Kedar Nath Das Gupta


Kedar Nath Das Gupta, a Bengali and friend of Rabindranath Tagore, was involved in forming the Union of East and West in January 1914. This was a society for the British and Indians in London which put on dramatic performances (having subsumed the Indian Art and Dramatic Society, formed in 1912). Das Gupta and the Society were based at 14 St Marks Crescent, London, NW1. He hoped that through the Society he could promote better understanding and collaboration between India and the West.

Das Gupta collaborated with Laurence Binyon in 1919 to adapt Kalidasa's play, Sakuntala, for the English stage. Das Gupta was able to publish through the Society some of the plays that they put on. The publication of Caliph for a Day in 1917, a Tagore play, also included photos of Das Gupta dressed in Indian clothes with three of the female members of the Society's executive, and photos of the Indian soldiers for whom the Union of the East and West had put on performances during the War.

In 1918, he published a play that he had written called Bharata, a four-act play that Das Gupta explained in the preface was drawn from writers, historians and philosophers of East and West on the four stages of life. The publication included a dedication to King George V and a quote from Lloyd George on the dust jacket. Das Gupta then migrated to New York with the Union of the East and West in the 1920s to create an umbrella movement known sometimes as the 'Fellowship of Faiths' or the 'Threefold Movement' incorporating as it did the Union of East and West, the Fellowship of Faiths and the League of Neighbours. He organized an International Conference of Faiths in Chicago in 1933. Das Gupta was also involved in organising the classes given in London in 1936 by the Swami Yogananda.

Published works: 

(with Margaret G. Mitchell) Bharata (London: Union of East and West, 1918)

Consolation from the East to the West: Ancient Indian Stories (London: Union of the East and West, 1916)  

Caliph for a Day, An Amusing Comedy (London: Indian Art and Dramatic Society, 1917)

(with Laurence Binyon) Sakuntala (London: Macmillan & Co., 1920)


Beginning of Kedar Nath Das Gupta's play, Bharata (1918), pp. 9-10.


The play begins with the main protagonist, Ram Lal, described as an 'idealist' describing to some British children the ideals of Empire.


T. W. Arnold, Bhupendranath Basu, Laurence Binyon, Lewis Casson, Charlotte Despard, E. B. Havell, Clarissa Miles, Margaret Mitchell, William Poel, William Rothenstein, Rabindranath Tagore, Sybil Thorndike, H. G. Wells.


See reference to him and the Union of East and West in Britain and India, The Times (including 28 June 1916, 28 October 1916 and 17 October 1919), The Stage (including 23 October 1919, 20 November 1919), The Era (including 19 November 1919), The New York Times (including 23 June 1922 and 1 July 1922) 

William Poel, 'Hindu Drama on the English Stage', Asiatic Quarterly Review I.2 (April 1913), pp. 319-31.


Act 1. Enter Ram Lal into a park – begin conversation with Cohen, O’Brien and Jones (children)

JONES: What a lovely daisy

RAM LAL: Yes beautiful. It is like the British Empire. Look at its petals, each distinct from the other like English, Indians, Canadians, Australians, Africans, but all are attached to one place. What do you call it?

JONES: England!

COHEN: The heart of gold.

RAM LAL: That’s right. All are untied to the stem by the bond of love. Each has a separate existence, a special mission to fulfil, but their final goal is the same. East is East, West is West, but the twain must meet on the common ground of humanity. This is the true Union of the East and West.

Secondary works: 

Chambers, Colin, A History of Black and Asian Theatre in Britain (London: Routledge, forthcoming)


This extract gives some insight into Kedar Nath Das Gupta's publications, style and ideas about unity and empire that had encouraged him to set up the Union of East and West and emphasized the power of drama to convey ideas.

Archive source: 

Theatre programmes (including programmes for 'Buddha' at Royal Court Theatre, 22 February 1912, and 'Sakuntala' at Winter Garden Theatre, 19 November 1919),  V & A Theatre Museum, Earls Court, London

Involved in events: 

Various performances put on by the Union of the East and West including performance of Sakuntala at Winter Garden Theatre, November 1919

Lecture delivered by Colonel Rai Jai Prithvi Bahadur Singh at Caxton Hall, 25 July 1929. Das Gupta had been involved in organising the event and also spoke at the event along with Annie Besant and Cecil H. Wilson (MP). [See]

Lectures delivered by Swami Yogananda in London, 1936.


