Asian Horizon


In the editorial of its inaugural edition, this short-lived periodical states its aim ‘to provide a forum for the discussion of the problems facing this new Asia and those who seek to work in harmony with the countries of the East’. Triggered by the newly independent status of Asian nations, it sought to give a voice to their peoples in order to enable western readers to gain better access to this region of the world. Asian Horizon published short fiction and poetry, essays on different areas and aspects of the continent, and book reviews. Examples include a short story titled ‘The Liar’ by Mulk Raj Anand, a poem by the London-based Aga Bashir, and essays on contemporary Pakistani fiction and an exhibition of Asian artists held in London in 1950. Produced and published in London, it included work by several contributors based in the Indian subcontinent and other parts of Asia, as well as in Britain.


Lo, Kenneth, Asian Horizon 2.4 (Spring 1950), p. 41


The extract is taken from a review of an exhibition of Asian artists sponsored and arranged by Asian Horizon and funded by D. P. Chaudhuri who founded the Asian Institute a few months previously.

Date began: 
01 Jan 1948

In the past there have been in London exhibitions of the works of individual artists from Asia. The exhibition at the Asian Institute Gallery during the third week in April was the first time that a joint exhibition had been arranged. It was quite a conglomeration of artistic works, some of no small value, as various and as wide apart as the traditions and background of Asia. During the ten days of the exhibition, it was viewed by over 1,000 people.

Neville Wallis of the ‘Observer’ described the exhibition thus: ‘…East and West meet most happily in the mysterious, decorative paintings of A. D. Thomas, an Indian Christian.’

The New Statesman reporter described his impression thus:

‘The exhibits themselves vary in quality even more than in most shows. I liked particularly a fresco by a Pakistan painter. There was distinguished work from each country. The Chinese seems to be least influenced by the tradition of the West. Even when they paint an English seaside resort it is just as Chinese as Pekin. The outstanding Indian painter is A. D. Thomas and, amongst the others, Mr. Abeyasinghe deserves to be as well known here as he is in Ceylon.’

Precise date began unknown: 
Key Individuals' Details: 

Dorothy Woodman (editor), D. P. Chaudhuri (assistant editor).

Editorial associates: Vernon Bartlett, Jack Cranmer-Byng, Maung Ohn, Hurustiati Subandrio, Poey Ungphakorn, Nguyen Van-Nhan, Chun-Chan Yeh.


That an exhibition of Asian artists was held in the metropolis – and that it was well attended – suggests a degree of receptiveness to the work of South Asian (as well as other Asian) artists on the part of the British. It is probable that this receptiveness was increasing in the wake of Indian independence. The comments by both reviewers signal an element of hybridity, or a cross-fertilization of ideas, in the work of South Asian artists in this period.


Contributors: Stanley Abeyasinghe, Mulk Raj Anand, Aga Bashir, A. S. Bokhari, A. S. Bozman, Ismat Chugtai, Chitra Fernando, Abdul Majid, Aslam Malik, Lord Pethick-Lawrence, Kenneth Lo, M. Masud, Lester Peries, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, B. Rajan, G. P. Rajaratnam, S. Raja Ratnam, Suhdir Sen, Feliks Topolski, Ranjita Sarath Chandra, Khushwant Singh, M. J. Tambimuttu, Beryl de Zoete.

Date ended: 
01 Jan 1951
Archive source: 

British Library, St Pancras

Precise date ended unknown: 
Books Reviewed Include: 

Coomaraswamy, Ananda Kentish, The Bugbear of Literacy (London: Dennis Dobson, 1949)

Gandhi, M. K. The Story of my Experiments with Truth: An Autobiography, trans. Mahadev Desai (London: Phoenix Press, 1949)

Polak, H. S. L., Brailsford, H. N. and Pethick-Lawrence, F. W., Mahatma Gandhi (London: Odhams Press, 1948)


34 Victoria Street
London, SW1H 0EU
United Kingdom

Horizon: Review of Literature and Art


Founded and edited by Cyril Connolly, with financial backing from Peter Watson (who was also its art editor), Horizon was a London-based magazine which published short fiction, essays on literature and art, and book reviews by an impressive range of contributors including W. H. Auden, George Orwell, E. M. Forster and Stephen Spender, who was also the magazine’s uncredited associate editor in its early years. Several of its contributors had connections with South Asian writers in Britain in the 1940s, and the magazine displays an awareness of the work of Indian writers in the form of numerous advertisements for their published fiction as well as for periodicals featuring their work. In spite of this, however, Horizon itself gave surprisingly little space to articles by these writers or about their work. An article on ‘Kalighat Folk Painters’ by Ajit Mookerjee, and an essay on the artist Jamini Roy by E. Mary Milford, are two of the rare exceptions to this tendency to confine itself to Euro-American literature and art.

Secondary works: 

Shelden, Michael, Friends of Promise: Cyril Connolly and the World of Horizon (London: Hamilton, 1989)

Date began: 
01 Jan 1940
Precise date began unknown: 
Key Individuals' Details: 

Cyril Connolly (editor), Stephen Spender (unofficial associate editor), Peter Watson (art editor).


W. H. Auden, George Barker, John Betjeman, Laurence Binyon, Maurice Blanchot, Elizabeth Bowen, Alex Comfort, Paul Eluard, William Empson, E. M. Forster, Lucian Freud, Barbara Hepworth, Aldous Huxley, C. E. M. Joad, Augustus John, John Lehmann, Cecil Day Lewis, Jack Lindsay, Julian Maclaren-Ross, Louis MacNeice, Henry Miller, Ajit Mookerjee, George Orwell, Ben Nicholson, Peter Quennell, Kathleen Raine, Osbert Sitwell, Dylan Thomas, Ruthven Todd.

Date ended: 
01 Jan 1950
Archive source: 

British Library, St Pancras

Precise date ended unknown: 
Books Reviewed Include: 

Fielden, Lionel, Beggar My Neighbour (London: Secker & Warburg, 1943). Reviewed by George Orwell.

Menon, Narayana, The Development of William Butler Yeats (London: Oliver & Boyd, 1942). Reviewed by George Orwell.

