, Cumnock

Correspondence, diary and papers, Labour History Archive and Study Centre, Manchester

Correspondence and papers (including Indian travel notes), National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh

Correspondence with John Burns, Add. MS 46287, British Library, St Pancras

Correspondence with Lord Gladstone, Add. Mss 46062–46068, British Library, St Pancras

Letters to George Bernard Shaw, Add. MS 50538, British Library, St Pancras

Letters to the Fabian Society, British Library of Political and Economic Science

Independent Labour Party National Administrative Council Mss, British Library of Political and Economic Science

Correspondence with Sylvia Pankhurst, Internationaal Instituut voor Sociale Geschiedenis, Amsterdam

Correspondence with G. W. Balfour, National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh

Letters to George Saunders Jacobs, Newham Archive and Local Studies Library, London

Emrys Hughes Mss, National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh

Letters to niece Agnes, National Register of Archives, private collection

Hedley Dennis Mss, National Register of Archives, private collection

City of birth: 
Laigbrannock, near Glasgow
Country of birth: 
Other names: 

James Kerr

James Keir Hardie

Date of death: 
26 Sep 1915
Location of death: 

Old Cumnock, Ayrshire, Scotland

Neville’s Court, off Fleet Street, London

New Statesman


The New Statesman was founded over a series of gatherings hosted by Fabianists Beatrice and Sidney Webb whose aim was to disseminate socialist and collectivist ideas among the middle classes. Bernard Shaw, among others, donated money to fund the launch of the magazine. The tone of the magazine in its formative years is described on its website as ‘didactic’ and ‘no-nonsense’. Some two years after its launch, its circulation was second only to that of the Spectator among sixpenny weeklies.

As Christopher Hitchens writes in his introduction to Lines of Dissent, ‘embedded in the Fabian idea was an impression of British greatness’ – the logical conclusion of which was an imperialist stance (Howe, pp. 6-7). It was Kingsley Martin, who became editor in the early 1930s, who turned the paper largely away from this stance. Martin also oversaw the take-over of the Nation and Athenaeum, a magazine that had published writing by some of Britain’s most renowned writers of the early twentieth century, in 1931, and of the Weekend Review in 1934.

There are articles and reviews of books on the political situation in India throughout the four decades of the magazine. In the 1930s and especially the 1940s, increasing numbers of books (including fiction) by South Asians are reviewed, and one or two South Asians begin to contribute reviews or articles themselves.


de Zoete, Beryl, ‘An Indian Ballet’, review of Sakuntala ballet at the Embassy Theatre, New Statesman and Nation (6 April 1946), p. 245

Other names: 

New Statesman and Nation (from 1931)

Secondary works: 

Howe, Stephen (ed.), Lines of Dissent: Writing from the New Statesman, 1913–1988 (London: Verso, 1988)

Hyam, Edward, The New Statesman: The History of the First Fifty Years, 1913–1963 (London: Longmans, 1963)


In this review, Beryl de Zoete commends the performance of Sakuntala, commenting on its success in bringing together 'western' and 'eastern' cultural traditions and European and Indian dancers and musicians (including Narayana Menon, who directs an orchestra of Indian instruments), and on its 'warm reception' by the British public.

Date began: 
12 Apr 1913

This is the most successful effort hitherto made by West to meet East in the sphere of dance. Sakuntala is a ballet on the theme of Kalidasa’s famous dream, and is performed chiefly by Europeans, in an Indian dance-idiom. The idiom sometimes proves beyond their physical capacities, especially with regard to head and neck movements and facial expression, just as certain sounds in a foreign languages are almost impossible to acquire…Retna Mohini, a Javanese dancer who many will remember as Ram Gopal’s principal partner, introduces, of course, a very different standard of perfection, but her beautiful dances form part of a court entertainment, so do not clash too violently with the style of the Europeans. The same may be said of Rekha Menon, who, though not so fine or experienced a dancer as Retna Mohini, is a charming and authentic Indian dancer.

Key Individuals' Details: 

Editors: Clifford Sharp (1913-30), Kingsley Martin (1931-60).


This ‘mainstream’ British magazine’s positive engagement with the production of an Indian ballet is indicative of a degree of openness to South Asian cultural production in Britain. This said, the fact that the majority of the dancers were European suggests a degree of cultural ‘translation’ in the production of the ballet, perhaps rendering it more accessible to its British audience and critics. While the ballet could be seen as an example of an emergent hybridized proto-British Asian culture, it appears to be conceived by the critic as the combination of two distinct cultures rather than as an original syncretic form. This is evidenced in particular by the allusion to the way in which the ballet avoids a clash between the Asian and European dancers.


Contributors:  C. F. Andrews, Clive Bell, H. Belloc,  H. N. Brailsford, Marcus Cunliffe, Emil Davis, Havelock Ellis, Lionel Fielden, Bernard Fonseca, Roger Fry, David Garnett, Frank Hauser, Desmond Hawkins, Syud Hossain, C. E. M. Joad, Fredoon Kabraji, Desmond MacCarthy, Thomas Sturge Moore, R. G. Pradan, V. S. Pritchett, Peter Quennell, Lajpat Rai, John Richardson, Paul RobesonShapurji Saklatvala, Ikbal Ali Shah, George Bernard Shaw, Khushwant Singh, M. J. Tambimuttu, Desmond Shawe-Taylor, Jinnadasa Vijaya-Tunga, Beatrice Webb, Sidney Webb, Leonard Woolf, Beryl de Zoete.