14 St Mark's Crescent
London, NW1 8JL
United Kingdom
51° 32' 17.2572" N, 0° 9' 3.942" W
Dates of time spent in Britain: 

at least 1910s to 1920s, 1936

Niranjan Pal


Niranjan Pal was the son of the moderate Indian nationalist Bepin Chandra Pal. He came to Britain in the early twentieth century to study in London, and lived in a boarding house with Sukhsagar Datta, Ashutosh Mitter and his father. It was to this boarding house at 140 Sinclair Road in London that David Garnett was invited to by Datta and where he was introduced to Pal, who was also known as Nanu. In The Golden Echo, Garnett described Pal's politics as not clearly defined, but more sympathetic to Indian revolutionaries in contrast to his father's moderate views.

Niranjan Pal later rose to fame as a playwright and then film director and producer. His play, The Goddess, was performed in London in 1922. This play had a successful run, starting at the Duke of York's Theatre on 6 and 7 June 1922, it was then shown at the Ambassador's Theatre and finally moved to the Aldwych Theatre in July 1922. The play was performed 66 times in total and there were plans after the success to form an Indian Repertory Theatre Movement in London.

Niranjan Pal was married to an English woman, Lily, and they had a son called Colin in 1923. Pal then began a collaboration with the lead actor in The Goddess, Himansu Rai, and went to Bombay to produce films. He collaborated with the German silent film director, Franz Osten to film The Light of Asia in 1925 in Bombay, and then became a successful screen-writer for Bombay Talkies film studio in Bombay.

Date of birth: 
17 Aug 1889

Sukhsagar Datta, David Garnett, Maud MacCarthy (music for The Goddess), Franz Osten, Bepin Chandra Pal (father), Himansu Rai, Devika Rani, Rani Waller (actress in The Goddess)



The Times, 7 June 1922

The Era, 21 June 1922

The Stage, 22 June 1922 (Reviews of 'The Goddess')

Secondary works: 

Chambers, Colin, A History of Black and Asian Theatre in Britain (London: Routledge, forthcoming)

Garnett, David, The Golden Echo (London: Chatto & Windus, 1953) 

Jaikumar, Priya, Cinema at the End of Empire: A Politics of Transition in Britain and India (Durham: Duke University Press, 2006)

Pal, Colin, ‘The Rise and Fall of Bombay Talkies’, Filmfare, (16-31 December 1983), pp. 24-28, (1-15 January 1984), pp. 24, 26-27, 29

Archive source: 

The Goddess Programmes, Victoria and Albert Theatre Museum Archive, Earl's Court, London

City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Current name city of birth: 
Current name country of birth: 
Other names: 

Nanu Pal


140 Sinclair Road
London , W14 0NJ
United Kingdom
51° 30' 4.5864" N, 0° 12' 54.3816" W
Date of death: 
09 Nov 1959
Location of death: 
Calcutta, India

140 Sinclair Road, London

Tags for Making Britain: 

Laurence Housman


Laurence Housman, brother of the poet A. E. Housman, was a playwright, writer and illustrator. Houseman was a committed pacifist and socialist. He was an early supporter of Indian independence and a member of Krishna Menon's India League.

Date of birth: 
18 Jul 1865
Secondary works: 

Cockin, Katharine, ‘Housman, Laurence (1865–1959)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004) []

City of birth: 
Bromsgrove, Wocestershire
Country of birth: 
Date of death: 
20 Feb 1959
Location of death: 
Glastonbury, Somerset

T. S. Eliot


Thomas Stearns Eliot was born in St Louis, Missouri, USA, to Henry Ware Eliot and Charlotte Champe Stearns in 1888. He graduated from Smith Academy, St Louis, in 1905 before studying for a year at Milton Academy, outside Boston, and eventually following his brother to Harvard in 1906. He attained a BA in Comparative Literature in 1909 and an MA in English literature in 1910. From 1910-1911 he studied at the Sorbonne, Paris, before returning to his graduate studies in philosophy at Harvard the following year. As part of his studies there he took courses in Pali and Sanskrit, and on Hindu thought. He also met Bertrand Russell at Harvard.

