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.

Robert Graves


Robert von Ranke Graves was born in 1895 to Alfred Perceval Graves and Amalie Elizabeth Sophie. Brought up in a literary family, Graves published his poetry in The Carthusian as early as 1911. In 1914, he was destined for St John's College, when war broke out and he was commissioned into the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. In 1916, he was badly wounded and believed to be dead, and in 1917 he was hospitalized with shell-shock. After he was decommissioned in 1919, he began studying English at St John's College, Oxford.

It was at the Lotus Club in Oxford in 1922 that Graves met Basanta Kumar Mallik, a Bengali who studied law then philosophy at Oxford. Mallik was sixteen years older than Graves but the two became close friends. They shared a commitment to truth and to morality, a discomfort with received tradition, and a search for an understanding and a resolution of the phenomenon of war. While Mallik returned to India in 1923, his philosophy had a significant impact on Graves' writing. This influence can be found in many of the poems included in the latter half of Whipperginny (1923), the 'Introductory Letter' to The Feather Bed (1923), Mock Beggar Hall (1924)and Welchman's Hose (1925). The 'M' of Graves' poem 'To "M" in India' (The Marmosite's Miscellany, 1925) refers to Mallik. The friendship soured, however, and when Mallik returned to Britain in 1936 Graves refused to meet him. The circumstances surrounding their falling out remain obscure but it is known that all references to Mallik have been expunged from editions of Graves' autobiography Good-Bye To All That subsequent to 1929.

After a brief stint as professor of English Literature at Cairo University in 1926, Graves returned to England in July 1926 where he embarked on a sexual and working relationship with Laura Riding, spending some time in Deyá, Mallorca. His writing improved and he wrote the prize-winning historical novel, I, Claudius (1934). By the end of 1934, Graves had sold the film rights for I, Claudius to Alexander Korda. It was to star Charles Laughton and Merle Oberon but the project never materialized.

Graves continued to write throughout his life and had several mistresses. In the 1950s, his reputation soared and he won several prizes, held professorships and gave talks in the United States. In the 1970s, his health started to decline and he ended his working life in 1975. He lived for another ten years until he died from heart failure on 7 December 1985 in Mallorca.

Published works: 

Over the Brazier (London: Poetry Bookshop, 1916)

Fairies and Fusiliers (1917)

Goliath and David (London: Charles Whittingham, 1917)

Country Sentiment (London: Martin Secker, 1920)

 On Poetry: Being an Irregular Approach to the Psychology of this Art (London: William Heinemann, 1922)

The Feather Bed (Richmond: L. and V. Woolf, 1923)

Whipperginny (London: Heinemann, 1923)

The Meaning of Dreams (London: Cecil Palmer, 1924)

Mock Beggar Hall (London: L. and V. Woolf, 1924)

Contemporary Techniques of Poetry: A Political Analogy (London: L. and V. Woolf, 1925)

John Kemp's Wager: A Ballad Opera (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1925)

The Marmosite's Miscellany (London: L. and V. Woolf, 1925)

My Head! My Head!: Being the History of Elisha and the Shunamite Woman; With the Histiry of Moses as Elisha Related It, and Her Questions Put to Him (London: Martin Secker, 1925)

Welchman's Hose (London: The Fleuron, 1925)

Another Future of Poetry (London: L. and V. Woolf, 1926)

Impenetrability; or, the Proper Habit of English (London: L. and V. Woolf, 1926)

The English Ballad: A Short Critical Survey (London: Ernest Benn, 1927)

Lars Porsena; or, The Future of Swearing and Improper Language (London: Kegan Paul, 1927)

Poems, 1914-1926 (London: William Heinemann, 1927)

(with Laura Riding) Survey of Modernist Poetry (London: William Heinemann, 1927)

Mrs Fisher; or, the Future of Humour (London: Kegan Paul, 1928)

Good-Bye To All That: An Autobiography (London: Jonathan Cape, 1929)

But It Still Goes On: An Accumulation (1930)