Archive source: 

New Statesman, Special Collections, University of Sussex

Books Reviewed Include: 

Ali, Ahmed, Twilight in Delhi (London: Hogarth). Reviewed by Desmond Hawkins.

Anand, Mulk Raj, Across the Black Waters (London: Lawrence & Wishart). Reviewed by Desmond Hawkins.

Anand, Mulk Raj, The Coolie (London: Lawrence & Wishart). Reviewed by Peter Quennell.

Anand, Mulk Raj, Two Leaves and a Bud (London: Lawrence & Wishart). Reviewed by ‘S. K.’.

Dutt, R. Palme, India Today (London: Gollancz). Reviewed by H. N. Brailsford.

Dutt, Toru,  Life and Letters (Oxford: Oxford University Press)

Kabraji, Fredoon (ed.) The Strange Adventure: An Anthology of Poems in English by Indians (London: New Indian Publishing). Reviewed by H. N. Brailsford.

Karaka, D. F., Betrayal in India (London: Gollancz). Reviewed by Bernard Fonseca.

Menen, Aubrey, The Backward Bride (London: Chatto). Reviewed by Frank Hauser.

Menon, V. K. Krishna et al., The Condition of India. Reviewed by C. F. Andrews.

Narayan, R. K., The Batchelor of Arts (London: Nelson). Reviewed by Desmond Shawe-Taylor.

Shah, Ikbal Ali, Islamic Sufism (Rider). Reviewed by J. Vijaya-Tunga.

Sister Nivedita and Coomaraswamy, Ananda, Myths of the Hindus and Buddhists (London: Harrap)

Rajan, B., (ed.) Modern American Poetry: Focus Five (London: Dennis Dobson). Reviewed by Marcus Cunliffe.

Rama Rau, Santha, Home to India (London: Gollancz). Reviewed by Lionel Fielden.

Shelvankar, K. S., The Indian Problem (London: Penguin). Reviewed by H. N. Brailsford.

Singh, Khushwant, The Mark of Vishnu (London: Saturn Press). Reviewed by John Richardson.

Tagore, Rabindranath, Gitanjali, The Home and the World and Gora (London: Macmillan)

Thompson, E. J., Rabindranath Tagore (Oxford: Oxford University Press)


10 Great Queen Street Kingsway
London, WC2B 5BB
United Kingdom
10 Great Turnstile High Holborn
London, WC1V 7JU
United Kingdom

Spanish Civil War

17 Jul 1936
End date: 
01 Apr 1939
Event location: 



The Spanish Civil War was an armed conflict that erupted after a conservative-backed military coup to depose Spain’s republican government failed to gain control over the whole country. A bloody three-year war ensued with the Nationalists supported by fascist states like Italy and Germany, and Republicans supported by the Soviet Union and the Left across Europe and the US. Around 40,000 volunteers fought in Spain as part of the International Brigades, which were largely controlled by the Comintern, among them George Orwell and Mulk Raj Anand. The Spanish Civil War ended with the disbanding and surrender of Republican armies at the end of March 1939. The conflict cost an estimated 500,000 - 1,000,000 lives. For Britain it marked a threat to the post-World War I international consensus which would lead to the outbreak of the Second World War.

The conflict’s political impact reverberated far beyond Spain. It was seen as an international conflict and part of a wider struggle between freedom and democracy versus tyranny, dictatorship and fascism. It became a conflict of different conceptualizations of civil society and a struggle for people’s rights to self-determination, democracy and world peace. In the context of India’s struggle for independence it became evident that its own fight for self-determination was linked to other international conflicts like the Spanish Civil War. Nehru and Krishna Menon in particular realized this.

The conflict mobilized many Indian citizens living in Britain. For example Indira Nehru spoke in support of Republican Spain at a gathering organized by Krishna Menon. The January 1938 India League independence day demonstration also highlighted the conflicts in China, Abyssinia and Spain. Along with banners of Nehru and Gandhi, flags of Republican Spain were visible. The India League in collaboration with the Communist Party of Great Britain and other organizations on the Left held meeting and protest marches in support of Republican Spain. Menon and Nehru visited Spain in summer 1938 and Nehru addressed a crowd of 5,000 in Trafalgar Square as part of a demonstration in Aid of Republican Spain on 17 July 1938, which marked the second anniversary of the start of hostilities. The India League also founded the Indian Committee for Food For Spain, with Feroze Gandhi as organizing secretary. Menon and Clemens Palme Dutt combined forces and engaged in fund-raising activities for an ambulance.

People involved: 

Mulk Raj Anand, Protool Chandra Bhandari, Reginald Bridgeman, Clemens Palme Dutt, Avigodr Michael Epstein, Feroze Gandhi, C. L. Katial, Harold Laski, Krishna Menon, Indira Nehru (Gandhi), Jawaharlal Nehru, George Orwell, Reginald Sorensen, Monica Whately, S. A. Wickremasinghe, Ellen Wilkinson.

Published works: 

Nehru, Jawaharlal, Spain! Why? (London: Indian Committee for Food For Spain, 1938)

Orwell, George, Homage to Catalonia (London: Secker & Waburg, 1938)

Orwell, George, Orwell in Spain (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 2001)

Secondary works: 

Visram, Rozina, Asians in Britain: 400 Years of History (London: Pluto, 2002)

Archive source: 

L/PJ/12/451, India Office Records, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

L/PJ/12/293, India Office Records, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

Sajjad Zaheer


Born in a small village just outside Lucknow, northern India, Sajjad Zaheer remains one of the most prominent and iconic literary and political voices in South Asia and beyond. Zaheer was one of four sons in a privileged family. His father was Sir Wazir Hussain, a notable judge and Chief Justice of the Oudh Court. After completing his studies in politics and law at the University of Lucknow, Zaheer travelled to the UK to enrol at the University of Oxford. Initially, this was a course mapped out for him by his father, who wanted his son to become a barrister. However, Zaheer’s eight year sojourn in the colonial heartland would prove to be a defining moment in shaping his political sensibilities and the alternative path he would follow on his return to India.

