Lawrence Durrell


Lawrence George Durrell was born in Jullundur, Punjab, India, in 1912 to Lawrence Samuel Durrell and Louisa Florence Dixie, both of whom were also born in India.

In 1923, the family relocated to England where Durrell attended St Olave's and St Saviour's in Southwark before going to St Edmund's College, Canterbury, which he left in 1927. He despised the gloom of London and longed for the security of colonial superiority in India. After his father's death in 1928, he assumed a bohemian lifestyle in London, and attempted to make a name for himself as a poet.

Durrell's first book of poems, Quaint Fragment, was published in 1931, but it was not until the publication of his novel The Black Book in 1938 that he gained some recognition. He befriended other writers such as Henry Miller, Anais Nin, T. S. Eliot and Dylan Thomas. In late 1938, Durrell arranged a dinner for Eliot and Miller which was also attended by M. J. Tambimuttu; Durrell entertained his guests with songs, one of which he dedicated to Tambimuttu. Durrell also contributed to the first issue of Tambimuttu's Poetry London. The two become good friends, and stayed in touch even after Durrell moved to Greece and later to Egypt. Tambimuttu included Durrell in his Poetry in Wartime (1942) and Durrell continued to contribute pieces for Poetry London.

Durrell only returned to England for short periods when he often met Tambimuttu. The two also met in New York after Tambimuttu moved there. Durrell's later years were marred by several divorces and the deaths of close friends. He spent his last years in France where he died on 7 November 1990.

Published works: 

Quaint Fragment (London: Cecil Press, 1931)

Ballad of Slow Decay (1932)

Ten Poems (London: Caduceus Press, 1932)

Pied Piper of Lovers (London: Cassell, 1935)

The Black Book: An Agon (Paris: Obelisk Press, 1938)

'Epitaph', 'Island Fugue', 'The Green Man', 'In a Time Crisis', and 'Letter to Seferis the Greek', in Poetry in Wartime: An Anthology, ed. by M. J. Tambimuttu (London: Faber & Faber, 1942), pp. 41-50

A Private Country (London: Faber & Faber, 1943)

Cities, Plains and People: Poems (London: Faber & Faber, 1945)

Cefalu: A Novel (London: Editions Poetry London, 1947)

On Seeming to Presume: Poems (London: Faber & Faber, 1948)

Deus Loci: A Poem (Ischia, 1950)

Sappho: A Play in Verse (London: Faber & Faber, 1950)

Key to Modern Poetry (London and New York: Peter Nevill, 1952)

The Tree of Idleness, and Other Poems (London: Faber & Faber, 1955)

Esprit de Corps: Sketches from Diplomatic Life (London: Faber & Faber, 1957)

Justine: A Novel (London: Faber & Faber, 1957)

White Eagles over Serbia: A Novel (London: Faber & Faber, 1957)

Balthazar (London: Faber & Faber, 1958)

The Dark Labyrinth (London: Harborough Publishing Co., 1958)

Mountolive (London: Faber & Faber, 1958)

Stiff Upper Lip (London: Faber & Faber, 1958)

Clea (London: Faber & Faber, 1959)

The Alexandria Quartet (London: Faber & Faber, 1962)

An Irish Faustus: A Morality in Nine Scenes (London: Faber & Faber, 1963)

A Persian Lady (Edinburgh: Tragara Press, 1963)

ACTE: A Play (London: Faber & Faber, 1965)

Tunc (London: Faber & Faber, 1968)

Nunquam (London: Faber & Faber, 1970)

The Red Limbo Lingo: A Poetry Notebook (London: Faber & Faber, 1971)

On the Suchness of the Old Boy (London: Turret Books, 1972)

The Plant-Magic Man (Santa Barbara: Capra Press, 1973)

Monsieur, or, The Prince of Darkness (London: Faber & Faber, 1974)

The Revolt of Aphrodite (London: Faber & Faber, 1974)

Blue Thirst (Santa Barbara: Capra Press, 1975)

Sicilian Carousel (London: Faber & Faber, 1977)

Livia, or, Buried Alive: A Novel (London: Faber & Faber, 1978)

Sebastian, or, Ruling Passions: A Novel (London: Faber & Faber, 1980)

A Smile in the Mind's Eye (London: Wildwood House, 1980)

Quinx, or, the Ripper's Tale: A Novel (London: Faber & Faber, 1985)

Caesar's Vast Ghost: Aspects of Provence (London: Faber & Faber, 1990)

The Avignon Quintet (London: Faber & Faber, 1992)

Date of birth: 
27 Feb 1912

T. S. Eliot (edited his books at Faber & Faber), M. J. Tambimuttu, Dylan Thomas.

Contributions to periodicals: 

Delta (in which he published with Tambimuttu)

Poetry London

Secondary works: 