Poems, 1930-1933 (1933)

The Real David Copperfield (London: Barker, 1933)

Claudius the God and His Wife Messalina (London: Arthur Barker, 1934)

I, Claudius (London: Arthur Barker, 1934)

Lawrence and the Arabs (Jonathan Cape, 1934)

'Antigua, Penny, Puce' (Deyá, Mallorca: Seizin Press, 1936; London: Constable, 1936)

The Antigua Stamp (New York: Random House, 1937)

Collected Poems (London: Cassell, 1938)

Count Belisarius (London: Cassell, 1938)

The Long Week-End: A Social History of Great Britain, 1918-1939 (London: Faber & Faber, 1940)

No More Ghosts: Selected Poems (London: Faber & Faber, 1940)

Sergeant Lamb of the Ninth (London: Methuen, 1940)

Proceed, Sergeant Lamb (London: Methuen, 1941)

The Story of Marie Powell, Wife to Mr Milton (London: Cassell, 1943)

The Golden Fleece (London: Cassell, 1944)

Hercules, My Shipmate: A Novel (New York: Creative Age Press, 1945)

King Jesus (London: Cassell, 1946)

Poems, 1938-1945 (1946)

(with Alan Hodge) The Reader Over Your Shoulder: A Handbook for for Writers of English Prose (London: Cape, 1947)

Collected Poems (1948)

The White Goddess: A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth (1948)

The Common Asphodel: Collected Essays on Poetry, 1922-1949 (1949)

The Islands of Unwisdom (Garden City: Doubleday, 1949)

Seven Days in New Crete: A Novel (London: Cassell, 1949)

Occupation: Writer (New York: Creative Age Press, 1950)

The Nazarene Gospel Restored (London: Cassell, 1953)

Majorca Observed (London: Cassell, 1954)

Adam's Rib and Other Anomalous Elements in the Hebrew Creation Myth (Clairvaux: Trianon Press, 1955)

The Crowning Privilege (London: Cassell, 1955)

The Greek Myths, Vols 1 & 2 (London: Penguin, 1955)

Homer's Daughter (London: Cassell, 1955)

Catacrok! Mostly Stories, Mostly Funny (London: Cassell, 1956)

(ed.) English and Scottish Ballads (London: William Heinemann, 1957)

Jesus in Rome: A Historical Conjecture (London: Cassell, 1957)

Five Pens in Hand (Garden City: Doubleday, 1958)

Collected Poems, 1959 (London: Cassell, 1959)

The Growing Privilege: Collected Essays on Poetry (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1959)

Food for Centaurs: Stories, Talks, Critical Studies, Poems (Garden City: Doubleday, 1960)

Greek Gods and Myths (Garden City: Doubleday, 1960)

More Poems (London: Cassell, 1961)

Myths of Ancient Greece (London: Cassell, 1961)

The Big Green Book (New York: Crowell-Collier Press, 1962)

The More Deserving Cases: Eighteen Old Poems for Reconsideration (Marlborough: Marlborough College Press, 1962)

New Poems, 1962 (London: Cassell, 1962)

Oxford Addresses on Poetry (London: Cassell, 1962)

Nine Hundred Iron Chariots (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1963)

Ann at Highwood Hall (London: Cassell, 1964)

Hebrew Myths: The Book of Genesis (London: Cassell, 1964)

Man Does, Woman Is (London: Cassell, 1964)

Love Respelt (London: Cassell, 1965)

Mammon and the Black Goddess (London: Cassell, 1965)

Colophon to 'Love Respelt' (London: Rota, 1967)

Beyond Giving: Poems (London: Bernard Rota, 1969)

The Crane Bag, and Other Disputed Subjects (London: Cassell, 1969)

Advice from a Mother (London: Poem-of-the-Moth Club, 1970)

The Green-Sailed Vessel: Poems (London: Bertram Rota, 1971)

Difficult Questions, Easy Answers (London: Cassell, 1972)

The Hanged My Saintly Billy (London: Arrow Books, 1972)