In the summer of 1914, Eliot went to London on a travelling fellowship. There, he immediately struck up a friendship with Conrad Aiken and Ezra Pound, and in 1915 he was introduced to Vivienne Haigh-Wood whom he married in June of that year. He spent the next years teaching in High Wycombe and Highgate, London, until his first book, Prufrock and Other Observations, was published in 1917. His long poem The Waste Land (1922) consolidated his Modernist breakthrough.

Bertrand Russell introduced Eliot to Lady Ottoline Morrell and the people surrounding Garsington Manor such as Aldous Huxley, D. H. Lawrence, Leonard and Virginia Woolf, Roger Fry, James Joyce and, later, Mulk Raj Anand. In Conversations in Bloomsbury (1981), Anand relates how he first met Eliot at a sherry party at Harold Monro's Poetry Bookshop; also present was Nikhil Sen. By this time, Eliot was the editor of the literary journal Criterion and wanted Anand to to do some work for him. Anand describes more meetings with Eliot in the Criterion office where they would often talk about religion and writing. In 1925, Eliot was made literary editor of Faber & Gwyer (later Faber & Faber). He drew coloser to Christianity, and in 1927 he was baptised into the Church of England. Later that year he became a British citizen.

In the 1930s, Eliot focused less on his own writing and became primarily a cultural critic. After the Second World War he gave up writing poetry altogether and turned his attention to plays and literary essays. In the 1940s, he asked the Ceylonese poet and editor Meary James Tambimuttu to edit the anthology Poetry in Wartime (1942) for Faber. Eliot was a support of Tambimuttu's successful magazine Poetry London. He said of it: 'It is only in Poetry London that I can consistently expect to find new poets who matter' (back cover of Poetry London).

In 1948, Eliot won the Nobel Prize for Literature and was awarded the Order of Merit. In his later years, he assumed a more reclusive lifestyle, sharing a flat with his friend John Hayward in Carlyle Mansions on the Chelsea Embankment, until his marriage to his second wife Valerie Fletcher in 1957 . He died on 4 January 1965 of emphysema at his home in London.

Published works: 

Prufrock and other Observations (London: The Egoist, 1917)

Harvard College Class of 1910: Secretary's 4th Report (Cambridge: Printed for the Class, [1920]), pp. 107-108 (includes a brief autobiographical record by T. S. Eliot)

Ara Vus Prec (London: Ovid Press, 1920)

The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism (London: Methuen, 1920)

The Waste Land (London: Hogarth Press; New York: Boni & Liveright, 1922) 

Homage to John Dryden: Three Essays on Poetry of the Seventeenth Century (London: L. & V. Woolf, 1924)

Journey of the Magi (London: Faber & Gwyer, 1927)

Shakespeare and the Stoicism of Seneca (London, 1927)

For Lancelot Andrewes: Essays on Style and Order (London: Faber & Gwyer, 1928)

Dante (London: Faber & Faber, 1929)

Ash Wednesday (London: Faber & Faber, 1930) 

Selected Essays, 1917-1932 (London: Faber & Faber, 1932) 

Sweeney Agonistes; Fragments of a Aristophanic Melodrama (London: Faber & Faber, 1932)

The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism: Studies in the Relation of Criticism to Poetry in England (London: Faber & Faber, 1933)

After Strange Gods: A Primer of Modern Heresy (London: Faber & Faber, 1934)

Elizabethan Essays (London: Faber & Faber, 1934)

The Rock (London: Faber & Faber, 1934)

Murder in the Cathedral (London: Faber & Faber, 1935)

Collected Poems, 1909-1935 (London: Faber & Faber, 1936)

Essays Ancient and Modern (London: Faber & Faber, 1936)

The Family Reunion: A Play (London: Faber & Faber, 1939)

The Idea of a Christian Society (London: Faber & Faber, 1939)

Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats (London: Faber & Faber, 1939)

(ed.) A Choice of Kipling's Verse (London: Faber & Faber, 1941)

Four Quartets (London: Faber & Faber, 1944)

Notes Towards the Definition of Culture (London: Faber & Faber, 1948)

The Cocktail Party: A Comedy (London: Faber & Faber, 1950)

Poetry and Drama...The Theodore Spencer Memorial Lecture, Harvard University, November 21, 1950 (London: Faber & Faber, 1951)

The Three Voices of Poetry (London: Cambridge University Press, 1953)