Aldington, Richard, Literary Lifelines: The Richard Aldington-Lawrence Durrell Correspondence, ed. by Ian S. MacNiven and Harry T. Moore (London: Faber & Faber, 1981)

Baldwin, Peter, Conon's Songs from Exile: The Limited Edition Publications of Lawrence Durrell (Birmingham: Delos, 1992)

Begnal, Michael H., On Miracle Ground: Essays on the Fiction of Lawrence Durrell (London: Associated University Presses, 1990)

Bowker, Gordon, Through the Dark Labyrinth: A Biography of Lawrence Durrell (London: Sinclair-Stevenson, 1996)

Cardiff, Maurice, Friends Abroad: Memories of Lawrence Durrell, Freya Stark, Patrick Leigh-Fermor, Peggy Gugenheim and Others (London: Radcliffe, 1997)

Durrell, Gerald, My Family and Other Animals (London: Hart-Davis, 1956)

Fraser, G. S., Lawrence Durrell: A Study (London: Faber & Faber, 1968)

Friedman, Alan Warren, Critical Essays on Lawrence Durrell (Boston: G. K. Hall, 1987)

MacNiven, I. S., ‘Durrell, Lawrence George (1912–1990)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004) []

MacNiven, I. S. (ed.) The Durrell-Miller Letters, 1935-80 (London: Faber & Faber, 1988)

MacNiven, I. S., Lawrence Durrell: A Biography (London: Faber & Faber, 1998)

Meredith, Don, Where the Tigers Were: Travels Through Literary Landscapes (Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 2000)

Moore, Harry T., The World of Lawrence Durrell (Carbondale, Ill.: Southern Illinois University Press, 1962)

Papayanis, Marilyn Adler, Writing in the Margins: The Ethics of Expatriation from Lawrence to Ondaatje (Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 2005)

Perlès, Alfred, My Friend Lawrence Durrell: An Intimate Memoir on the Author of the Alexandria Quartet (Northwood: Scorpion Press, 1961)

Pine, Richard, Lawrence Durrell: The Mindscape (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1994)

Robinson, Jeremy, Lawrence Durrell: Between Love and Death, Between East and West (Kidderminster: Crescent Moon, 1995)

Rook, Robin, At the Foot of the Acropolis: A Study of Lawrence Durrell's Novels (Birmingham: Delos Press, 1995)

Sajavaara, Kari, Imagery in Lawrence Durrell's Prose (Helsinki: Société Néophilologique, 1975)

Shaffer, Brian W., A Companion to the British and Irish Novel, 1945-2000 (Oxford: Blackwell, 2005) 

St. Joseph's College, A Century Observed: Souvenir of St. Joseph's College, North Point, Darjeeling, 1888-1988 (Darjeeling: The College, 1988)

Vander Closter, Susan, Joyce Cary and Lawrence Durrell: A Reference Guide (Boston, MA: G. K. Hall, 1985)

Archive source: 

Southern Illinois University, Carbondale

Bibliothèque Lawrence Durrell, Université de Paris, Nanterre, France

Correspondence and Mss, incl. MS of Justine, British Library, St Pancras

Letters to Gwyn Williams, British Library, St Pancras

Letters and literary Mss, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas

Literary Mss, University of California, Los Angeles

Correspondence and corrected proof of Balthazar, University of British Columbia, Canada

City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Other names: 

Lawrence George Durrell

Date of death: 
07 Nov 1990
Location of death: 
Sommières, France
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
27 Apr 1923
Dates of time spent in Britain: 

27 April 1923 - 22 May 1939


36 Hillsborough Road, London

Tags for Making Britain: 

D. H. Lawrence


David Herbert Lawrence was born in Eastwood, near Nottingham, to coalminer Arthur Lawrence and Lydia Beardsall. Lawrence won a County Council scholarship and went to Nottingham High School. He did not excel, but went on to teach at the British School in Eastwood. In 1906, he started to write what would eventually become his first novel, The White Peacock (published in 1911). While teaching at Davidson Road elementary school in Croydon in 1908, he continued to write. His friend Jessie Chambers showed his writing to Ford Madox Hueffer (later Ford), who recommended it to William Heinemann for publication.