At the Gate: Poems (London: Bertram Rota, 1974)

Collected Poems (London: Cassell, 1975)

An Ancient Castle (London: Peter Owen, 1980)

In Broken Images: Selected Letters of Robert Graves, 1914-1946 (London: Hutchinson, 1982)

Eleven Songs (Deyá, Mallorca: New Seizin Press, 1983)

Between Moon and Moon: Selected Letters of Robert Graves, 1946-1972 (London: Hutchinson, 1984)

Cynics and Romantics (Sidcot: Gruffyground Press, 1989)

Across the Gulf: Late Poems (Mallorca: New Seizin Press, 1992)


Graves, Robert, Good-Bye To All That: An Autobiography (London: Jonathan Cape, 1929), pp. 403-4

Date of birth: 
24 Jul 1895

Robert Graves describes Basanta Kumar Mallik's philosophy.

Contributions to periodicals: 

Basanta's philosophy was a development of formal metaphysics, but with characteristically Indian insistence on ethics. He believed in no hierarchy of ultimate values or the possibility of any unifying religion or ideology. But at the same time he insisted on the necessity of strict self-discipline in the individual in meeting every possible demand made on him from whatever quarter, and he recommended constant self-watchfulness against either dominating or being dominated by any other individual. This view of strict personal morality consistent with scepticism of social morality agreed very well with my practice.

Secondary works: 

Graves, Richard Perceval, 'Graves, Robert von Ranke (1895-1985)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford Univesity Press, 2004) []

Graves, Richard Perceval, Robert Graves: The Assault Heroic, 1895-1926 (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1986)

Graves, Richard Perceval, Robert Graves: The Years with Laura, 1926-1940 (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1990)

Graves, Richard Perceval, Robert Graves and the White Goddess, 1940-1985 (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1995)

Quinn, Patrick J., The Great War and the Missing Muse: The Early Writings of Robert Graves and Siegfried Sassoon (Selinsgrove: Susquehanna University Press, 1994; London: Associated University Presses, 1994)

Radhakrishnan, Sarvepalli, Basanta Kumar Mallik: A Garland of Homage (London: Vincent Stuart, 1961)

Sondhi, Madhuri Santanam, and Walker, Mary M., 'Basanta Kumar Mallik and Robert Graves: Personal Encounters and Processes in Socio-Cultural Thought', Gravesiana 1 (1996), pp. 109-46

Archive source: 

Correspondence and papers, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois

Papers, University of Liverpool Library

Correspondence, literary MSS and papers, University of San Francisco

Correspondence, diaries and literary MSS, University of Victoria, British Columbia

Letters to Alexander Pugh and letters to E. J. Thompson, Bodleian Library, Oxford

Correspondence with Kenneth Charles Gay, Lilly Library, Bloomington, Indiana University

Correspondence with Basil Liddell Hart, Liddell Hart Centre, King's College, London

Letters to W. S. Henry and letters to C. K. Scott Moncrief, National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh

Letters to Alun Lewis and Gweno Lewis, National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth

Letters and MSS to Edward Marsh, New York Public Library, New York

Correspondence with Edmund Blunden, University of Iowa, Iowa City

Letters to James Reeves, University of San Francisco Library

City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Other names: 

Robert von Ranke Graves

Date of death: 
07 Dec 1985
Location of death: 
Deyá, Mallorca, Spain

St John's College, Oxford


Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell was a philosopher, journalist and political campaigner. From 1890 to 1893, Russell studied mathematics at Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1914 he took up a visiting lectureship at Harvard University, where he befriended T. S. Eliot. Russell’s opposition to Britain’s participation in the First World War played a key role in his politicization. Russell supported the No-Conscription Fellowship, which led to his sacking from his lectureship at Cambridge.