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

Life and Letters Today


Life & Letters Today was a monthly literary review magazine which published short fiction, essays on cultural issues, and book reviews. Several well known British literary figures, including D. H. Lawrence, Dylan Thomas and Julian Symons, contributed to the magazine. Mulk Raj Anand was a regular contributor of both fiction and reviews, and the work of several other South Asian writers based in Britain was also occasionally featured. There were three issues dedicated to Indian writing and featuring a range of short fiction and essays by writers such as Narayana Menon, S. Menon Marath, Iqbal Singh and the Ceylonese J. Vijaya-Tunga, as well as reviews of their work.


Life and Letters Today 21.20 (April 1939), pp. 3-4

Other names: 

Life and Letters (1928-35, 1946-50)

Life and Letters and the London Mercury and Bookman (1945-6)


This issue includes work by South Asian writers including Iqbal Singh, Alagu Subramaniam and J. Vijaya-Tunga.

Date began: 
01 Jun 1928

INDIAN WRITERS IN ENGLAND: Addressing members of the Indian Progressive Writers' Association at the Indian Students' Union on 19th March, Randall Swingler remarked that Indian writers faced a peculiar difficulty in this country – if they wrote well they were rejected by publishers on the ground that they wrote too well. Their success was taken as a slight to British superiority…Indian writers, like most foreign writers in England, found themselves unappreciated by publishers and literary folk in England.

Precise date began unknown: 
Key Individuals' Details: 

Editors: Desmond McCarthy (1928-34), Hamish Miles (1934), R. Ellis Roberts (1934-55), Robert Herring (1935-50).


This Indian edition of Life and Letters Today, as well as the two subsequent Indian issues, highlights a degree of success on the part of South Asians in infiltrating an established 'mainstream' British cultural product. The comments above from the editorial of the magazine suggest its awareness and sympathy with the marginalization of Indian writers in Britain. That said, contributions to the magazine by South Asians comprise, for the most part (and with some notable exceptions), short fiction located almost uniquely in India/Ceylon rather than in Britain, and short prose on Indian history/culture, often positioning their authors as cultural informers primarily.


Contributors: K. Ahmad Abbas, Mulk Raj Anand, George Barker, Nancy Cunard, Cedric Dover, Julian Huxley, D. H. Lawrence, Jack Lindsay, Sarkis Megherian, Narayana Menon, S. Menon Marath, Ajit Mookerjee, Sean O’Casey, B. Rajan, S. Rajandram, S. Raja Ratnam, Keidrych Rhys, Dorothy M. Richardson, Iqbal Singh, Osbert Sitwell, Stevie Smith, Stephen Spender, Alagu Subramaniam, Julian Symons, Dylan Thomas, Fred Urquhart, J. Vijaya-Tunga, Vernon Watkins, Francis Watson.

Date ended: 
01 Jun 1950
Archive source: 

Life & Letters Today, P.P.5939.bgf, British Library, St Pancras

Precise date ended unknown: 
Books Reviewed Include: 

Abbas, K. Ahmad, Rice. Reviewed by Oswell Blakeston.

Anand, Mulk Raj, Coolie. Reviewed by Ronald Dewsbury.

Anand, Mulk Raj, Two Leaves and a Bud. Reviewed by Stephen Spender.

Anand, Mulk Raj, Indian Fairy Tales. Reviewed by Lorna Lewis.

Bhushan, V. N. (ed.), The Peacock Lute: Anthology of Poems in English by Indian Writers. Reviewed by S. Menon Marath.

Blom, Eric, Some Great Composers. Reviewed by Narayana Menon.

Ch’ien, Hsiao, The Spinners of Silk. Reviewed by Mulk Raj Anand.

Desani, G. V., All About Mr Hatterr. Reviewed by Fred Urquhart.

Dover, Cedric, Half-Caste. Reviewed by Mulk Raj Anand.

Flaubert, Gustave, Letters (selected by Richard Rumbold). Reviewed by S. Menon Marath.

Green, Henry, Loving. Reviewed by Mulk Raj Anand.

Lawrence, T. E., Oriental Assembly. Reviewed by Mulk Raj Anand.

Menon, Narayana, The Development of William Butler Yeats. Reviewed by Mulk Raj Anand.

Motwani, Kewal, India: A Synthesis of Cultures. Reviewed by S. Menon Marath.

Nehru, Jawaharlal, Autobiography. Reviewed by Mulk Raj Anand.

Palme Dutt, R., India Today.

Poems from Iqbal, trans. by V. G. Kiernan. Reviewed by Jack Lindsay.

Rajan, B. (ed.), The Novelist as Thinker. reviewed by Hugo Manning.

Rajan B. (ed.), T. S. Eliot: A Study of his Writing. Reviewed by George Barker.

Sampson, William, Fireman Flower. Reviewed by Mulk Raj Anand.

Saroyan, William, Razzle-Dazzle. Reviewed by Mulk Raj Anand.

Shelvankar, K. S., The Problem of India. Reviewed by Mulk Raj Anand.

Silone, Ignazio, The Seed Beneath the Snow. Reviewed by Mulk Raj Anand.

Tagore, Rabindranath, Caramel Doll.

Wernher, Hilda and Singh, Huthi, The Land and the Well.

Woolf, Virginia, The Death of a Moth. Reviewed by Mulk Raj Anand.

C. L. R. James


C. L. R. James was born in Caroni, Trinidad, to Robert Alexander James and Ida Elizabeth Rudder. The family moved to Tunapuna, where James' friend Malcolm Nurse (George Padmore) lived. After graduating from Queen’s Royal College he pursued a writing career, publishing the short story ‘La Divina Pastora’ in 1927. At a similar time, he befriended the cricketer Learie Constantine, who moved to England in 1929. On his arrival in England in early 1932 James stayed with Constantine in Nelson, Lancashire, before moving to London in 1933.