By 1913, Lawrence had met and married Frieda Emma Maria Johanna, and the two of them lived briefly in Germany (near Munich) and Italy before the First World War. Forced to stay in England, Lawrence soon began to meet the people associated with Garsington Manor around Lady Ottoline Morrell. His new acquaintances included Hasan Shahid Suhrawardy, Bertrand Russell, E. M. Forster and Aldous Huxley. Their meeting on 29 November 1915 with Lady Ottoline Morrell along with Philip Heseltine, Aldous Huxley, Willy MacQueen and Hasan Shahid Suhrawardy is recorded in his letters:

There was an Indian there - a lineal descendent of the Prophet, whose curse is a dreadful thing - and a young musician, and Bertie Russell. Of course we talked violently in between-whiles, politics and India and so on. I always shout too loud. That annoys the Ottoline. The Indian says (he is of Persian family): "Oh, she is so like a Persian princess, it is strange - something grand, and perhaps cruel." It is pleasant to see with all kinds of eyes, like Argus. Suhrawardy was my pair of Indo-persian eyes. He is coming to Florida. (Letters of D. H. Lawrence, vol. II )

After the war, Lawrence moved to Italy, France and Sicily, before going to America in 1922. He briefly visited friends in Ceylon first, before leaving for Austrialia and arriving on the west coast of the United States. In 1926, he returned to Italy and revived his friendship with Aldous Huxley. There he started writing Lady Chatterley's Lover (1928).

During the late 1920s, Lawrence visted London frequently. He met Mulk Raj Anand at a sherry party at Harold Monro's Poetry Bookshop. In Conversations in Bloomsbury (1981), Anand, who was still a student of philosophy then, describes the meeting thus: '"I am not sure which philosophy you are studying," said Lawrence and coughed a wheezy cough. "But I hope you can trust your eyes, nose, mouth, skin and the human sense against the ethereal Tagory"' (p. 23). Lawrence had previously been outspoken in his criticism of Tagore's indictment of nationalism, and his prejudices about the East made Anand uncomfortable. Already in 1916, Lawrence had scorned the writing of Tagore. In a letter to Lady Ottoline Morrell dated 24 May 1916, he wrote:

I become more and more surprised to see how far higher, in reality, our European civilizations stands than the East, India or Persia ever dreamed of. And one is glad to realize how these Hindus are horribly decadent and reverting to all forms of barbarism in all sorts of ugly ways. We feel surer on our feet, then. But this fraud of looking up to them - this wretched worship-of-Tagore attitude - is disgusting. "Better fifty years of Europe" even as she is. Buddha worship is completely decadent and foul nowadays: and it was always only half civilized. (The Collected Letters, p. 451)

Lawrence and Anand would remain friends, though. After returning to the continent, Lawrence's health deteriorated and he settled in Bandol, in the south of France, by the sea, where his friends rallied around him in his last months. Mulk Raj Anand visited Lawrence a few weeks before his death on 2 March 1930.

Published works: 

The White Peacock (London: William Heinemann, 1911)

The Trespasser (London: Duckworth, 1912)

Love Poems and Others (London: Duckworth, 1913)

Sons and Lovers (London: Duckworth, 1913)

The Prussian Officer and Other Stories (London: Duckworth, 1914)

The Widowing of Mrs Holroyd: A Drama in Three Acts (London: Duckworth, 1914)

The Rainbow (London: Methuen, 1915)

Amores (London: Duckworth, 1916)

Twilight in Italy (London: Duckworth, 1916)

Look! We Have Come Through! (London: Chatto & Windus, 1917)

New Poems (London: Martin Secker, 1918)

Bay: A Book of Poems (Westminster: Beaumont Press, 1919)

Touch and Go: A Play in Three Acts (London: C. W. Daniel, 1920)

Women in Love (New York: Privately printed for subscribers only, 1920)

The Lost Girl (London: Martin Secker, 1920)

Movements in European History (London: Mitford, 1921)

Psychoanalysis and the Unconscious (New York: Thomas Seltzer, 1921)

Sea and Sardinia (New York: Thomas Seltzer, 1921)

Tortoises (New York: Thomas Seltzer, 1921)

Aaron's Rod (London: Martin Secker, 1922)

England, My England, and Other Stories (New York: Thomas Seltzer, 1922)

Fantasia of the Unconscious (New York: Thomas Seltzer, 1922)

Birds, Beasts and Flowers (London: Martin Secker, 1923)

The Ladybird, The Fox, The Captain's Doll (London: Martin Secker, 1923)

Kangaroo (London: Martin Secker, 1923)

Studies in Classic American Literature (New York: Thomas Seltzer, 1923)

The Boy in the Bush (London: Martin Secker, 1924)

Reflections on the Death of a Porcupine, and Other Essays (Philadelphia: Centaur Press, 1925)

St Mawr, together with The Princess (London: Martin Secker, 1925)

David: A Play (London: Martin Secker, 1926)

The Plumed Serpent: Quetzalcoatl (London: Martin Secker, 1926)

Mornings in Mexico (London: Martin Secker, 1927)

The Collected Poems of D. H. Lawrence (London: Martin Secker, 1928)

Lady Chatterley's Lover (Florence: Privately printed, 1928)

The Woman who Rode Away, and Other Stories (London: Martin Secker, 1928)

The Escaped Cock (Paris: Black Sun Press, 1929)

Pansies (London: Martin Secker, 1929)

Love Among the Haystacks, and Other Pieces (London: Nonesuch Press, 1930)