In 1932, he became Chairman of the India League, presiding over meetings and regularly chairing India League events. He was heading the organization at the time of the India League’s delegation to India in the Autumn of 1932. He wrote the introduction to the delegation’s report published under the title The Condition of India. By 1938 Russell had moved away from political activism and back to philosophy and academic life, accepting a temporary lectureship in Chicago in 1938 and moving to the University of California in 1939. He remained in the United States for most of the Second World War. He returned to Britain in 1944 to take up a five-year fellowship at Trinity College, Cambridge. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1950. In 1958 he became one of the founders of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. He died in 1970.

Published works: 

German Social Democracy (London: Longmans, Green & Co. 1896)

An Essay on the Foundations of Geometry (Cambridge: University Press, 1897)

The Principles of Mathematics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1903)

Philosophical Essays (London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1910)

(with Alfred North Whitehead) Principia Mathematica , 3 vols (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1910-13)

The Problems of Philosophy (London: Williams & Norgate, 1912)

Principles of Social Reconstruction (London: Allen & Unwin, 1916)

Justice in War-Time (Chicago: Open Court, 1916)

Political Ideals (New York: The Century Co., 1917)

Mysticism and Logic and Other Essays (London: Allen & Unwin, 1917)

Proposed Roads to Freedom: Socialism, Anarchism, and Syndicalism (New York: Holt, 1919)

Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy (London: Allen & Unwin, 1919)

The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism (London: Allen & Unwin, 1920)

The Analysis of Mind (London: Allen & Unwin, 1921)

The Problem of China (London: Allen & Unwin, 1921)

(with Dora Russell) The Prospects of Industrial Civilization  (London: Allen & Unwin, 1923)

The ABC of Relativity (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner, 1925)

What I Believe (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner, 1925)

On Education, Especially in Early Childhood (London: Allen & Unwin, 1926)

The Analysis of Matter (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner, 1927)

An Outline of Philosophy (London: Allen & Unwin, 1927)

Why I Am Not a Christian (London: Watts, 1927)

Sceptical Essays (London: Allen & Unwin, 1928)

Marriage and Morals (London: Allen & Unwin, 1929)

The Conquest of Happiness (London: Allen & Unwin , 1930)

The Scientific Outlook (London: Allen & Unwin, 1931)

Education and the Social Order (London: Allen & Unwin, 1932)

Freedom and Organization, 1814–1914 (London: Allen & Unwin, 1934)

In Praise of Idleness (London: Allen & Unwin, 1935)

Religion and Science (London: Thornton Butterworth, 1935)

Which Way to Peace? (London: Jonathan Cape, 1936)

(with Patricia Russell) The Amberley Papers: The Letters and Diaries of Lord and Lady Amberley, 2 vols (London: Hogarth Press, 1937)

Power: A New Social Analysis (London: Allen & Unwin, 1938)

Human Knowledge: Its Scope and Limits (London: Allen & Unwin, 1948)

Authority and the Individual (London: Allen & Unwin, 1949)

Unpopular Essays (London: Allen & Unwin, 1950)

New Hopes for a Changing World (London: Allen & Unwin, 1951)

The Impact of Science on Society (London: Allen & Unwin, 1952)

Satan in the Suburbs and Other Stories (London: Allen & Unwin, 1953)

Human Society in Ethics and Politics (London: Allen & Unwin, 1954)

Nightmares of Eminent Persons and Other Stories (London Allen & Unwin, 1954)

Portraits from Memory and Other Essays (London: Allen & Unwin, 1956)

Logic and Knowledge: Essays 1901–1950, ed. by Robert C. Marsh (London: Allen & Unwin, 1956)

Why I Am Not A Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects, ed. by Paul Edwards (London: Allen & Unwin, 1957)

Common Sense and Nuclear Warfare (London: Allen & Unwin, 1959)

My Philosophical Development (London: Allen & Unwin, 1959)

Wisdom of the West, ed. by Paul Foulkes(London: Macdonald, 1959)

Fact and Fiction (London: Allen & Unwin, 1961)

Has Man a Future? (London: Allen & Unwin, 1961)

Unarmed Victory (London: Allen & Unwin, 1963)

War Crimes in Vietnam (London: Allen & Unwin, 1967)