Once he had reached Britain, the struggles against colonial rule in his homeland were thrown into sharp focus for Zaheer. His response was similar to that of his contemporary, Mulk Raj Anand. Together, these pre-independence diasporic intellectuals developed a keen appreciation of the urgent need for emancipation in their country. Formative to this was the presence of a South Asian community already vocalizing its concerns in the metropolitan capital. This included figures like Shyamaji Krishnavarma and V. D. Savarkar who played a leading role in the Ghadar Party. The injustices of colonial rule became apparent to Zaheer, as did the need to challenge the status quo through a marked socialist political activism. He established links with the Communist Party of Great Britain and was one of its first South Asian members. During his time in Britain Zaheer also became editor in chief of the periodical Bharat. This was a journal of socialist politics headed by South Asian students at Oxford and concerned with the struggle for independence and the plight of the poor in India. In the literary arena, he and Anand had several encounters with members of the Bloomsbury Group, and were deeply influenced by the modernist literary movement, if not its politics. Zaheer and Anand’s attendance of the International Congress for the Defence of Culture in Paris in 1935, organized by some of the most prominent names in the European artistic and literary landscape, was also a key influence. The previous year, Zaheer and Anand had laid the foundations for the All-India Progressive Writers’ Association at a gathering in a London restaurant where they drafted the manifesto. The organization sought to marry the political and social with the literary, and held numerous meetings in London where students and aspiring writers discussed articles and stories. Zaheer also began his novella, London Ki Ek Raat (‘A Night in London’, 1938) when in London, completing it on his return to India.

Zaheer left London for India via Paris in 1935. Once in India, he continued to develop the organization, which held its official inaugural meeting in Lucknow from 9 to 10 April 1936, with the writer Premchand presiding. The group published several texts inspired by Marxist, oppositional and subversive politics, including a translation of Tagore’s Gora (‘White Man’), and Zaheer’s own anthology of progressive Urdu literature, Roshnai (‘Light’). After partition, Zaheer left for Pakistan, and continued to be an active socialist campaigner in his country’s tumultuous political landscape. This saw him jailed at various points throughout his life. His continued commitment to express the political through literature resulted in the creation of the Afro-Asian Writers’ Association. It was en route to a conference arranged by this organization in Kazakhstan that Zaheer suffered a massive heart attack which ended his life.

Published works: 

‘Jannat Ki Basharrat’ (‘A Feel For Heaven’), in Khalid Alvi (ed.) Angare: An Anthology (New Delhi: Educational Publishing House, [1932] 1995)

London Ki Ek Raat (‘A Night in London’) (1938)

A Case for Congress League Unity (Bombay: People’s Publishing House, 1944)

Roshnai (‘Light’) (1959)

‘Reminiscences’, in S. Pradhan (ed.) Marxist Cultural Movement in India, Vol. 1 (Calcutta: National Book Agency, 1979)

The Light: a History of the Movement for Progressive Literature in the Indo-Pakistan Subcontinent, trans. by Sibte Hassan (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006)

Date of birth: 
05 Nov 1905

Mulk Raj Anand, Ahmed Ali, Kaifi Azmi, Suniti Kumar Chatterji, Rajani Palme Dutt, Salmi Murrik (Dutt’s wife and representative of the Communist International Party in Britain), Faiz Ahmed Faiz (eminent Pakistani poet who found sympathy with Zaheer’s socialist literary imperative), E. M. Forster, Ralph Fox, Jyotirmaya Ghosh, Attia Hosain, Sardar Jafri, Rashad Jahan, Mahmudeezzafar, Hiren Mukherjee, Premchand, Amrit Rai, Iqbal Singh, Taseer, Razia Sajjad Zaheer (wife and fellow dramatist, author and political activist).

Afro-Asian Writers’ Association, Communist Party of Great Britain.

Secondary works: 

Anand, Mulk Raj, ‘On the Progressive Writers’ Movement’, in S. Pradhan (ed.) Marxist Cultural Movement in India, Vol. 1 (Calcutta: National Book Agency, 1979)

Bose, Hiran K., ‘Sajjad Zaheer: The Voice of the Common Man’, Chowk []

Coppola, Carlo, ‘The All-India Progressive Writers Association: The European Phase’, in Coppola (ed.) Marxist Influences and South Asian Literature, Vol. 1 (Winter 1974) Asian Studies Center, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, pp. 1-34

Gopal, Priyamvida, Literary Radicalism in India: Gender, Nation and the Transition to Independence (New York: Routledge, 2006)

Involved in events: 

Meetings of Bharat

Meetings of the Indian National Congress

Meetings of the Communist Party of Great Britain

Founding meeting of the Progressive Writers’ Association, Nanking Restaurant, London, 24 November 1934

International Congress for the Defence of Culture, Paris, 21-6 June 1935

City of birth: 
Golaganj, Lucknow
Country of birth: 
Date of death: 
13 Sep 1973
Location of death: 
Alma Ata, Kazakhstan
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
01 Dec 1927
Precise 1st arrival date unknown: 
Dates of time spent in Britain: 



Oxford, London.