The Confidential Clerk: A Play (London: Faber & Faber, 1954)

The Frontiers of Criticism...A Lecture Delivered at the University of Minnesota Williams Arena on April 30, 1956 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 1956)

On Poetry and Poets (London: Faber & Faber, 1957)

The Elder Statesman: A Play (London: Faber & Faber, 1959)

To Criticize the Critic, and Other Writings (London: Faber & Faber, 1965)

The Letters of T. S. Eliot, ed. by Valerie Eliot, Vol. 1, 1898-1922 (London: Faber, 1988)

Date of birth: 
26 Sep 1888

Mulk Raj Anand, Clive Bell, Roger Fry, Mark Gertler, Aldous Huxley, D. H. Lawrence, Katherine Mansfield, Lady Ottoline Morrell, Bertrand Russell, Nikhil Sen, Lytton Strachey, Purohit Swami, M. J. Tambimuttu, Leonard Woolf, Virginia Woolf.

Contributions to periodicals: 

'A Sceptical Patrician', Athenaeum 46.7 (1919), pp. 361-2

Secondary works: 

Ackroyd, Peter, T. S. Eliot (London: Hamilton, 1984)

Aiken, Conrad, Ushant: An Essay (New York: Duell, Sloan & Pearce, 1952; Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1952)

Anand, Mulk Raj, Conversations in Bloomsbury (London: Wildwood House, 1981) 

Browne, Elliott Martin, The Making of T. S. Eliot's Plays (London: Cambridge University Press, 1969)

Bush, Ronald, 'Eliot, Thomas Stearns (1888-1965)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004) []

Bush, Ronald, T. S. Eliot: A Study in Character and Style (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984) 

Gallup, Donald Clifford, A Bibliographical Check-List of the Writing of T. S. Eliot (London: Faber & Faber, 1952)

Gordon, Lyndall, Eliot's New Life (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988)

Gordon, Lyndall, T. S. Eliot's Early Years (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977)

Hall, D., 'The Art of Poetry: I, T. S. Eliot', Paris Review 21 (1959), pp. 47-70

Howarth, Herbert, Notes on Some Figures Behind T. S. Eliot (London: Chatto & Windus, 1965)

Jain, Manju, T. S. Eliot and American Philosophy: The Harvard Years (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993)

Julius, Anthony, T. S. Eliot, Anti-Semitism and Literary Form (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995)

Kenner, Hugh, The Invisible Poet: T. S. Eliot (London: W. H. Allen, 1960)

Kenner, Hugh, T. S. Eliot: A Collection of Critical Essays (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1962)

Levy, William Turner, Affectionately, T. S. Eliot: The Story of a Friendship, 1947-1965 (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1968)

March, Richard and Tambimuttu, M. J., T. S. Eliot: A Symposium edited by Tambimuttu and Richard March (London: Editions Poetry London, 1948) 

Matthews, Thomas Stanley, Great Tom: Notes Toward the Definition of T. S. Eliot (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1974)

Mayer, John T., T. S. Eliot's Silent Voices (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989)

Moody, A. David, The Cambridge Companion to T. S. Eliot (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994)

Pound, Ezra, The Selected Letters of Ezra Pound, 1907-1941 (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1950)

Raine, Craig, In Defence of T. S. Eliot (London: Picador, 2000)

Raine, Craig, T. S. Eliot (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006)

Ricks, Beatrice, T. S. Eliot: A Bibliography of Secondary Works (Metuchen, NJ, and London: Scarecrow Press, 1980)

Ricks, Christopher, T. S. Eliot and Prejudice (London: Faber & Faber, 1988)

Sencourt, Robert, T. S. Eliot: A Memoir (London: Garnstone Press, 1971)

Shivpuri, Jagdish, Six Modern English Poets (New Delhi: S. Chand & Co., 1973)

Soldo, John Joseph Daniel, The Tempering of T. S. Eliot, 1888-1915 (Harvard University Press, 1972)

Spender, Stephen, Eliot (London: Fontana, 1975)

Tate, John Orley Allen, T. S. Eliot: The Man and His Work (London: Chatto & Windus, 1967)

Tomlin, E. W. F., T. S. Eliot: A Friendship (London: Routledge, 1988)

Tratner, Michael, Modernism and Mass Politics: Joyce, Woolf, Eliot, Yeats (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1995)