The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell, 3 vols. (London: Allen & Unwin, 1967-9)

Dear Bertrand Russell...A Selection of his Correspondence with the General Public 1950-1968, ed. by Barry Feinberg and Ronald Kasrils  (London: Allen and Unwin, 1969)

Date of birth: 
18 May 1872

Horace Alexander, C. F. Andrews, H. N. Brailsford, Reginald Bridgeman, Fenner Brockway, Rajani Palme Dutt, Richard A. Harman, Agatha Harrison, G. Hicks, H. F. Horrabin, Atma S. Kamlani, Fred Landon, George Lansbury, Freda Laski, Harold Laski, D. H. Lawrence, James Marley, Leonard Matters, Krishna Menon, Syed Mohamedi, Mrs Brij Lal Nehru, S. L. Polak, A. A. Purcell, S. Radhakrishnan, Shapurji Saklatvala, Krishnarao Shelvankar, Wilfired Wellcock, Monica Whately, Tom Williams (MP), Ellen Wilkinson (MP).

Archive source: 

L/PJ/12/448, India Office Records, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

L/PJ/12/356, India Office Records, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

Correspondence with the Soceity of Authors, British Library, St Pancras

Correspondence with Rajani Palme Dutt, Labour History Archive and Study Centre, Manchester

City of birth: 
Ravenscroft, Trelleck, Monmouthshire
Other names: 

Bertrand Arthur William Russell

Date of death: 
02 Feb 1970
Location of death: 
Plas Penrhyn

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan


Sarvepalla Radhakrishnan was a writer and philosopher. He was acting President of India from 1960 and elected President in 1962 until 1967. Born in the village of Tiruttani in the Madras Presidency and educated in Madras Christian College, he taught in various universities in India and abroad. While at the University of Calcutta, Radhakrishnan was invited to give a series of lectures at Manchester College, Oxford, in 1926. He returned on a tour in 1929-30 to give the Hibbert Lectures at University College, London, and again address Manchester College. During this visit, Radhakrishnan also spoke at the Indian Students' Union in London in February 1930.

Radhakrishnan was knighted in 1931 and invited to take up the Spalding Professorship of Eastern Religions and Ethics at All Souls College, Oxford from 1936 to 1952. Radhakrishnan also served as an Indian delegate to the League of Nations during the 1930s. Radhakrishnan balanced his political career with his academic career and acted as Ambassador to the Soviet Union 1949-52 before becoming Vice-President of India. Radhakrishnan was successful in comparing eastern and western philosophies and in interpreting Indian philosophy for western audiences. His birthday is celebrated as Teachers' Day in India.

Published works: 

Basanta Kumar Mallik: A Garland of Homage from someone who knew him well (London: Vincent Stuart, 1961)

(Ed. with P. T. Raju) The Concept of Man: A Study in Comparative Philosophy (London: Allen & Unwin, 1960)

The Dhammapada (London: Oxford University Press, 1950)

East and West in Religion (London: Allen & Unwin, 1933)

Eastern Religions and Western Thoughts (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1939)

The Hindu View of Life (London: Allen & Unwin, 1927)

An Idealist View of Life (London: Allen & Unwin, 1932)

Indian Philosophy (London: Allen & Unwin, 1929)

Is This Peace? (Bombay: Hind Kitabs, 1945)

Mahatma Gandhi: Essays and Reflections on his Life and Work (London: Allen & Unwin, 1939)

The Philosophy of Rabindranath Tagore (London: Macmillan, 1918)

The Philosophy of the Upanishads, with a foreword by Rabindranath Tagore (London: Allen & Unwin, 1924)

The Principal Upanishads (London: Allen & Unwin, 1953)

Religion and Society (London: Allen & Unwin, 1948)

Religion in a Changing World (London: Allen & Unwin, 1967)

The Religion We Need (London: E. Benn, 1928)

Date of birth: 
05 Sep 1888
Secondary works: 

Copley, Antony R. H., ‘Radhakrishnan, Sir Sarvepalli (1888–1975)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2008) []