C. E. M. Joad


C. E. M. Joad was an English philosopher and popular educator. He was educated at Oxford and, after serving as a civil servant, was appointed Head of Philosophy at Birkbeck College (University of London) in 1930. A prolific writer and conservationist, he shot to fame as a broadcasting star when he joined the BBC radio programme ‘The Brain Trust’ in 1942. He was convicted of fare-dodging and was sacked by the BBC in 1948.

As an undergraduate at Oxford, Joad became an admirer of George Bernard Shaw; he turned to socialism and was a committed pacifist throughout his life. He was a member of the Fabian Society but was expelled in 1925 due to his philandering (he rejoined in 1943). In 1931, he became Director of Propaganda for the New Party, but soon left the party along with John Strachey when its leader Oswald Mosley turned to fascism. In 1932 he founded with H. G. Wells and others the Federation of Progressive Societies and Individuals.

Joad looked to eastern philosophy as an antidote to western modernity. He attended a number of Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan’s lectures and wrote on his philosophy (Counter Attack from the East, 1933). He also wrote a book on Indian civilization (1936) assisted by Girija Mookerjee, and was a regular contributor to the Anglo-Indian Theosophist periodical Aryan Path. Joad was an admirer of Gandhi, and contributed to a collection of essays (edited by S. Radhakrishnan) on Gandhi to celebrate his 70th birthday.

Mulk Raj Anand, in Conversations in Bloomsbury, records a long talk he had with Joad about God and philosophy. Anand and Joad both attended Professor Dawes Hicks’s seminar at University College London, and it appears that this is how they got to know each other. Joad also met through Anand his fellow student Nikhil Sen and his girlfriend Edna Thomson.

Published works: 

Robert Owen, Idealist, Fabian Tract no. 182 (London: Fabian Society, June 1917)

Essays in Common Sense Philosophy (London: Headley Bros., 1919) 

Common-Sense Ethics (London: Methuen, 1921)

Common-Sense Theology (London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1922)

The Highbrows: A Modern Novel (London: Jonathan Cape, 1922)

Priscilla and Charybdis, and Other Stories (London: Herbert Jenkins, 1924) 

Samuel Butler, 1835-1902 (London: Leonard Parsons, 1924) 

Introduction to Modern Philosophy (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1924)

Introduction to Modern Political Theory (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1924)   

The Case for the New Party (London: Bird & Sons, 1925)

Mind and Matter: The Philosophical Introduction to Modern Science (London: Nisbet & Co., 1925) 

Thrasymachus: or, the Future of Morals (London: Kegan Paul & Co., 1925)

(with John Strachey) After-Dinner Philosophy (London: Routledge & Sons, 1926)

The Babbitt Warren (London: Kegan Paul & Co., 1926)

The Bookmark (London: John Westhouse, 1926)

The Mind and its Workings (London: Benn, 1927)

Diogenes, or the Future of Leisure (London: Kegan Paul & Co., 1928)

The Future of Life. A Theory of Vitalism (London and New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1928)

(with Chapman Cohen) Materialism: Has It Been Exploded? (London: Watts & Co., 1928)

The Meaning of Life (London: Watts & Co., 1928)

Matter, Life and Value (London: Oxford University Press, 1929) 

The Present and Future of Religion (London: Ernest Benn, 1930)

The Horrors of the Countryside (London: Hogarth Press, 1931)

The Story of Civilization (London: A. & C. Black, 1931)

Philosophical Aspects of Modern Science (London: G. Allen & Unwin, 1932)

Under the Fifth Rib: A Belligerent Autobiography (London: Faber & Faber, 1932) (reissued as The Book of Joad, London, 1939)

Counter Attack from the East: The Philosophy of Radhakrishnan (London: G. Allen & Unwin, 1933)

Guide to Modern Thought (London: Faber & Faber, 1933)

(with Arnold Henry Moore Lunn) Is Christianity True? A Correspondence between Arnold Lunn and C. E. M. Joad (London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1933) 

Liberty To-day (London: Watts & Co., 1934)

A Charter for Ramblers (London: Hutchinson & Co., 1934) 

(ed.) Manifesto: Being the Book of the Federation of Progressive Societies and Individuals (London: G. Allen & Unwin, 1934)

Return to Philosophy: Being a Defence of Reason, an Affirmation of Values and a Plea for Philosophy (London: Faber & Faber, 1935)

The Future of Morals (London: K. Paul, 1936)

The Dictator Resigns (London: Methuen & Co., 1936)

The Story of Indian Civilisation (London: Macmillan & Co., 1936)

Guide to Philosophy (London: Victor Gollancz, 1936)

The Testament of Joad (London: Faber & Faber, 1937) 

Guide to Modern Wickedness (London: Faber & Faber, 1938)

Guide to the Philosophy of Morals and Politics (London: Victor Gollancz, 1938)

(ed.) How to Write, Think and Speak Correctly (London: Odhams Press, 1939)

Why War? (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1939)

‘The Authority of Detachment and Moral Force’, in Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (ed.) Mahatma Gandhi: Essays and Reflections on his Life and Work, Presented to him on his Seventieth Birthday, October 2nd, 1939 (London: G. Allen & Unwin, 1939), pp. 155-61

Journey through the War Mind (London: Faber & Faber, 1940)

Philosophy for Our Times (London: T. Nelson & Sons, 1940)