James' collection of essays written for the Port of Spain Gazette shortly after his arrival in Britain (published as Letters from London, 2003) indicate his position on the fringes of the Bloomsbury Group. In London, he was invited to join the Friends of India Society and to lecture on any subject connected with the West Indies at the Indian Students’ Central Association. James also attended several meetings of the India League. He began to read the work of Marx, Lenin, Engels and Trotsky and merged his interest in black politics with Marxist theory. He joined the League of Coloured Peoples, which also had a South Asian membership at this point, and wrote for their journal The Keys. He associated with other black anti-colonialists of the time, such as George Padmore, Amy Ashwood Garvey and Ras Makonnen. As a Trotskyist, James attracted the attention of the Metropolitan Police Special Branch. A 1937 Special Branch report shows that James was a regular visitor to Balkrishna Gupta, an Indian Trotskyist who was reportedly linked to Nehru. In 1938, James was living with Ajit Mookerjee (Ajit Roy), a Trotskyist law student at LSE and friend of Gupta, on Boundary Road, London. James and Mookerjee formed the Marxist Group in 1935 and later the Revolutionary Socialist League. In 1936, James' play Toussaint L’Ouverture was staged at the Westminster Theatre with Paul Robeson in the title role. James was also the cricket reporter for the Manchester Guardian from 1933 to 1935 and the Glasgow Herald in 1936. He was a fan of cricketer Kumar Shri Ranjitsinhji and wrote about him both in his journalism and at length in his work Beyond a Boundary (1963).

In 1938, James left Britain for the United States where he stayed for the next fifteen years. In 1952, he was interned at Ellis Island for passport violations, and upon release in 1953 he went back to England before relocating to Trinidad in 1958. In 1962, he returned once again to England, settling in London for the majority of his remaining years. He died in his Brixton home on 31 May 1989.

Published works: 

(with Learie Nicholas Constantine) Cricket and I (London: Philip Allen, 1933)

The Life of Captain Cipriani: An Account of British Government in the West Indies (Nelson: Coulton & Co., Ltd, 1932)

The Case for West-Indian Self-Government (London: L. & V. Woolf, 1933)

Minty Alley: A Novel (London: M. Secker & Warburg, 1936)

World Revolution, 1917-1936: The Rise and Fall of the Communist International (London: M. Secker & Warburg, 1937)

The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution (London: Secker & Warburg, 1938)

A History of Negro Revolt (London, 1938)

Mariners, Renegades and Castaways: The Story of Herman Melville and the World We Live In (New York: C. L. R. James, 1953)

Every Cook Can Govern: A Study of Democracy in Ancient Greece (Detroit: Correspondence Publishing, 1956)

Modern Politics (Port of Spain: printed by the P. N. M. Publishing Company, 1960)

Beyond a Boundary (London: Hutchinson, 1963)

Wilson Harris: A Philosophical Approach (Port-of-Spain: University of the West Indies, 1965)

C. L. R. James, etc. (Madison, Wisconsin, 1970)

(with F. Forest and Ria Stone) The Invading Socialist Society (Detroit: Bewick Editions, 1972)

(with Grace C. Lee, and Pierre Chaulieu) Facing Reality (Detroit: Bewick/Ed, [1958] 1974)

Toussaint L’Ouverture (1936). Published as The Black Jacobins in A Time and Season: 8 Caribbean Plays, ed. by Errol Hill (Trinidad: University of the West Indies Extra-Mural Unit, 1976)

The Future in the Present: Selected Writings (London: Allison & Busby, 1977)

Nkrumah and the Ghana Revolution (London: Allison & Busby, 1977)

(with George Breitman, Edgar Keemer and others) Fighting Racism in World War II (New York and London: Pathfinder, 1980)

Notes on Dialectics: Hegel, Marx, Lenin (London: Allison & Busby, 1980)

Spheres of Existence: Selected Writings (London: Allison & Busby, 1980)

At the Rendezvous of Victory: Selected Writings (London: Allison & Busby, 1984)

(with Margaret Busby and Darcus Howe) C. L. R. James’s 80th Birthday Lectures (London: Race Today, 1984)

(with Anna Grimshaw) Cricket (London: Allison & Busby, 1986)

(with Rana Dunayevskaya and Grace Lee) State Capitalism and World Revolution (Detroit: Facing Reality, 1969)

Walter Rodney and the Question of Power (London: Race Today, 1983)

(with Anna Grimshaw) The C. L. R. James Reader (Oxford: Blackwell, 1992)

(with Anna Grimshaw and Keith Hart) American Civilization (Cambridge, MA, and Oxford: Blackwell, 1993)

(with Scott McLemee and Paul Le Blanc) C. L. R. James and Revolutionary Marxism: Selected Writings of C. L. R. James, 1939-1949 (Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press, 1994)

(with Scott McLemee) C. L. R. James on the 'Negro Question' (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1996)

(with Anna Grimshaw) Special Delivery: The Letters of C. L. R. James to Constance Webb, 1939-1948 (Oxford: Blackwell, 1996)

(with Martin Glaberman) Marxism for Our Times: C. L. R. James on Revolutionary Organization (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1999)

Letters from London: Seven Essays by C. L. R. James (Port of Spain: Prospect Press, 2003; Oxford: Signal Books, 2003)

(with David Austin) You Don’t Play with Revolution: The Montreal Lectures of C. L. R. James (Edinburgh: AK, 2009)


Bornstein, Sam and Richardson, Al, Against the Stream: A History of the Trotskyist Movement in Britain, 1924-38 (London: Socialist Platform, 1986), p. 263

Date of birth: 
04 Jan 1901

Here, the authors quote Ajit Mookerjee Roy on James' political convictions and their personal relationship.

Contributions to periodicals: 

The Keys


I had rarely come across a finer political polemicist than C. L. R. James. His attacks on Stalinism were absolutely devastating. He was then thinking in terms of building an independent Trotskyist party. I joined him readily. There was no doubt in my mind that all we had to do was to start with a clean slate. We had the answer to all the problems, and that the few of us would grow in the course of time into a mighty party. Now when I think of my faith in those days, I feel very amused.