Nettles (London: Faber, 1930)

The Virgin and the Gipsy (London: Martin Secker, 1930)

Apocalypse (Florence, 1931)

A Collier's Friday Night (London: Martin Secker, 1934)

D. H. Lawrence: Reminiscences and Correspondence (London: Martin Secker, 1934)

Fire and Other Poems (San Francisco: Grabhorn Press, 1940)

The Complete Poems of D. H. Lawrence, ed. by Vivian de Sola Pinto and Warren Roberts (London: Heinemann, 1964)

Study of Thomas Hardy and other Essays, ed. by Bruce Steele (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, [1914] 1985)

Sketches of Etruscan Places and Other Italian Essays, ed. by Simonetta de Filippis (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, [1932] 1992)

The Letters of D. H. Lawrence, 8 vols, ed. by J. T. Boulton (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979-2000)

Date of birth: 
11 Sep 1885

Richard Aldington, Mulk Raj Anand, Dorothy Brett, Achsah Brewster, Earl Brewster, Witter Bynner, Catherine Carswell, Norman Douglas, T. S. Eliot, Ford Madox Ford, E. M. Forster, Mark Gertler, Philip Heseltine (Peter Warlock), Aldous Huxley, S. S. Koteliansky, Maurice Magnus, Edward Marsh, Katherine Mansfield, Lady Ottoline Morrell, John Middleton Murry, Bertrand RussellNikhil Sen, Mollie Skinner, Hasan Shahid SuhrawardyRabindranath TagoreVirginia Woolf.

Contributions to periodicals: 

English Review

Secondary works: 

Apana, A. P., The Other Universe of Man: Travel, Autobiography and D. H. Lawrence (New Delhi: Prestige, 1999) 

Becket, Fiona, The Complete Critical Guide to D. H. Lawrence (London: Routledge, 2002) 

Black, Michael H., Lawrence's England: The Major Fiction, 1913-1920 (Basingstoke: Palgrave in association with St Anthony's, Oxford, 2001)

Brett, Dorothy, Lawrence and Brett: A Friendship (London: Martin Secker, 1933)

Bynner, Witter, Journey with Genius: Recollections and Reflections Concerning the D. H. Lawrences (London and New York: Peter Nevill, 1963)

Callow, Philip, Body of Truth: D. H. Lawrence: The Nomadic Years, 1919-1930 (London: Greenwich Exchange, 2006)

Callow, Phillip, Son and Lover: The Young D. H. Lawrence (London: Allison & Busby, 1998)

Carswell, Catherine Roxburgh, The Savage Pilgrimage: A Narrative of D. H. Lawrence (London: Chatto & Windus, 1932)

Chaudhury, Amit, D. H. Lawrence and Difference: Postcoloniality and the Poetry of the Present (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003)

Cooper, Andrew, D. H. Lawrence, 1885-1930: A Celebration (Sherwood: D. H. Lawrence Society, 1985)

Corke, Helen, D. H. Lawrence: The Croydon Years (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1965)

Delany, Paul, D. H. Lawrence's Nightmare: The Writer and His Circle in the Years of the Great War (New York: Basic Books, 1978)

Ellis, David, Kinkead-Weekes, Mark and Worthen, John, D. H. Lawrence, 1885-1930: The Cambridge Biography (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998)

E. T. [Jessie Chambers], D. H. Lawrence: A Personal Record (London: Jonathan Cape, 1935)

Green, Martin Burgess, The von Richthofen Sisters: The Triumphant and Tragic Modes of Love: Else and Frieda von Richthofen, Otto Gross, Max Weber, and D. H. Lawrence, in the Years 1870-1970 (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1974)

Iida, Takeo, The Reception of D. H. Lawrence around the World (Fukuoka, Japan: Kyushu University Press, 1999)

Kinkead-Weekes, D. H. Lawrence: Triumph to Exile, 1912-1922 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996)

Kripalani, Krishna, Rabindranath Tagore: A Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1962)

Lawrence, Frieda von Richthofen, 'Not I, But the Wind...' (London: Heinemann, 1935)

Lawrence, Frieda von Richthofen, E. W. Tedlock, The Memoirs and Correspondence (London: Heinemann, 1961)

Luhan, Mabel Dodge, Lorenzo in Taos (New York: A. A. Knopf, 1932)

Miller, Henry, The World of Lawrence: A Passionate Appreciation (Santa Barbara: Capra Press, 1980)

Moore, Harry Thornton, The Intelligent Heart: The Story of D. H. Lawrence (London: William Heinemann, 1955)

Murry, John Middleton, Reminiscences of D. H. Lawrence (London: Jonathan Cape, 1933)

Nehls, Edward, D. H. Lawrence: A Composite Biography, 3 vols (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1957-9)