What is at Stake, and Why Not Say So? (London: Victor Gollancz, 1940)

The Philosophy of Federal Union (London: Macmillan & Co., 1941)

Pieces of Mind (London: Faber & Faber, 1942)

God and Evil (London: Faber & Faber, 1942)

The Adventures of the Young Soldier in Search of a Better World, with drawings by Mervyn Peake (London: Faber & Faber, 1942)

An Old Countryside for New People (London and Letchworth: J. M. Dent & Sons, 1942) 

Philosophy (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1944)

About Education (London: Faber & Faber, 1945)

Opinions (London: Westhouse, 1945)

The Untutored Townsman’s Invasion of the Country (London: Faber & Faber, 1945)

(with Shaw Desmond) Spiritualism (London: Muse Arts, 1946)

More Opinions (London: Westhouse, 1946)

Conditions of Survival (London: Federal Union, 1946)

The Rational Approach to Conscription (London: No Conscription Council, 1947)

Specialisation and the Humanities (London: Birkbeck College, 1947)

Decadence: A Philosophical Inquiry (London: Faber & Faber, 1948)

A Year More or Less (London: Victor Gollancz, 1948)

The Principles of Parliamentary Democracy (London: Falcon Press, 1949)

Shaw (London: Victor Gollancz, 1949) 

A Critique of Logical Positivism (London: Victor Gollancz, 1950)

An Introduction to Contemporary Knowledge (Leeds: E. J. Arnold & Son, 1950)

The Pleasure of Being Oneself (London: George Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1951)

A First Encounter with Philosophy (London: James Blackwood & Co., 1952)

The Recovery of Belief : A Restatement of Christian Philosophy (London: Faber & Faber, 1952) 

(ed.) Shaw and Society: An Anthology and a Symposium (London: Odhams Press, 1953)

Folly Farm (London: Faber & Faber, 1954)


Joad, C. E. M., The Story of Indian Civilisation (London: Macmillan & Co., 1936), pp. viii-x

Date of birth: 
12 Aug 1891

Mulk Raj Anand, W. Arnold-Forster, G. M. Boumphrey, Fenner Brockway, Janet Chance, G. K. Chesterton, Clough William-Ellis, John Carl Flügel, Emma Goldman, M. K. Gandhi, Basil Henry Liddell Hart, Dawes Hicks, Kingsley Martin (friend, pacifist, editor of the New Statesman in 1931), Francis Meynell, Naomi Mitchison, Girija Mookerjee, George Orwell, D. N. Pritt, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Archibald Robertson, Bernard Russell, Nikhil Sen, George Bernard Shaw, John Strachey, W. Olaf Stapledon, Marie Carmichael Stopes, J. W. N. Sullivan, Edna Thomson, Sybil Thorndyke, Allan Young, Rebecca West, H. G. Wells, Julian Huxley, Archibald Bruce Campbell (the BBC 'Brain Trust').

BBC, Federation of Progressive Societies and Individuals.

Contributions to periodicals: 

Spectator (review of Oswald Spengler, The Decline of the West, 142.5246, 12 January 1929)

Spectator (review of S. Radhakrishnan, Kalki or the Future of Civilisation, 142.5251, 16 February 1929)

Aryan Path (‘What Eastern Religions had to Offer to Western Civilization’, 1.1, 1930)

Spectator (review of Margaret Barton and Osbert Sitwell (eds) Victoriana, 146.5369, 23 May 1931)

Spectator (‘The English, Are they Human?’, 147.5377, 18 July 1931)

Aryan Path (‘The Puzzle of Indian Philosophy’, review of Surendranath Dasgupta, A History of Indian Philosophy, 3.8, 1932)

The London Mercury (‘The Pacifist Case’, review of Bertrand Russell, Which Way to Peace, 35.205, November 1932)

New Statesman and Nation (‘Why Pacifists are Ineffective’, 6.124, 8 July 1933)

New Statesman and Nation (‘Pacifists Escape from Dilemma’, 6.144, 25 November 1933)

Aryan Path (‘The Revival of Hedonism’, 4.11, November 1933)

Contemporary Review (‘The Future and Prospects of Life’, 145, January - June 1934)

New Statesman and Nation (‘Shaw Stories’, review of Bernard Shaw, Short Stories and Shavings, 7.172, 9 June 1934)

Aryan Path, (‘A Western Theory’, 7.8, 1936)

New Statesman and Nation (‘Constructive Pacifism’, 12.285, 8 August 1936)

Aryan Path (‘The Testimony of Indian Philosophy’, review on S. Radhakrishna and J. H. Muirhead (eds) Contemporary Indian Philosophy, 8.2, 1937)

New Statesman and Nation (‘Culture and Philosophy of India’, review of W. H. Morehead and A. C. Chatterjee, A Short History of India, Radhakumud Mookerji; Hindu Civilisation; S. Radhakrishna and J. H. Muirhead (eds) Contemporary Indian Philosophy, 13.307, 9 January 1937)

Aryan Path (‘What is Soul?’, 8.5, May 1937)

Aryan Path (‘Guide to Mysticism’, review of Radhakamal Mukerjee, Theory and Art of Mysticism, 8.11, November 1937)

Aryan Path (‘Religion of the West’, 9.3, March 1938)

Spectator (‘The East Admonishes the West’, 161.5745, 5 August 1938)

Aryan Path (‘Educating and Organizing For Peace: Free Trade and Disarmament’, 10.1, January 1939)

Spectator (review of Wyndham Lewis, The Jews, Are They Human?, 162.5783, 28 April 1939)