Secondary works: 

Bogues, Anthony, Black Nationalism and Socialism (London: Socialists Unlimited for Socialists Workers’ Party, 1979)

Bogues, Anthony, Caliban’s Freedom: The Early Political Thought of C. L. R. James (London: Pluto Press, 1997)

Bornstein, Sam and Richardson, Al, Against the Stream: A History of the Trotskyist Movement in Britain, 1924-38 (London: Socialist Platform, 1986)

Buhle, Paul, C. L. R. James: His Life and Work (London: Allison & Busby, 1986)

Buhle, Paul, C. L. R. James: The Artist as Revolutionary (London: Verso, 1988)

Cudjoe, Selwyn R. and Cain, William E., C. L. R. James: His Intellectual Legacies (Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts, 1995)

Dhondy, Farrukh, C. L. R. James (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2001)

Ervin, Charles Wesley, 'Trotskyism in India: Part One: Origins Through World War Two (1935-45)', Revolutionary History 1.4 (Winter 1988-9), pp. 22-34

Farred, Grant, What’s My Name?: Black Vernacular Intellectuals (Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, 2003)

Fryer, Peter, Staying Power: The History of Black People in Britain (London: Pluto, 1984)

Grimshaw, Anna, The C. L. R. James Archive: A Reader's Guide (New York: C. L. R. James Institute and Cultural Correspondence, 1991)

Henry, Paget and Buhle, Paul, C. L. R. James's Caribbean (Durham: Duke University Press, 1992)

Howe, Stephen, 'James, Cyril Lionel Robert (1901-1989)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004) []

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

King, Nicole, C. L. R. James and Creolization: Circles of Influence (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2001)

McClendon, John H., C. L. R. James's Notes in Dialectics: Left Hegelianism or Marxism-Leninism? (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2005)

Needham, Anuradha Dingwaney, Using the Master's Tools: Resistance and the Literature of the South Asian Diasporas (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 2000)

Nielsen, Aldon Lynn, C. L. R. James: A Critical Introduction (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1997)

Nordquist, Joan, C. L. R. James: A Bibliography (Santa Cruz, CA: Reference and Research Services, 2001)

Ordaz, Martin, Home-Coming of a Famous Exile: C. L. R. James in Trinidad & Tobago (Trinidad & Tobago: Opus, 2003)

Ragoonath, Bishnu, Tribute to a Scholar: 'Appreciating C. L. R. James' (Kingston: Consortium Graduate School of Social Sciences, University of the West Indies, 1990)

Ramdin, Ron, The Making of the Black Working Class in Britain (Aldershot: Gower, 1987)

Renton, Dave, C. L. R. James: Cricket's Philosopher King (London: Has, 2007)

Rosengarten, Frank, Urbane Revolutionary: C. L. R. James and the Struggle for a New Society (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2008)

Samoiloff, Louise Cripps, C. L. R. James: Memories and Commentaries (New York and London: Cornwall Books, 1997)

Somerville, Erin D., 'James, C. L. R. (1901-1989)', in The Oxford Companion to Black British History, ed. by David Dabydeen, John Gilmore and Cecily Jones (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), pp. 232-4

Sancho, T. Anson, CLR: The Man and His Work (1976)

Scott, David, Conscripts of Modernity: The Tragedy of Colonial Enlightenment (Durham: Duke University Press, 2004)

Stephens, Michelle Ann, Black Empire: The Masculine Global Imaginary of Caribbean Intellectuals in the United States, 1914-1962 (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2005)

Worcester, Kent, C. L. R. James: A Political Biography (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1996)

Young, James, The World of C. L. R. James: The Unfragmented Vision (Glasgow: Clydeside Press, 1999)


This excerpt highlights the friendship between James and Ajit Mookerjee Roy. It is suggestive of the way in which left-wing anti-colonal political convictions linked members of different minority groups in Britain across cultural and 'racial' boundaries.

Archive source: 

'Cyril Lionel Robert James', Metropolitan Police Special Branch file, KV 2/1824, National Archives, Kew

Correspondence and papers, Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London

'C. L. R. James talks to Stuart Hall', Miras Productions, 30 April 1988, National Film and Television Archive, British Film Institute, London

'A Tribute to C. L. R. James, 1901-1989', Banding Productions, 21 June 1989, National Film and Television Archive, British Film Institute, London

Current footage affairs, National Film and Television Archive, British Film Institute, London

Documentary footage, National Film and Television Archive, British Film Institute, London

Documentary recording, National Sound Archive, British Library, London

City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Other names: 

Cyril Lionel Robert James

Date of death: 
31 May 1989
Location of death: 
Brixton, London
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
18 Mar 1932
Dates of time spent in Britain: 

March 1932 - October 1938, 1953-8, 1962-89


Boundary Road, London

Left Book Club


The Left Book Club was established in the context of the rise of fascism in Europe and the economic depression, when the need for the dissemination of left-wing politics was keenly felt among British intellectuals. It was an immediate success on its establishment, with 6,000 subscriptions after a month and a membership of 40,000 by the end of its first year. With links to the Communist Party of Great Britain, the LBC was explicit in its advocacy of a left-wing politics. It published books on a wide range of subjects, ‘from farming to Freud to air-raid shelters to Indian independence’ (Laity, p. ix), aiming for accessibility and education. The titles, many of which were newly commissioned, were sold to LBC members at discounted prices. Despite its attempts to bring politics and literature to working-class people, its activists were largely privileged men and women. The LBC organized summer schools and trips (including to the Soviet Union) and held lectures and rallies focused on political events such as the Spanish Civil War, with members also hosting local meetings to discuss the books.

Clearly espousing an anti-imperial stance, the LBC published books by Rajani Palme Dutt and Ayana Angadi, as well as by Santha Rama Rau and Bhabani Bhattacharya. In late 1936, authorities in India began to intercept Left Book Club books despatched (via the Phoenix Book Company) to members in India on the grounds that they contained ‘extremist propaganda’, and the India Office requested reports on the LBC’s activities. Evidence suggests that there were LBC Indian student discussion groups (such as the one formed by Promode Ranjan Sen Gupta, who was under government surveillance), and later an Indian Branch of the LBC, and that these groups attempted to subvert the censorship of LBC material in India. Further, in late 1937, there is evidence that Victor Gollancz, supported by Nehru, was attempting to start a Left Book Club in India in order to circumvent the ban (L/PJ/12/504, pp. 8, 10–11, 18–19). 