Gopal, Sarvepalli, Radhakrishnan: A Biography (London: Unwin Hyman, 1989)

Murty, K. Satchidananda, and Vohra, Ashok, Radhakrishnan: His Life and Ideas (New York: State University of New York Press, 1990)

Archive source: 

National Archives of India, New Delhi

Current Affairs Footage, National Film and Television Archive, British Film Institute, London

Involved in events: 
City of birth: 
Madras Presidency
Country of birth: 


All Souls College Oxford, OX1 4AL
United Kingdom
51° 43' 26.2992" N, 1° 16' 30.414" W
Date of death: 
16 Apr 1975
Location of death: 
Madras, India
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
01 Jan 1926
Precise 1st arrival date unknown: 
Dates of time spent in Britain: 

1926, 1929-30, 1936-52

Tags for Making Britain: 

Basanta Kumar Mallik


Basanta Mallik was a significant twentieth-century Indian philosopher who followed his studies in philosophy at the University of Calcutta (BA, 1902; MA, 1903) with a period as a student then academic at the University of Oxford. Mallik began his time at Oxford as a law student, gaining a BA in Jurisprudence in 1916; he went on to complete a Certificate in Physical and Cultural Anthropology (1918) and a Diploma in Anthropology (1919). His studies at Oxford were sponsored by the Prime Minister of Nepal (Mallik worked initially as a tutor for his sons but later took up many government roles, especially in foreign affairs). Unable to return home after the First World War broke out, he resumed his first love, philosophy, getting agreement from his patrons to begin a BLitt (PhD).

Able to remain in Oxford, he became part of closely knit group of friends and frequently visited Robert Bridges at Boar’s Hill. He met Robert Graves at a Lotus Club dinner in 1922 and significantly influenced the poet’s early work. Graves treated him as a mentor and was fascinated with his metaphysical and philosophical meditations on breaking down conflict, violence and the clash of civilizations. Traces of this influence are evident in Graves’s early work, in collections such as Mock Beggar Hall, appealing to the pacifist interests of the Hogarth Press and Leonard Woolf. Mallik also established close friendships with T. E. Lawrence, Sydney Lewis and Sam Harries who met up at Boar’s Hill or in Mallik’s Oxford rooms. He was active in the Lotus Club and was friends with many other Indians in Oxford. His ideas attempted to bridge philosophical debates drawn from ‘East’ and ‘West’; Mallick, like others of his generation, was widely read in both traditions. His belief that the effect of British rule in India had made untenable the concepts of equality and freedom on which humanist ideals were based made him an anti-imperialist, although he did not believe in violent resistance. Mallik went back to Nepal in 1923 and then to Calcutta. He returned to Oxford in 1938 where he continued to write, lecture and publish until his death in 1958.

The friendship with Graves is recorded in the first edition of Robert Graves’s autobiography, published in 1929, Goodbye to All That. Graves and his family cut off the close relations with Mallik soon after he returned to Nepal in 1923 and once Graves had decided not to follow him there with others of the group. Graves deletes all references to Mallik in later editions of his autobiography (see Sondhi and Walker on the complexities of this relationship).

Published works: 

The Individual and the Group: An Indian Study in Conflict (London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd, 1939)

The Real and the Negative (London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd, 1940)

Gandhi - A Prophecy (Oxford: Hall the Publisher, 1948)

Related Multiplicity (Oxford: Hall the Publisher, 1952)

The Towering Wave (London: Vincent Stuart Publishers Ltd, 1953)

Non Absolutes (London: Vincent Stuart Publishers Ltd, 1956)

Mythology and Possibility (London: Vincent Stuart Publishers Ltd, 1960)

Date of birth: 
01 Jan 1879

F. W. Bateson, Robert Bridges, R. G. Collingwood, Alfred Graves, Robert Graves, Sam Harries, E. B. Havell, T. E. Lawrence, Sydney Lewis, Winifred Lewis, Wyndham Lewis, A. D. Lindsay, Lady Ottoline Morell, King of Nepal, Harold Nicholson, Nancy Nicholson, K. M. Panikkar, H. J. Paton, Shuaib Qureshi, S. Radakrishnan, Edgell Rickward, Lady Cecilia Roberts, Wilfred Roberts, W. D. Ross, Siegfried Sassoon, Hasan Shahid Suhrawardy, Rabindranath Tagore, W. B. Yeats.