Aryan Path (‘Indian Logicians: A Study in Indian and Western Philosophizing’, review of S. C. Chatterjee, The Nyaya Theory of Knowledge, 10.10, October 1939)

Aryan Path (‘The Only Cure: The Renaissance of Mysticism in Western Thought’, 11.6, June 1940)

New Statesman and Nation (‘An Open Letter to H. G. Wells’, 20.495, 17 August 1940)

The Evening Standard (‘The Most Ordinary of Great Men’, 14 August 1946)

New Statesman and Nation (‘Tribute to Shaw’, 40.1028, 18 November 1950)


Jagadisan M. Kumarappa, Aryan Path 4.1, January 1933, pp. 62-3 (Under the Fifth Rib)

J. W. N. Sullivan, Aryan Path 4.2, February 1933, pp. 121-3 (Philosophical Aspects of Modern Science)

K. S. Shelvankar, Aryan Path 4.8, August 1933, pp. 563-4 (Guide to Modern Thought)

J. P. W., Aryan Path 4.12, December 1933, pp. 841-4 (Is Christianity True?)

P. Mahadevan, Aryan Path 10.10, October 1939, pp. 505-6 (Guide to Modern Wickedness)

Aryan Path 11.7, July 1940, pp. 607-8 (Journey Through the War Mind)

K. S. Ramaswami Sastri, Aryan Path 11.12, December 1940, pp. 360-3 (Philosophy for Our Times)

Brailsford, Henry Noel, New Statesman and Nation 46.1182, 31 October 1953, p. 532 (Shaw and Society)


I am in no sense an authority on India. I have never visited the country and have to rely for my view of it upon reading and talk, upon fairly extensive talk, with Indian students visiting England. Thus the book that follows is in the nature less of a scroll continuously unfolding, and revealing as it unfolds, the whole pageant of Indian life and thought, than of a series of historical vignettes. What follows is, therefore, less the story of Indian civilisation, than an account of the reactions produced by that story in a highly interested spectator, a product of the very different civilisation of the West, whose primary purpose in writing has been to make clear to himself what it is that India has or has had which marks off her civilisation from that of all other peoples, and how much of this ‘something’, which romantic writers call ‘the spirit of India’, may safely adopt without danger to her ‘spirit’ or to what still remains to her of it.

Such information as this book contains, such authority as it possesses, are due to Girija Mookerjee but for whose collaboration it could not have been written.

Secondary works: 

Thomas, Geoffrey, Cyril Joad (London: Birkbeck College, 1992)

Martin, Kingsley, ‘Cyril Joad’, New Statesman and Nation 45.1154 (18 April 1953), pp. 446-7


The extract gives an interesting insight into Joad’s views of India, and his relationship with the Indian students whom he met in London.

Archive source: 

Joad’s correspondence with Sir Arnold Lunn, The Sir Arnold Lunn Papers, Lauinger Library Special Collection, Georgetown University, Washington, DC

Correspondence between Joad and Liddell Hart, Papers of Capt Sir Basil Henry Liddell Hart, ref: GB99 KCLMA Liddell Hart, Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, King’s College, London

Senate House Library, University of London

Joad’s correspondence with New Statesman magazine, Sussex University Library Special Collections

Involved in events: 
City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Other names: 

Cyril Edwin Mitchinson Joad

Date of death: 
09 Apr 1953
Location of death: 

Balliol College, University of Oxford; Birkbeck College, University of London.

Barbara Castle


Barbara Castle spent her formative years in Bradford before attending the University of Oxford where she read philosophy, politics and economics. In 1937, after working for her local Labour Party in Hyde and as a columnist for the left-wing paper Tribune, she became a Labour Party councillor for the borough of St Pancras, where she worked alongside Krishna Menon.

Castle was elected as Labour MP for Blackburn in the 1945 General Election, becoming the youngest woman in the Commons and holding her seat for the next thirty-five years. In the 1960s, she held several ministerial offices, including Minister of Overseas Development, Minister of Transport, Secretary of State, and Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity.

Published works: 

NHS Revisited, Fabian Tract 440 (London: Fabian Society, 1976)

The Castle Diaries, 1974-1976 (London: Weidenfield & Nicolson, 1980)

The Castle Diaries, 1964-1970 (London: Weidenfield & Nicolson, 1984)

Sylvia and Christabel Pankhurst (London: Penguin, 1987)

Fighting all the Way (London: Macmillan, 1993)

Date of birth: 
06 Oct 1910

Aneurin Bevan, Fenner Brockway, Edward (Ted) Castle, Stafford Cripps (parliamentary private secretary, 1945-7), Michael Foot, V. K. Krishna Menon, Harold Wilson (parliamentary private secretary, 1947-51).

Anti-Apartheid Movement, Independent Labour Party, Labour Party, Movement for Colonial Freedom, Socialist League.