Published works: 

There were LBC editions of over 200 works. These include:

Attlee, Clement, The Labour Party in Perspective (1937)

Barnes, Leonard, Empire or Democracy? A Study of the Colonial Question (1939)

Bhattacharya, Bhabani, So Many Hungers! (1947)

Brailsford, H. N., Why Capitalism Means War (1938)

Brailsford, H. N., Subject India (1943)

Brockway, Fenner, German Diary, 1946

Burns, Emile, What is Marxism? (1939)

Cole, G. D. H., The People’s Front (1937)

Cripps, Stafford The Struggle for Peace (1936)

de Palencia, Isabel, Smouldering Freedom: The Story of the Spanish Republicans in Exile (1946)

Deva, Jaya (Ayana Angadi) Japan’s Kampf (1942)

Dutt, R. Palme, World Politics, 1918–36 (1936)

Dutt, R. Palme, India Today (1940)

Gollancz, Victor (ed.), The Betrayal of the Left (1941)

Horrabin, J. F., An Atlas of Empire (1937)

Koestler, Arthur, Scum of the Earth (1941)

Laski, Harold, Faith, Reason and Civilisation (1944)

Marquard, Leopold, The Black Man’s Burden (1943)

Mulgan, John (ed.), Poems of Freedom (1938)

Orwell, George, The Road to Wigan Pier (1937)

Rao, Santha Rama, Home to India (1945)

Russell, A. G., Colour, Race and Empire (1944)

Snow, Edgar, Red Star Over China (1937)

Spender, Stephen, Forward from Liberalism (1937)

Strachey, John, The Theory and Practice of Socialism (1936)

Strachey, John, Federalism or Socialism? (1940)

Webb, Sidney and Webb, Beatrice, Soviet Communism: A New Civilization (1937)

Woolf, Leonard, Barbarians at the Gate (1939)

Monthly journal: Left News


L/PJ/12/504, India Office Records, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras, p. 8

Secondary works: 

Dudley Edwards, Ruth, Victor Gollancz: A Biography (London, 1987)

Hodges, Sheila, Gollancz: The Story of a Publishing House, 1928–78 (London, 1978)

Laity, Paul (ed.), Left Book Club Anthology (London: Victor Gollancz, 2001)

Lewis, John, The Left Book Club: An Historical Record (London, 1970)


This file consists of correspondence and reports relating to the Left Book Club and its ‘Indian connections’, with information on the Britain-based Indians involved in the LBC, the connections between LBC activists and Indian anti-colonialists, and attempts to ban LBC material from entering India.

Date began: 
01 Feb 1936

A Left Book Club Discussion Group has been formed in London for Indian students, with Promode Ranjan SEN GUPTA, 7, Woburn Buildings, W.C., as secretary.

In this connection it may be stated that in the 22.5.37 issue of “Time and Tide” there was published a letter from Dharam Yash DEV. In it he protested against the censorship of books exercised by the Government of India, with particular reference to Left Book Club literature. He contended that books not normally banned in India are seized by Customs when they are imported in the L.B.C. edition.

Precise date began unknown: 
Key Individuals' Details: 

Rajani Palme Dutt (on the LBC panel of speakers), Victor Gollancz (founder and publisher), Harold Laski (commissioning editor), Sheila Lynd (worked for LBC), Betty Reid (worked for LBC), Emile Burns (on selection committee), John Strachey (instrumental in foundation of Club and commissioning editor).


This note on Indian students in Britain involved in the Left Book Club is suggestive of the way in which left-wing networks transgressed cultural and ‘racial’ boundaries, bringing Indians and Britons together in pursuit of their political ideals. The censorship of LBC material in India is further indicative of the intersection of the Communist ideals associated with the Club and the anti-colonial ideologies that were a threat to the Government of India. The protest against this censorship by Indians in Britain emphasizes the importance of Britain as a site of anti-colonial activism by South Asians.


Ayana Angadi (Jaya Deva) (his Japan’s Kampf was an LBC book), Bhabani Bhattacharya (his So Many Hungers! was an LBC book), Miss Bonnerji (Indian branch of the LBC), Amiya Bose (Indian branch of the LBC), Ben Bradley, Stafford Cripps (instrumental in foundation of Club), Dharam Yash Dev (wrote a letter in the 22/5/37 issue of Time and Tide protesting against the Government of India censorship of LBC books), Promode Ranjan Sen Gupta (organized a Left Book Club discussion group for Indian students in London), Mahmud-us-Zaffar Khan (Nehru’s personal secretary – liaised with Gollancz in relation to his attempt to set up an LBC in India), Cecil Day Lewis (spoke at LBC meetings), Jawaharlal Nehru (supported Gollancz’s attempts to set up an LBC in India), George Orwell (his The Road to Wigan Pier and Homage to Catalonia were LBC books), Sylvia Pankhurst (spoke at LBC meetings), Santha Rama Rau (her Home to India was an LBC book), Paul Robeson (spoke at LBC meetings), Ellen Wilkinson (supporter of the LBC).

Date ended: 
01 Jan 1948
Archive source: 

L/PJ/12/504, India Office Records, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

Papers of Sir Victor Gollancz, Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick

Precise date ended unknown: 


Henrietta Street
London, WC2E 8PW
United Kingdom
Involved in events details: 

LBC national rally, Royal Albert Hall, London, February 1937

Conference on civil liberties in India, London, 17 October 1937

Lawrence & Wishart


Lawrence & Wishart is a London-based publishing company. It was formed in 1936 through the merger of the Communist Party’s official publisher, Martin Lawrence, and the liberal and anti-fascist family-owned publisher Wishart. From its foundation, it specialized in publishing left-wing political fiction, drama and poetry, as well as non-fiction such as working-class histories and the works of Karl Marx, in the context of the economic depression, and the rise of fascism and the Second World War. It also produced the bi-annual literary anthology New Writing. After the War, it went on to publish early work by renowned leftist scholars including Eric Hobsbawm and Edward Thompson, and to translate the work of Antonio Gramsci.

