Laurence Binyon was a poet, critic, artist, dramatist and curator. He worked in the British Museum from 1892 till his retirement in 1933 and was instrumental in promoting Asian Art in the Museum. He was introduced to Indian literature and philosophy by the poet Manmohan Ghose. They met as schoolboys at St Paul's School, in a seventh form English class when Ghose quoted Othello in class. They became fast friends, bonding over their love for poety and Classics and admiration of Matthew Arnold. Binyon followed Ghose to Oxford in 1888 (Ghose had joined in 1887) and they were involved in producing a short selection of poems under the title of Primavera in 1890, which was among others, reviewed favourably by Oscar Wilde in the Pall Mall Gazette.
In 1910, Binyon became involved with the India Society in London, designed to promote Indian Fine Art. Binyon became friends with the art-historian Ananda Coomaraswamy, who introduced him to Rajput paintings. In June 1912, Binyon met Rabindranath Tagore at William Rothenstein's house and held an admiration for Tagore that lasted until his death. Binyon had been introduced to the work of Tagore by Manmohan Ghose who had returned to India in 1894 but maintained a correspondence for some years - providing inspiration for Binyon's poem 'Asoka' or 'The Indian Prince' in 1900. When Ghose died in 1924, his daughter, Lotika, came to England to meet Binyon and show him her father's manuscripts. This inspired Binyon to write an introductory memoir for an edition of Ghose's poems that was published in 1926 under the title Songs of Love and Death.
Shortly before the Armistice, in November 1918, Binyon met Kedar Nath Das Gupta in London. Das Gupta, a friend of Tagore's, was organizer of the Union of the East and West. He had prepared a rough translation of Sakuntala, which he wished to put on the stage; Binyon agreed to rewrite Kalidasa's play for the stage, and two performances were put on in November 1919, produced by Lewis Casson and starring Sybil Thorndike. In 1920, Binyon gave the inaugural address for the Indian Students' Union and Hostel opened in Gower Street. Another connection to India was realized through Binyon's introduction to the Indian artist, Mukul Dey's My Pilgrimages to Ajanta and Bagh (London: Thornton & Butterworth, 1925). Binyon did not manage to visit India in his lifetime, despite the desires he expressed to the Oxford Majlis society in 1929. Upon his death in 1943, the Oxford Majlis passed a resolution in honour of Binyon as a 'lifelong friend' of India.