Contributions to periodicals: 

Daily Mirror

Sunday Pictorial


Secondary works: 

Brockway, Fenner, What is the M. C. F.? (London: Movement for Colonial Freedom, 1960)

Crossman, R. H. S., The Diaries of a Cabinet Minister, 3 vols (London: Hamilton, 1975-7)

De’ath, W., Barbara Castle: A Portrait from Life (Brighton: Clifton Books, 1970)

Howard, Anthony, ‘Castle, Barbara Anne, Baroness Castle of Blackburn (1910-2002)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2007) []

Jenkins, R., A Life at the Centre (London: Macmillan, 1991)

Martineau, L., Politics and Power: Barbara Castle, a Biography (London: Andre Deutsch, 2000)

Perkins, A., Red Queen: The Authorized Biography of Barbara Castle (London: Pan, 2003)

Archive source: 

Cabinet Conclusions and Memoranda, CAB 128 and 129, 1964-9, National Archives, Kew

City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Other names: 

Barbara Anne Betts

Baroness Castle of Blackburn

Date of death: 
03 May 2002
Location of death: 
Ibstone, Buckinghamshire

Ceylon Students' Association


The Ceylon Students' Association in London worked closely with the Majlis and the India League. It was very active in the 1920s. D. B. Jayatilleke and S. A. Wickremasinghe worked with Krishna Menon and Shapurji Saklatvala. They wrote the Study of the Report on Constitution together in 1928, on their responses to British constitutional reforms with particular reference to Ceylon’s Donoughmore Constitution. Many of its members were Sinhala-speaking socialist students from Buddhist Theosophist Schools who came to Britain for undergraduate or postgraduate study at the University of London. Its members went on to found the Marxist Lanka Sama Samaja Party in Sri Lanka in 1935. This London group opposed both A. E. Goonesinghe and the British Labour Party’s claims that the Ceylon National Congress were oligarchs, arguing that they preferred indigenous oligarchs to foreign rule. The Ceylon Students' Association along with the Pan-African Federation, WASU, the Federation of Indian Associations in Britain and the Burma Association, organized the Anti-Colonial Peoples' Conference in June 1945, which called for an end to imperialism.


Published works: 

Wickremasinghe, S. A., Ceylon: A Study of the 'Report of the Special Commission on the Constitution'

Articles in Fourth International and British Militant

Secondary works: 

Visram, Rozina, South Asians in Britain: 400 Years of History (London: Pluto, 2002)

Date began: 
01 Jan 1920
Precise date began unknown: 
Key Individuals' Details: 

D. B. Jayatilleke, N. M. Perera, C. R. de Silva (Secretary),  S. A. Wickremasinghe.


Fenner Brockway, Rajani Palme Dutt, Philip Goonewardene, Pieter Keneuman, Harold Laski, Krishna Menon, Selina Perera, Shapurji Saklatvala, Drummond Shiels.



The Fabian Society is a British socialist organization which was a forerunner to the Labour Party. Promoting progressive social causes by gradualist, rather than revolutionary, methods, it was for the intelligentsia of fin-de-siècle Britain a major forum for political, social and cultural debate.

Spurred by the Liberal reforms of the early 1900s, the Society campaigned for a minimum wage, national health and education systems, the abolition of hereditary peerages and the nationalization of land. Drawing into its ambit most of the prominent intellectuals of the time, it grew to be the preeminent academic meeting place of the Edwardian era. A close association existed with the London School of Economics, which was founded in 1895 by the Society’s lifelong guiding spirits, Sidney and Beatrice Webb, together with G. B. Shaw.

A major split occurred in the Society over its response to the Boer War, leading to the resignation of Emmeline Pankhurst. Narrowly deciding in favour of the British invasion of the Transvaal, the Fabians supported British imperialism as a means of disseminating enlightened principles of governance throughout the world. Despite this, the Society between the wars was patronized by several expatriate nationalists, including Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Obafemi Awolowo and Lee Kuan Yew. The Fabian worldview was in turn to make a major impression on the constitutions of the emergent Commonwealth nations.

Other names: 

The Fabian Society

Secondary works: 

Fremantle, Anne, This Little Band of Prophets: The Story of the Gentle Fabians (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1960)

Pease, Edward R., The History of the Fabian Society (London: A. C. Fifield, 1916)

Pugh, Patricia, Educate, Agitate, Organize: 100 Years of Fabian Socialism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984)

Date began: 
04 Jan 1884
Key Individuals' Details: 

Annie Besant, Hubert Bland, Edward Carpenter, Keir Hardie, Oliver Lodge, Ramsay MacDonald, Edith Nesbit, Sydney Olivier, Emmeline Pankhurst, George Bernard Shaw, Graham Wallas, Sidney and Beatrice Webb, H. G. Wells, Leonard Woolf, Virginia Woolf.


Fellowship of the New Life, Independent Labour Party, London School of Economics.

Archive source: 

Fabian Society Archive, British Library of Political and Economic Science, London School of Economics

George Bernard Shaw Collection, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin

Leonard Woolf Archive, University of Sussex

Tags for Making Britain: 

Oscar Wilde


Oscar Wilde was an Anglo-Irish poet, playwright, literary critic and dandy of legendary wit. Born directly outside Trinity College Dublin, where he was to later to excel as a Classicist, his father was a prominent eye surgeon and his mother was an Irish nationalist poet known by the nom de plume ‘Speranza.’ In 1874 he went up to Oxford to read Greats at Magdalen College, and it was there that he first began to publish verse, and to develop a uniquely enthralling cult of personality. Raising eyebrows with his contempt of physical sports and an almost religious attitude to literature and art, he became known by his detractors as the ignoble figurehead of an emerging party of so-called ‘Aesthetes.’ A moniker that rapidly took on satirical connotations, it in fact suited Wilde’s conviction, strengthened at Oxford by encounters with John Ruskin and Walter Pater, that sensibility of beauty was the defining characteristic of humanity, and that the cultivation of taste was a sacred task. He cultivated an aesthetics of supreme artifice, promoted by his work and encapsulated in his lifestyle, its own symbol the green carnation that often adorned his lapel.