In 1935, Wishart had published Mulk Raj Anand’s novel The Untouchable after it was rejected by some nineteen publishing houses. Its acceptance by Wishart was no doubt in part a product of the novel’s endorsement by E. M. Forster. Two of Anand’s subsequent novels were then taken on by Lawrence & Wishart, as was the work of Indian Communist Rajani Palme Dutt’s, whose brother Clemens translated work by Marx and Engels for the firm.

Published works: 

A selection of works published from 1936 to 1950:

Anand, Mulk Raj, Coolie (1936)

Anand, Mulk Raj, Two Leaves and a Bud (1937)

Beauchamp, Joan, Women Who Work (1937)

Britain Without Capitalists (1936)

Caudwell, Christopher, Illusion and Reality (1946)

Chen, Jack, Japan and the Pacific Theatre of War (1942)

Cornforth, Maurice, Science versus Idealism (1946)

Dutt, Rajani Palme, Britain in the World Front (1942)

Dutt, Rajani Palme, Britain’s Crisis of Empire (1950)

Engels, Friedrich, Dialectics of Nature, trans. Clemens Palme Dutt, preface by J. D. S. Haldane (1940)

Fox, Ralph, France Faces the Future (1936)

Gorky, Maksim, Culture and the People (1939)

Haldane, J. B. S., Science and Everyday Life (1939)

Klingender, Francis Donald, Marxism and Modern Art (1943)

Kuczynski, Jurgen, Hunger and Work: Statistical Studies (1938)

Lenin, V. I., Selected Works (1936-8)

Lenin, V. I., What is to be Done? (1944)

Lenin, V. I., Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism (1948)

Lindsay, Jack, A Handbook of Freedom (1939)

Marx, Karl, Selected Works, ed. by Clemens Palme Dutt (1942)

Marx, Karl and Engels, Friedrich, Selected Correspondence, 1846-1895 (1941)

Marx, Karl and Engels, Friedrich, The Communist Manifesto [1933] (1948)

Pollitt, Harry, Serving My Time (1940)

Reeves, Joseph, A History of Rochdale Cooperation, 1844-1944 (19434)

Slater, Montagu, New Way Wins (1937)

Stalin, Joseph, Foundations of Leninism (1940)

Stalin, Joseph, Marxism and the National and Colonial Question (1947)

Wolton, Douglas G., Whither South Africa? (1947)

Date began: 
01 Jan 1936
Precise date began unknown: 

Mulk Raj Anand, Clemens Palme Dutt, Rajani Palme Dutt, Friedrich Engels, E. M. Forster, Ralph Fox, J. B. S. Haldane, V. I. Lenin, Jack Lindsay, Karl Marx, Harry Pollitt, Montagu Slater, Joseph Stalin.

Penguin Books


Originally an imprint of the publishing firm Bodley Head, Penguin Books was established by Allen Lane in 1935 and pioneered the paperback book, bringing affordable fiction and non-fiction to the British public.

V. K. Krishna Menon worked as general editor on the Pelican list from its inception in 1936 until 1938. Accounts of the extent and nature of his involvement in this non-fiction imprint vary, but it is generally acknowledged that he played a significant part in its establishment. In a 1967 history of the company, Victor Weybright describes Menon visiting Lane in the crypt (Penguin’s first premises) with written permission from Bernard Shaw for Penguin to publish a paperback edition of his Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Socialism. Lane, who had, by coincidence, just overheard a customer in a shop mistakenly referring to a Penguin as a ‘Pelican’ and been struck by the appeal of this as an additional brand name, immediately decided to publish Shaw’s work as the first title of the brand-new Pelican list. Appointing Menon as general editor, Lane also asked the economist H. L. Beales and W. E. Williams, Secretary of the British Institute for Adult Education, to join the team as editorial advisors. The list, which consisted of paperback editions of existing titles as well as original titles, crossed disciplinary boundaries, extending from art to history to politics to science, and included work by eminent writers and scholars such as H. G. Wells, Harold Laski, Roger Fry, Leonard Woolf, Clive Bell and Sigmund Freud.

Correspondence between Menon and Lane throughout 1938 documents the gradual deterioration of the relationship between the two men and the eventual ejection of Menon from the company in December 1938. Penguin published K. S. Shelvankar’s controversial The Problem of India in 1941. Fiercely critical of the colonial government in India and considered to be dangerously polemical, the book was banned in India. Mulk Raj Anand’s Untouchable and Coolie were published in paperback by Penguin in 1940 and 1945, respectively, and in 1944 a second edition of US-based Indian author Dham Gopal Mukerji’s award-winning Gay-Neck was published by Puffin Story Books.

Published works: 

The first 30-40 titles of the Pelican list were edited by V. K. Krishna Menon. These are:

Allen, F. L., Only Yesterday (1)

Allen, F. L., Only Yesterday (2)

Bell, Clive, Civilization

Cole, G. D. H., Practical Economics

Cole, G. D. H., Socialism in Evolution

Crowther, J. G., An Outline of the Universe (1)

Crowther, J. G., An Outline of the Universe (2)

Dobree, Bonamy and Manwaring, G. E., The Floating Republic

Fabre, J. H., Social Life in the Insect World

Freud, Sigmund, Psychopathology of Everyday Life

Fry, Roger, Vision and Design

Haldane, J. B. S., The Inequality of Man

Halevy, Elie, A History of the English People in 1815 (1)

Halevy, Elie, A History of the English People in 1815 (2)

Halevy, Elie, A History of the English People in 1815 (3)

Harrison, G. B. (ed.), A Book of English Poetry: Chaucer to Rossetti

Harrison, G. B., Introducing Shakespeare

Huxley, Julian, Essays in Popular Science

Huxley Julian, et al., We Europeans

Jeans, James, The Mysterious Universe

Lambert, R. S., Art in England

Laski, Harold, Liberty in the Modern State

Massingham, H. J. and Hugh (eds), The Great Victorians (1)

Perry, W. J., The Growth of Civilization

Power, Eileen, Medieval People

Shaw, George Bernard, The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Socialism, Capitalism and Sovietism (1)

Shaw, George Bernard, The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Socialism, Capitalism and Sovietism (2)