Oh, Eunyoung, D. H. Lawrence's Border Crossing: Colonialism in His Travel Writings and 'Leadership' Novels (London: Routledge, 2007)

Page, Norman, D. H. Lawrence: Interviews and Recollections, 2 vols (London: Macmillan, 1981)

Parmenter, Ross, Lawrence in Oaxaca: A Quest for the Novelist in Mexico (Salt Lake City: G. M. Smith/Peregrine Smith Books, 1984)

Preston, Peter, A D. H. Lawrence Chronology (New York: St Martin's Press, 1994)

Roberts, Francis Warren, A Bibliography of D. H. Lawrence (London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1963)

Sagar, Keith M., D. H. Lawrence: Life into Art (London: Viking, 1985)

Sagar, Keith M., D. H. Lawrence: A Calendar of His Works (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1994)

Spencer, Roy, D. H. Lawrence Country: A Portrait of His Early Life and Background with Illustrations, Maps and Guides (London: Cecil Woolf, 1979)

Sumner, Rosemary, A Route to Modernism: Hardy, Lawrence, Woolf (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1999)

Worthen, John, D. H. Lawrence: A Literary Life (London: Macmillan, 1989)

Worthen, John, 'Lawrence, David Herbert (1885-1939)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004) []

Archive source: 

Photo of Hasan Shahid Suhrawardy, Philip Arnold Heseltine (Peter Warlock), David Herbert ('D. H.') Lawrence, NPG Ax140425, National Portrait Gallery, London

Correspondence, notebooks and mss, Bucknell University Library, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania

Correspondence and literary mss, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Colorado University

Correspondence and literary mss, Houghton Library, Harvard University

Literary Mss, papers and correspondence, Nottingham Central Library

Correspondence, Nottinghamshire Archives, Nottingham

Correspondence and papers, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas

Correspondence, literary mss and papers, Stanford University, California

Correspondence, literary mss and papers, University of California, Berkeley

Papers, University of California, Los Angeles

Literary mss, correspondence and papers, University of Nottingham Library

Literary mss and papers, University of New Mexico Library

Correspondence, literary mss and notebooks, Beinecke Library, Yale University

Papers, University of Cincinnati Libraries

Correspondence with Society of Authors, British Library, St Pancras

Letters to S. S. Koteliansky, British Library, St Pancras

Correspondence with A. Lowell, Houghton Library, Harvard University

Iowa State Education Association

Letters to E. M. Forster, King's College Archive Centre, Cambridge

Pierpont Morgan Library, New York

Berg Collection, New York Public Library

Philip H. & S. W. Rosenbach Foundation

Correspondence, Dora Marsden Collection, Princeton University Library

Corespondence, Sylvia Beach Papers, Princeton University Library

Letters to A. Brackenbury, Tate Collection

Letters to F. Brett Young and J. Brett Young, University of Birmingham

Letters to B. Jennings and mss, University of Liverpool

Letters from D. H. and F. Lawrence to C. Carswell, University of Nottingham Library

University of Toronto Library

City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Other names: 

David Herbert Lawrence

Date of death: 
02 Mar 1930

Garsington Manor, Oxford; 1 Byron Villas, Vale-of-Health, Hampstead, London.

Tags for Making Britain: 

Virginia Woolf


Born in 1882 to Julia and Leslie Stephen, Adeline Virginia Stephen would become a prominent modernist and feminist writer and a central figure of the 'Bloomsbury Group'. From her early childhood, her parents had encouraged her to write. The deaths of her mother, Julia, in 1895 and her step-sister, Stella, in 1897 were followed by those of her father, Leslie, in 1904 and her brother, Thoby, in 1906. This decade of family deaths had a profound effect on Virginia. She was survived by an older sister, Vanessa, who would also become part of the Bloomsbury Group, and aher brother, Adrian.

Virginia spent part of her childhood in Talland House near St Ives, Cornwall, and the rest in Kensington, London. Her memories of St Ives and of sexual abuse by her half-brother, George Duckworth, are prominent in her writing about her childhood. In the years following the deaths of her father and brother, Virginia’s mental health began to decline and she sank into depression and attempted suicide in 1913.

After her father’s death, Virginia and her siblings moved from Kensington to Bloomsbury. In Bloomsbury, Thoby introduced his two sisters to a group of men he had met in Cambridge: Leonard Woolf, Lytton Strachey, Clive Bell, Roger Fry, Duncan Grant, E. M. Forster and John Maynard Keynes. In 1912, Virginia married Leonard Woolf. The couple embarked on a life of writing and publishing. Virginia published her first novel, The Voyage Out, in 1915. In 1917, she and Leonard set up the Hogarth Press which published their own work as well as work by T. S. Eliot, Katherine Mansfield, E. M. Forster, Maynard Keynes and Freud, among others, and that of Indian writers Ahmed Ali and Rajani Palme Dutt. Virginia went on to publish a string of modernist novels.