Wilde met Manmohan Ghose in London and wrote a favourable review of Primavera, the poems published by Binyon, Ghose, Cripps and Phillips in the Pall Mall Gazette in 1890. His theatrical masterwork, The Importance of Being Earnest, premiered even as his own downfall was set in motion by the depositing of an insulting note at his club by the Marquess of Queensberry. The pugnacious noble’s son, Lord Alfred Douglas, had been Wilde’s friend and sometime lover since 1891. Wilde’s rash attempt to sue Queensberry for libel resulted in his own prosecution for gross indecency, and the humiliating revelation of a sexual life undreamt of by the contemporary public. Despite his public defence of ‘the love that dare not speak its name’, Wilde has sentenced to two years with hard labour, an experience that led to his last major poem, The Ballad of Reading Gaol, and the prison letter De Profundis which is now read as his memoir and valediction. His health broken, he died in destitute exile in Paris aged forty-six.

Published works: 

Poems (1881)
The Happy Prince and Other Stories (1888)
Lord Arthur Savile's Crime and Other Stories (1891)
Intentions (1891)
The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890-1)
Salome (1891)
Lady Windermere's Fan (1892)
A Woman of No Importance (1893)
An Ideal Husband (1895)
The Importance of Being Earnest (1895)
The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1898)
De Profundis (1905)


Oscar Wilde's review of Primavera in Pall Mall Gazette, 24 May 1890

Date of birth: 
16 Oct 1854
Contributions to periodicals: 

Pall Mall Gazette, 24 May 1890 (Review of Primavera)


These new singers are Mr Laurence Binyon, who has just gained the Newdigate; Mr Manmohan Ghose, a young Indian of brilliant scholarship and high literary attainments who gives some culture to Christ Church; Mr Stephen Phillips, whose recent performance of the Ghost in "Hamlet" at the Globe Theatre was so admirable in its dignity and elocution, and Mr Arthur Cripps, of Trinity. Particular interest attaches naturally to Mr Ghose's work. Born in India, of purely Indian parentage, he has been brought up entirely in England, and was educated at St Paul's School, and his verses show us how quick and subtly are the intellectual sympathies of the Oriental mind, and suggest how close is the bond of union that may some day bind India to us by other methods than those of commerce and military strength.

Secondary works: 

Ellmann, Richard, Oscar Wilde (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1987)

Gandhi, Leela, Affective Communities: Anticolonial Thought and the Politics of Friendship (Durham: Duke University Press, 2006)

McKenna, Neil, The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde (London: Arrow Books, 2004)

Archive source: 

Oscar Wilde Collection, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, Los Angeles

Oscar Wilde Papers, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin

City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Date of death: 
30 Nov 1900
Location of death: 
Paris, France
Tags for Making Britain: 

Henry Mayers Hyndman


H. M. Hyndman was a prominent English Socialist. He began his career working as a journalist, including on the Pall Mall Gazette. In 1881, using the London radical clubs as a model, Hyndman established the Democratic Federation, which was renamed the Social Democratic Federation (SDF) in 1884. Hyndman was also the editor of Justice. He was a vocal supporter of Indian nationalism and independence from the British.

Hyndman became friends with Dadabhai Naoroji in the 1870s, after reading Naoroji’s Poverty of India. They collaborated in Anti-Famine agitation during Queen Victoria’s Jubilee year. Naoroji helped Hyndman in his own work on Indian Famine. Despite their friendship, Naoroji often found Hyndman’s politics too radical and extreme, preferring a more moderate nationalist path.

Shyamaji Krishnavarma, a nationalist in favour of more radical methods, was acquainted with Hyndman. He invited Hyndman to open India House in Highgate in July 1905. Through the India House organization, Hyndman met individuals such as Madame Cama and B. G. Tilak. After the murder of Sir Curzon-Wyllie by Madan Lal Dhingra, Hyndman wrote in Justice that he had long warned that terrorism would result from the British policy of ‘despotism’ in India.

Published works: 

Indian Policy and English Justice (1874)

The Bankruptcy of India (1886)

The Records of an Adventurous Life (1911)

Further Reminiscences (1912)

The Awakening of Asia (1919)

Date of birth: 
07 Mar 1842

Madame Cama, Shyamaji Krishnavarma, George Lansbury, Dadabhai Naoroji, Bal Gangadhar Tilak.

Contributions to periodicals: 


Secondary works: 

Boehmer, Elleke, Empire, the National, and the Postcolonial (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002)

Masani, R. P., Dadabhai Naoroji. The Grand Old Man of India (London: G. Allen and Unwin, 1939)

Schneer, Jonathan, London 1900: The Imperial Metropolis (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999)

Tsuzuki, Chushichi and Pelling, Henry, H. M. Hyndman and British Socialism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1961)

Tsuzuki, Chushichi, ‘Hyndman, Henry Mayers (1842–1921)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2006) []

Visram, Rozina, Asians in Britain: 400 Years of History (London: Pluto Press, 2002)

Archive source: 

Correspondence, British Library of Political and Economic Science, London

Correspondence, Manuscript Collection, British Library, St Pancras

‘Seditious pamphlets and publications of H M Hyndman’, L/PJ/6/817, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

Correspondence, Maxse Papers, West Sussex Record Office, Chichester

Involved in events: 

Opening of India House, Highgate, July 1905 (see Indian Sociologist 1.8, August 1905)

City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Date of death: 
07 Apr 1923
Location of death: 
London, England

13 Well Walk, Hampstead

Tags for Making Britain: 


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