Basanta Kumar Mallik Trust, Exeter College, University of Oxford.

Contributions to periodicals: 

The Winter Owl (‘Interchange of Selves’, 3, 1923)

Precise DOB unknown: 
Secondary works: 

Lewis, Wyndham (ed.) Basanta Kumar Mallik: A Garland of Homage (London, 1961)

Sondhi, Madhuri, The Making of Peace: A Logical and Societal Framework according to Basanta Kumar Mallik (New Delhi, 1985)

Sondhi, Madhuri and Sondhi, M. L., ‘Remembering Basanta Kumar Mallik (1879-1958)’, The Round Table 301 (1987), pp. 64-73

Sondhi, Madhuri and Walker, Mary M., ‘Basanta Kumar Mallik and Robert Graves: Personal Encounters and Processes in Socio-Cultural Thought’, Gravesiana: The Journal of the Robert Graves Society 1.11 (December 1996), pp. 109-46

Involved in events: 

Development of several Majlis meetings in Oxford

Lotus Club dinner for Tagore, Randolph Hotel, Oxford, 1913

City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Current name city of birth: 


Exeter College
University of Oxford
Oxford, OX1 3DP
United Kingdom
51° 45' 32.652" N, 1° 15' 24.0048" W
Date of death: 
01 Dec 1958
Precise date of death unknown: 
Location of death: 
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
01 Jan 1912
Precise 1st arrival date unknown: 
Dates of time spent in Britain: 

1912-23, 1938-

Aubrey Menen


Aubrey Menen was a writer, essayist, broadcaster, journalist, drama critic and activist. His work explored the question of nationalism and the cultural contrast between his own Irish-Indian ancestry and his traditional British upbringing. He was born to an Irish mother and an Indian father in 1912 and was brought up in Islington, later moving to Forest Hill, south London. He studied philosophy at University College London (UCL), where he formed his own drama group, and befriended the artist Duncan Grant who introduced him to many members of the Bloomsbury Group, including John Maynard Keynes and Virginia Woolf. He persuaded H. G. Wells to allow him to adapt The Shape of Things to Come, even though Wells had already sold the rights to Alexander Korda. Korda agreed to three closed performances, which caused a sensation. At UCL he was rejected for the Rosa Morrison Bursary by the then Jewish Master of the college on the grounds that he was not of 'pure' English descent.

After graduating in 1932, Menen became the drama critic for The Bookman from 1933 to 1934. He also became involved with Krishna Menon's India League and toured the regions as a speaker. So that he would not be confused with Menon, a friend of his father's, he anglicized his name to Menen. In 1934, Menen, together with the actor Andre van Gysegham, founded the Experimental Theatre, which sought to create a politically engaging theatre in alternative performance spaces. His radical plays regularly ran into difficulties with the Lord Chamberlain and he was sued for blasphemy and obscenity for his 1934 play Genesis II. From 1937 to 1939 he worked as director of the Personalities Press Service. In April 1939 he moved to Bombay, finding work at All-India Radio. During the Second World War, he worked as a script writer and editor for propaganda broadcasts for the Government of India. He also broadcast regularly on the radio and became a leading radio personality in India. He subsequently worked for the advertising agency J. Walter Thompson's film department. In the late 1940s, after the war, he became a full-time writer. He briefly returned to Britain in the autumn 1947 to oversee the publication of The Prevalence of Witches. In 1948 he moved to Italy, to live in what he described as a space midway between India and England. He lived there until 1980. He spent his final years living in Kerala, where he died in 1989.