Woolf, Virginia, The Diary of Virginia Woolf, vol. 2, 1920-1924, ed. by Anne Olivier Bell and Andrew MacNeillie (London: Hogarth Press, 1978)

Archive source: 

MSS and letters, Boston Public Library, Massachusetts

MSS and letters, Olin Library, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

Correspondence, literary MSS and papers, Houghton Library, Harvard University

MSS and letters, Huntington Library, San Marino, California

Correspondence, literary MSS and papers, King's College Archive Centre, Cambridge

Papers, Magdalene College, Cambridge

Letters, Merton College, Oxford

Papers, Milton Academy Library, Massachusetts

Literary MSS and papers, New York Public Library

MSS and letters, Princeton University Library, New Jersey

Correspondence and literary MSS, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas

Eliot family papers, Reed College, Oregon

MSS and letters, E. H. Butler Library, State University of New York, Buffalo

Papers relating to the Moot, University of London

Correspondence relating to trial of Lady Chatterley's Lover, University of Bristol

MSS and letters, University of Chicago Library

Papers, University of Maryland

Correspondence, Mcpherson Library, University of Victoria

Letters to A. D. Lindsay, Balliol College, Oxford

Correspondence with G. K. Chesterton, Add. MS 73195, fols. 60-69, British Library, St Pancras

Letters to S. S. Koteliansky, Add. MS 48974, British Library, St Pancras

Letters to Margaret Nason of the Bindery tea shop, dep. 9935, British Library, St Pancras

Letters to Sydney Schiff and Violet Schiff, Add. MS 52918, British Library, St Pancras

Letters to Tandy family, Manuscript Collection, British Library, St Pancras

Vivien Eliot papers, Bodleian Library, Oxford

Letters to Helen Gardner, Bodleian Library, Oxford

Correspondence with Monty Belgion, Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge

Letters to Harman Grisewood relating to David Jones, Lauinger Library, Georgetown University, Washington, DC

University Archives, Harvard University

Letters to T. Bosanquet, Houghton Library, Harvard University

Letters to E. Martin and Henzie Browne, Houghton Library, Harvard University

Conrad Aiken Papers, Huntington Library, San Marino, California

Letters to John Maynard Keynes, Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge

Letters to G. H. W. Rylands, Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge

Correspondence with Bertrand Russell, William Reedy Division of Archives and Research Collections, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario

Correspondence with John Dover Wilson, National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh

Correspondence with David Jones, National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth

John Quinn Papers, New York Public Library

Virginia Woolf Papers, New York Public Library

Emily Hale Papers, Firestone Library, Princeton University, New Jersey

Paul Elmer More Papers, Firestone Library, Princeton University, New Jersey

Allen Tate Papers, Firestone Library, Princeton University, New Jersey

Marianne Moore Collection, Rosenbach Museum, Philadelphia

Emily Hale Papers, Scripps College, California

Correspondence with Lord Clark, Tate Collection

Letters to Patricia Hutchins, Trinity College, Dublin

Correspondence with Thomas McGreevy, Trinity College, Dublin

Correspondence mainly with Maurice Reckitt, University of Sussex Special Collections

Correspondence with Leonard Woolf, University of Sussex Special Collections

Correspondence with Virginia Woolf (copies), University of Sussex Special Collections

Special Collections, University of Chicago

Ezra Pound Papers, University of Indiana

William Greenleaf Eliot Papers, Washington University, St Louis, Missouri

Ezra Pound Papers, Beinecke Library, Yale University

Osborn Collection, Beinecke Library, Yale University

Letters to William Force Stead, Beinecke Library, Yale University

Film, BBC Written Archives Centre, Reading

Film, Harvard Film Service, Harvard University

Documentary recordings, National Sound Archive, British Library

Performance recordings, National Sound Archive, British Library

Harvard College Library, Harvard University

Library of Congress, Washington, DC

City of birth: 
St Louis
Country of birth: 
United States of America
Other names: 

Thomas Stearns Eliot

Date of death: 
04 Jan 1965
Location of death: 
3 Kensington Court Gardens, London
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
03 Aug 1914
Dates of time spent in Britain: 

3 August 1914 - September 1932, June 1933-1965


3 Kensington Court Gardens, London

Grenville Place, St Stephen's Church, Gloucester Road, London

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