After the Woolf’s Bloomsbury home was bombed in 1940, they retreated to their country home, Monk’s House, in Sussex. There, Virginia once again slipped into depression, and on 28 March 1941 she drowned herself in the nearby River Ouse.

Published works: 

The Voyage Out (London: Duckworth, 1915)

Night and Day (London: Duckworth, 1919)

Jacob's Room (London: L. & V. Woolf, 1922)

The Common Reader (London: Hogarth, 1925)

Mrs Dalloway (London: L. & V. Woolf, 1925) 

To the Lighthouse (London: Hogarth, 1927)

Orlando: A Biography (London: L. & V. Woolf, 1928)

A Room of One's Own (London: Hogarth, 1929)

On Being III (London: Hogarth, 1930)

The Waves (London: Hogarth, 1931)

The London Scene: Five Essays (London: Hogarth, [1931-2] 1982)

The Common Reader: Second Series (London: Hogarth, 1932

(with Leonard Woolf) The Hogarth Letters (London: Hogarth, 1933)

The Years (London: Hogarth, 1937)

Three Guineas (London: Hogarth, 1938)

Between the Acts (London: Hogarth, 1941)

The Death of the Moth, and Other Essays (London: Hogarth, 1942)

The Moment, and Other Essays (London: Hogarth, 1947)

The Captain's Death Bed, and Other Essays (London: Hogarth, 1950)

Collected Essays, 4 vols (London: Hogarth, 1966-7)

Moments of Being: Unpublished Autobiographical Writings (London: Chatto & Windus, 1976) 

Books and Portraits: Some Further Selections from the Literary and Biographical Writings of Virginia Woolf (London: Hogarth, 1977)

The Letters of Virginia Woolf, 6 vols (London: Hogarth Press, 1975-80)

The Diary of Virginia Woolf, 5 vols (London: Hogarth Press, 1977-84)

A Passionate Apprentice: The Early Journals, 1897-1909 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1990)

Date of birth: 
25 Jan 1882

Ahmed Ali, Mulk Raj Anand, Clive Bell, Vanessa Bell, Robert Bridges, George Duckworth, Rajani Palme Dutt, T. S. Eliot, E. M. Forster, Roger Fry, Duncan Grant, John Maynard Keynes, Leslie Stephen, Lytton Strachey, Vita Sackville-West, Leonard Sidney Woolf.

Secondary works: 

Abel, Elizabeth, Virginia Woolf and the Fictions of Psychoanalysis: Women in Culture and Society (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1989) 

Albright, Daniel, Personality and Impersonality: Lawrence, Woolf and Mann (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1978) 

Apter, T. E., Virginia Woolf: A Study of Her Novels (London: Macmillan, 1979) 

Asbee, Sue, Virginia Woolf, Life and Works (Hove: Wayland, 1989) 

Bazin, Nancy Topping, Virginia Woolf and the Androgynous Vision (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1973) 

Bell, Quentin, Virginia Woolf: A Biography, 2 vols (London: Hogarth Press, 1972) 

Berman, Jessica Schiff, and Goldman, Jane, Virginia Woolf out of Bounds: Selected Papers on the Tenth Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf, University of Maryland, Baltimore Country, June 8-11, 2000 (New York: Pace University Press, 2001) 

Bishop, Edward, A Virginia Woolf Chronology (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1989)

Blackstone, Bernard, Virginia Woolf: A Commentary (London: Hogarth Press, 1972)

Bowlby, Rachel, Virginia Woolf: Feminist Destinations, Rereading Literature (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1988)

Clements, Patricia, and Grundy, Isobel, Virginia Woolf: New Critical Essays (London: Vision, 1983)

Daugherty, Beth Rigel, and Barrett, Eileen, Virginia Woolf: Texts and Contexts (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1996)

Davies, Stevie, Virginia Woolf: To the Lighthouse (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1989)

DeSalvo, Louise A., Virginia Woolf: The Impact of Childhood Sexual Abuse on Her Life and Work (London: Women's Press, 1989)

DeSalvo, Louise A., Virginia Woolf's First Voyage: A Novel in the Making (London: Macmillan, 1980) 

DiBattista, Maria, Virginia Woolf's Major Novels: The Fables of Anon (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1980)

Dick, Susan, Virginia Woolf: Modern Fiction (London: Edward Arnold, 1989)

Donahue, Delia, The Novels of Virginia Woolf (Roma: Bulzoni Editore, 1977)

Dowling, David, Bloomsbury Aesthetics and the Novels of Forster (London: Macmillan, 1985)

Dunn, Jane, A Very Close Conspiracy: Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf (London: Cape, 1990)

Ferrer, Daniel, Virginia Woolf and the Madness of Language (London: Routledge, 1990)