Stapledon, Olaf, Last and First Men

Sullivan, J. W. N., Limitations of Science

Sullivan, J. W. N., The Bases of Modern Science

Tawney, R. H., Religion and the Rise of Capitalism

Webb, Beatrice, My Apprenticeship

Wells, H. G., A Short History of the World (reissued in Pelican after appearing in Penguin series)

Whitehead, A. N., Science and the Modern World

Woolf, Leonard, After the Deluge

Woolley, Leonard, Digging up the Past

Woolley, Leonard, Ur of the Chaldees

Titles by South Asian writers published by Penguin are:

Anand, Mulk Raj, Untouchable (Penguin, 1940; first published by Lawrence & Wishart, 1935)

Anand, Mulk Raj, Coolie (Penguin, 1945; first published by Lawrence & Wishart, 1936)

Mukerji, Dham Gopal, Gay-Neck (Puffin Story Books, 1944; first published by J. M. Dent, 1928)

Shelvankar, K. S., The Problem of India (Penguin Specials, 1940)


Letter from Mulk Raj Anand to Mr Maynard of Penguin, dated 20 October 1940, Penguin Books Archive, University of Bristol

Secondary works: 

Edwards, Russell and Hare, Steve (eds), Pelican Books: A Sixtieth Anniversary Celebration (Miscellany 12, Penguin Collectors' Society, 1997)

George, T. J. S., Krisha Menon: A Biography (London: Jonathan Cape, 1963)

Hare, Steve (ed.), Penguin Portrait: Allen Lane and the Penguin Editors, 1935-1970 (London: Penguin, 1995)

Lewis, Jeremy, Penguin Special: The Life and Times of Allen Lane (London: Penguin, 2005)

Penguin Books, Penguins Progress, 1935-60 (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1960)

Weybright, Victor, The Making of a Publisher (London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1968)


The editorial files of Anand's Untouchable contain letters between the author and Penguin staff, suggesting a good relationship with Allen Lane and Eunice Frost. Anand's view of the political function of literature is evident from some of the content of the correspondence, as is his involvement with a range of literary and cultural projects and events in Britain.

Date began: 
01 Aug 1935

Italics seem, from my experience, to confuse the English reader and to increase the gulf between him and my alien subject matter, when all my efforts are calculated to show, not how queer the Indians are but how human and like everyone else, in spite of these particular horrors.

Precise date began unknown: 
Key Individuals' Details: 


Anand's request for Penguin to romanize the foreign words in his novel is a strikingly early example of an editorial debate more commonly associated with the late twentieth century. His rationale for this request underlines his belief in the social and political function of literature.


Mulk Raj Anand, H. L. Beales, Clive BellBonamy Dobree, Sigmund Freud, Eunice Frost, Roger Fry, H. B. S. Haldane, Allen Lane, Harold Laski, Ethel Mannin, Aubrey Menen, V. K. Krishna Menon, Peter Chalmers Mitchell, Dham Gopal Mukerji, Bernard Shaw, K. S. Shelvankar, Beatrice Webb, H. G. Wells, Leonard Woolf, W. E. Williams.

Archive source: 

Penguin Books Archive, University of Bristol


All Souls Church
Langham Place
London, W1B 3DA
United Kingdom

Hogarth Press


The Hogarth Press was founded by Leonard and Virginia Woolf in March 1917 in their house (Hogarth House) in Richmond, London. They published their first pamphlet in July of that year. It consisted of two short stories, Virginia's 'The Mark on the Wall' and Leonard's 'Three Jews'. The pamphlet was sold by subscription only, a practice that continued until 1923. Soon the Press went on to publish Katherine Mansfield's 'Prelude', Virginia's Kew Gardens and T. S. Eliot's Poems; James Joyce's Ulysses, however, was turned down. In 1922 the Woolfs published their first full-length book, Virginia's Jacob's Room, and in 1923 T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land, before moving the Press to the basement of their house in Tavistock Square. In 1924, at the suggestion of their friend James Strachey, the Press agreed to publish Freud's collected papers.

In 1929, Hogarth published G. S. Dutt's A Woman of India: Being the Life of Saroj Nalini (Founder of the Women's Institute Movement in India), with a foreword by Rabindranath Tagore. During the 1930s, the Press grew immensely popular and assistants were brought in. Among them was John Lehmann who edited the anthology New Signatures (1932) which included poems by W. H. Auden, Julian Bell, C. Day Lewis, Richard Eberhart, William Empson and Stephen Spender. In 1938, Lehmann edited the collection New Series to which the writer Mulk Raj Anand contributed in autumn 1938. Also that year, Hogarth published Rajani Palme Dutt's The Political and Social Doctrine of Communism. In 1940, Ahmed Ali's Twilight in Delhi was published, and Lehmann edited the Folios of New Writing which also contained writing by Ali.

The Hogarth Press continued to grow under Lehmann who became a partner after Virginia's death in 1941. Disagreements between Leonard Woolf and John Lehmann eventually led to Woolf buying Lehmann out by selling Lehmann's half share to Chatto & Windus. The Hogarth Press then became a subsidiary of Chatto & Windus and was eventually bought by Random House UK.

Published works: 

Below is a selection of published works by South Asians:

Ali, Ahmed, 'Morning in Delhi', in Folios of New Writing, ed. by John Lehmann (1940), pp. 137-51

Ali, Ahmed, Twilight in Delhi (1940)

Anand, Mulk Raj, 'Duty', in New Writing, New Series, ed. by John Lehmann (1938), pp. 208-12

Hsiao Ch'ien, 'The New China Turns to Ibsen', in Daylight: European Arts and Letters Yesterday: Today: Tomorrow (1941), pp. 167-74

Dutt, G. S., A Woman of India: Being the Life of Saroj Nalini (Founder of the Women's Institute Movement in India) (1929)

Dutt, Rajani Palme, The Political and Social Doctrine of Communism (1938)

Secondary works: 

Kennedy, Richard, A Boy at the Hogarth Press (London: The Whittington Press, 1972) 

Lehmann, John, Thrown to the Woolfs (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1978) 