Menen's output was prolific and covered a variety of genres. Starting his career as a dramatist and critic, he moved to radio journalism. He authored nine novels, several travel books, autobiographical works, essays and reviews. He also published a version of The RamayanaRama Retold, which was banned in India but, despite its radical implications, performed in London amidst some controversy. His fiction is driven by a caustic satire and his essays reveal a passionate desire to break down the falsity of racial myths of 'Aryan' superiority, whether in India amongst Nairs or in Nazi Germany; a similar perspective is evident in relation to the hypocrisy of racial stereotyping in Britain. Menen expresses in his non-fiction the advantage of dual vision: born to Indian and Irish parents, brought up as a brown Englishman in Britain, and in India always a foreigner. This liminality takes on sexual dimensions throughout his autobiographical essays which reflect, despite his conversion to Catholicism, a radical homosexuality.

Published works: 

The Prevalence of Witches (London: Chatto & Windus, 1947)

The Stumbling-Stone, etc. (London: Chatto & Windus, 1949)

The Backward Bride (London: Chatto & Windus, 1950)

The Duke of Gallodora (London: Chatto & Windus, 1952)

Dead Man in the Silver Market: An Autobiographical Essay on National Pride (London: Chatto & Windus, 1954)

Rama Retold (London: Chatto & Windus, 1954)

The Abode of Love: The Conception, Financing and Daily Routine of an English Harem in the Middle of the Nineteenth Century Described in the Form of a Novel (London: Chatto & Windus, 1957) 

The Fig Tree (London: Chatto & Windus, 1959)

Rome Revealed (London: Thames & Hudson, 1960)

SheLa: A Satire (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1963)

Speaking the Language Like a Native: Aubrey Menen on Italy (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1963)

A Conspiracy of Women (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1966)

The Space Within the Heart (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1970)

Cities in the Sand (London: Thames & Hudson, 1972)

Upon this Rock (New York: Saturday Review Press, 1972)

The New Mystics and the True Indian Tradition (London: Thames & Hudson, 1974)

Fonthill: A Comedy (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1975)

(with photographs by Brian Seed) London (Amsterdam: Time-Life Books, 1976)

(with the editors of Time-Life Books and photographs by Brian Seed) Venice (Amsterdam: Time-Life Books, 1976)

Art and Money: An Irreverent History (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1980)

Date of birth: 
22 Apr 1912

Mulk Raj Anand, Z. A. Bokhari, Bertold Brecht, Marc Chagall, Kamala Das (poet and relative), Roger Fry, William Golding, Duncan Grant, Andre van Gyseghem, John Maynard Keynes, Alexander Korda, S. M. Marath, Krishna Menon, Jawaharlal Nehru, Santha Rama Rau, George Bernhard Shaw, Ernst Toller, Gore Vidal, H. G. Wells, Virginia Woolf.

Contributions to periodicals: 

The Bookman


Vanity Fair

Secondary works: 

Elias, Mohammed, Aubrey Menen, vol. 7 (Madras: Macmillan, 1985) 

Innes, C. L.,  A History of Black and Asian Writing in Britain, 2nd edn (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008)

Nasta, Susheila, Home Truths: Fictions of the South Asian Diaspora in Britain (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2002)

Ranasinha, Ruvani, South Asian Writers in Twentieth-Century Britain: Culture in Translation (Oxford: Clarendon, 2007)

Vijayan, K. B., Asvastharaya Pratibhasalikal (Kottayam: Current Books, 1995)

Archive source: 

Private papers and mss, Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, University of Boston


Involved in events: 

Campaigned for the India League as a speaker in the regions

Propaganda broadcasting during the Second World War on All-India Radio

City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Other names: 

Aubrey Menon


Charlotte Street Bloomsbury
London, W1T 4LU
United Kingdom
51° 31' 7.3416" N, 0° 8' 6.0612" W
Date of death: 
13 Feb 1989
Location of death: 
Trivandrum, India
Dates of time spent in Britain: 

1912-39, 1947-8


Islington, London; Forest Hill, London.

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