Fleishman, Avrom, Virginia Woolf: A Critical Reading (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1975)

Fox, Alice, Virginia Woolf and the Literature of the English Renaissance (Oxford: Clarendon, 1990)

Freedman, Ralph, Virginia Woolf: Revaluation and Continuity: A Collection of Essays (Berkeley and London: University of California Press, 1980)

Goldman, Mark, The Reader's Art: Virginia Woolf as Literary Critic (The Hague: Mouton, 1976)

Gordon, Lyndall, Virginia Woolf: A Writer's Life (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984)

Gordon, Lyndall, 'Woolf, (Adeline) Virginia (1882-1941)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004) []

Gorsky, Susan Rubinow, Virginia Woolf (Boston, MA: Twayne, 1978)

Harper, Howard, Between Language and Silence: The Novels of Virginia Woolf (Baton Rouge and London: Louisiana State University Press, 1982)

Hawthorn, Jeremy, Virginia Woolf's 'Mrs Dalloway': A Study in Alienation, Text and Context (London: Chatto & Windus for Sussex University Press, 1975)

Johnson, Manly, Virginia Woolf (New York: Frederick Ungar, 1973)

Kelley, Alice van Buren, The Novels of Virginia Woolf: Fact and Vision (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1973)

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

Kiely, Robert, Beyond Egotism: The Fiction of James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and D. H. Lawrence (Cambridge, MA, and London: Harvard University Press, 1980)

Kirkpatrick, B. J., A Bibliography of Virginia Woolf, 4th edn (Oxford: Clarendon, 1997)

Kumar, Shiv K., Virginia Woolf and Intuition (Folcroft, PA: Folcroft Library Editions, 1977)

Leaska, Mitchell A., The Novels of Virginia Woolf: From Beginning to End (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1979)

Lee, Hermione, The Novels of Virginia Woolf (London: Methuen, 1977)

Lee, Hermione, Virginia Woolf (London: Chatto & Windus, 1996)

Lehmann, John, Virginia Woolf and Her World (London: Thames & Hudson, 1975)

Lewis, Thomas S. W., Virginia Woolf: A Collection of Criticism, Contemporary Studies in Literature (New York and London: McGraw-Hill, 1975)

Love, Jean O., Virginia Woolf: Sources of Madness and Art (Berkeley and London: University of California Press, 1977)

Majumdar, Robin, and MacLaurin, Allen, Virginia Woolf: The Critical Heritage (London and Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1975)

Marcus, Jane, New Feminist Essays on Virginia Woolf (London: Macmillan, 1981)

Marcus, Jane, Virginia Woolf: A Feminist Slant (Lincoln, NB, and London: University of Nebraska Press, 1983)

Marcus, Jane, Virginia Woolf and Bloomsbury: A Centenary Celebration (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1987)

McLaurin, Allen, Virginia Woolf: The Echoes Enslaved (London: Cambridge University Press, 1973)

McNichol, Stella, Virginia Woolf and the Poetry of Fiction (London: Routledge, 1990)

Meisel, Perry, The Absent Father: Virginia Woolf and Walter Pater (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1980)

Miller, C. Ruth, Virginia Woolf: The Frames of Art and Life (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1988)

Minow-Pinkney, Makiko, Virginia Woolf and the Problem of the Subject (Brighton: Harvester, 1987)

Mittal, S. P., The Aesthetic Venture (Delhi: Ajanta, 1985)

Moore, Madeline, The Short Season between Two Silences: The Mystical and the Political in the Novels of Virginia Woolf (Boston, MA, and London: Allen & Unwin, 1984)

Naremore, James, The World without a Self: Virginia Woolf and the Novel (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1973)

Nicolson, Nigel, Vita and Harold: The Letters of Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1992)

Noble, Joan Russell, Recollections of Virginia Woolf (London: Peter Owen, 1972)

Novak, Jane, The Razor Edge of Balance: A Study of Virginia Woolf (Coral Gables: University of Miami Press, 1975)

Panken, Shirley, Virginia Woolf and The 'Lust of Creation': A Psychoanalytic Exploration (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1987)

Parasuram, Laxmi, Virginia Woolf: The Emerging Reality (Burdwan: University of Burdwan, 1978)

Poole, Roger, The Unknown Virginia Woolf (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978)

Poresky, Louise A., The Elusive Self: Psyche and Spirit in Virginia Woolf's Novels (Newark, DE: University of Delaware Press, 1981)

Radin, Grace, Virginia Woolf's 'The Years': The Evoluton of a Novel (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1981)

Rice, Thomas Jackson, Virginia Woolf: A Guide to Research (New York and London: Garland, 1984)

Roe, Sue, Writing and Gender: Virginia Woolf's Writing Practice (London: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1990)

Rose, Phyllis, Woman of Letters: A Life of Virginia Woolf (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1978)