Rhein, Donna E., The Handprinted Books of Leonard and Virginia Woolf at the Hogarth Press, 1917-1932 (Ann Arbor: UMI Research, 1985) 

Rosenbaum, S. P., Leonard and Virginia Woolf at the Hogarth Press (Austin, Texas: College of Liberal Arts, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin, 1995)

Spater, George, and Parsons, Ian, A Marriage of True Minds: An Intimate Portrait of Leonard and Virginia Woolf (London: Cape, 1977; London: Hogarth Press, 1977)

Virginia Woolf and the Hogarth Press: From the Collection of William Beekman, Exhibited at the Grolier Club (New York: Grolier Club, 2004)

Willis, John H., Leonard and Virginia Woolf as Publishers: The Hogarth Press, 1917-41 (Charlottesville and London: University Press of Virginia, 1992)

Woolf, Leonard, Beginning Again: An Autobiography of the Years 1911-1918 (London: Hogarth Press, 1964)

Woolf, Leonard, Downhill all the Way: An Autobiography of the Years 1919-1939 (London: Hogarth Press, 1967)

Woolf, Leonard, The Journey Not the Arrival Matters: An Autobiography of the Years 1939-1969 (London: Hogarth Press, 1969)

Woolf, Leonard, Letters of Leonard Woolf, ed. by Frederic Spotts (San Diego: Brace Harcourt Jovanovich, 1989)

Woolf, Virginia, The Diary of Virginia Woolf, 5 vols, ed. by Anne Olivier Bell and Andrew McNeillie (London: Hogarth Press, 1977-1984)

Woolf, Virginia, The Letters of Virginia Woolf, 6 vols, ed. by Nigel Nicolson and Joanne Trautmann (London: Hogarth Press, 1975-1980) 

Woolmer, James Howard, A Checklist of the Hogarth Press, 1917-1938 (London: Hogarth Press, 1976)

Woolmer, James Howard, A Checklist of the Hogarth Press, 1917-1946 (Winchester: St Paul's Bibliographies, 1986)

Date began: 
01 Mar 1917
Precise date began unknown: 
Key Individuals' Details: 

John Lehmann (editor and later partner), Leonard Woolf (founder), Virginia Woolf (founder).

Archive source: 

Correspondence between Leonard Woolf and John Lehmann, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas, Austin

Correspondence between Leonard Woolf and John Lehmann, Victoria College Library, University of Toronto

Papers, University of Reading

Papers, University of Sussex


37 Mecklenburgh Square
London, WC1N 2AF
United Kingdom
52 Tavistock Square
London, WC1H 9HB
United Kingdom
Hogarth House
Paradise Road
Richmond, SW9 1SA
United Kingdom
Tags for Making Britain: 

New India Publishing Co


Relatively little is known about this publishing venture. It is probable that it was founded by D. P. Chaudhuri who was also deputy editor of Asian Horizon (1948-1950). Mulk Raj Anand and Iqbal Singh were the editors of one of its few known outputs, Indian Short Stories (1946). Its other outputs include an anthology of poems by Indians in English, including work by Manmohan Ghose, Sarojini Naidu and G. K. Chettur, and a translation of Tagore's Farewell, My Friend. The founding editors of the company were keen that there should be a publisher of work by Indians in London that was actually run by Indians - and that Indians should be interpreting and evaluating the 'West' for their fellow countrymen, as well as interpreting the 'East' for Britons and the 'West'. They aimed for as wide a range of work on Indian culture and civilization as possible, incorporating all 'fields of thought' represented by both established and younger Indian writers, as well as by Chinese, 'Persian' and 'Arabian' writers.

Published works: 

Anand, Mulk Raj and Singh, Iqbal (eds), Indian Short Stories (1946)

Gangulee, Nagendranath, Sher Shah: The Bengal Tiger (1946)

Kabir, Humayun, Men and Rivers (1947)

Kabraji, Fredoon (ed.), This Strange Adventure: An Anthology of Poems in English by Indians, 1828-1946 (1947)

Tagore, Rabindranath, Farewell, My Friend, trans. by K. R. Kripalani (1949)


Programme of the New India Publishing Company Limited, endpapers of Anand, Mulk Raj and Singh, Iqbal (eds), Indian Short Stories (1946)


This is the manifesto of the company, stating its objectives and its scope.

Date began: 
01 Jan 1946

For a long time past there has been felt the need of an Indian Publishing House in London organised by Indians. There are Indian organisations in Great Britain which issue from time to time pamphlets, leaflets and news bulletins, but these are for the most part of ephemeral character. These efforts should be supplemented by literature of permanent value written by Indians on various aspects of Indian culture, civilization and particularly on modern trends of thought in relation to Indian renaissance.

But the basis of free and creative cooperation between India and the Western world cannot be securely established without a closer understanding of all progressive movements outside India, the development of which should be interpreted by Indians themselves. In other words, there should be ample facilities not only for the interpretation of Indian problems for the West by Indians but also for their own critical evaluation of the West for the East. Only by such two-way traffic of disseminating ideas can we achieve a definite synthesis between them.

Precise date began unknown: 
Key Individuals' Details: 

Mulk Raj Anand (editor of Indian Short Stories), D. P. Chaudhuri (founding editor), Enid Furlonger (illustrator of Sher Shah), Nagendranath Gangulee (author of Sher Shah, resident in London in 1945), Fredoon Kabraji (editor of This Strange Adventure), Iqbal Singh (editor of Indian Short Stories).


This passage from the manifesto is evidence of the assertiveness of the Indian writers involved in the foundation of this company. Their emphasis on the need for a publishing house in Britain run by Indians is suggestive of a perception of their status in Britain as equal, endowing them with the right to compete with British publishers on British soil. Indeed their clear advocacy of 'free and creative cooperation between Britain and the Western world', and of the need for 'Indian themselves' to interpret 'progressive movements' and other events in the West, further underlines their understanding of the relationship between India and Britain as one of equals, forged by a 'two-way' dissemination of ideas.

Date ended: 
01 Jan 1950
Precise date ended unknown: 


17 Irving Street Leicester Square
London, WC2H 7AU
United Kingdom


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