Rosenbaum, Stanford Patrick, The Bloomsbury Group: A Collection of Memoirs, Commentary and Criticism (London: Croom Helm, 1975)

Rosenthal, Michael, Virginia Woolf (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979)

Schlack, Beverly Ann, Continuing Presences: Virginia Woolf's Use of Literary Allusion (University Park and London: Pennsylvannia State University Press, 1979) 

Schug, Charles, The Romantic Genesis of the Modern Novel: Critical Essays in Modern Literature (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1979; London: Feffer & Simons, 1979)

Sharma, K. K., Modern Fictional Theorists: Virginia Woolf & D. H. Lawrence (Ghaziabad: Vimal Prakashan, 1981)

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

Spilka, Mark, Virginia Woolf's Quarrel with Grieving (Lincoln, NB, and London: University of Nebraska Press, 1980)

Sprague, Claire, Virginia Woolf: A Collection of Critical Essays: Twentieth Century Views (Englewood Cliffs and Hemel Hempstead: Prentice-Hall, 1971)

Steele, Elizabeth, Virginia Woolf's Literary Sources and Allusions: A Guide to the Essays (New York and London: Garland, 1983)

Steele, Elizabeth, Virginia Woolf's Rediscovered Essays: Sources and Allusions (New York and London: Garland, 1987)

Sugiyama, Yoko, Rainbow and Granite: A Study of Virginia Woolf (Tokyo: The Hokuseido Press, 1973)

Transue, Pamela J., Virginia Woolf and the Politics of Style (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1986)

Trombley, Stephen, All That Summer She Was Mad: Virginia Woolf: Female Victim of Male Medicine (New York: Continuum, 1982)

Warner, Eric, Virginia Woolf: A Centenary Perspective (London: Macmillan, 1984)

Wheare, Jane, Virginia Woolf: Dramatic Novelist (Basingstoke, Macmillan, 1989)

Zwerdling, Alex, Virginia Woolf and the Real World (Berkeley and London: University of California Press, 1986)

Archive source: 

Notebook, Add. MS 61837, British Library, St Pancras

Memoir of her father, British Library, St Pancras

Papers, Girton College, Cambridge

Correspondence and literary papers, Historical Manuscripts Commission, National Register of Archives

Literary MSS and notebooks, Berg Collection, New York Public Library

Correspondence, family papers and literary MSS, University of Sussex Special Collections

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

Letters to John Lehmann, Add. MS 56234, British Library, St Pancras

Correspondence with Society of Authors, Add. MS 63351, British Library, St Pancras

Correspondence with Theodora Bosanquet, Houghton Library, Harvard University

Correspondence with Roger Fry, King's College Archive Centre, Cambridge

Letters to John Maynard Keynes, King's College Archive Centre, Cambridge

Letters and postcards to G. H. W. Rylands, King's College Archive Centre, Cambridge

Letters to W. J. H. Sprott, King's College Archive Centre, Cambridge

Letters to Thoby Stephen, King's College Archive Centre, Cambridge

Letters to Gladys Easdale, London University Library

Letters from T. S. Eliot, Berg Collection, New York Public Library

Letters to Arnold Bennett, University College, London

City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Other names: 

Adeline Virginia Stephen

Date of death: 
28 Mar 1941
Location of death: 
River Ouse, Sussex

22 Hyde Park Gate, Kensington, London

46 Gordon Square, Bloomsbury, London

29 Fitzroy Square, Bloomsbury, London

Hogarth House, Richmond

Asheham House, Sussex

52 Tavistock Square, Bloomsbury, London

37 Mecklenburgh Square, Bloomsbury, London

Monk's House, Rodmell, Sussex

Fredoon Kabraji


Fredoon Kabraji was the son of Jehangir Kabraji, an Indian civil servant, and Putlibai. It is unclear exactly when he first came to Britain, but a brief autobiographical note in his edited collection of Indian poetry in English, This Strange Adventure, tells us that he studied journalism at the University of London, which suggests he probably arrived in the mid-1920s. Further, a website which includes information about the genealogy of the Kabraji family states that he married Eleanor M. Wilkinson in Britain in 1926. In his autobiographical note, Kabraji represents himself as a drifter, trying his hand at art, journalism and poetry, after losing interest in the farming career that his parents had chosen for him, and failing to complete a degree. He also writes that 'he grew up to adore England and everything English'.

As well as being a poet in his own right (he had two volumes of poems published by Fortune Press), Kabraji was a book reviewer, contributing to the magazines Life and Letters and the New Statesman, among others, as well as the editor of the above volume of poetry, published by the New India Publishing Co. in 1947.

Published works: 

A Minor Georgian's Swan Song (London: Fortune Press, 1944)

(ed.) This Strange Adventure: An Anthology of Poems in English by Indians, 1828-1946 (London: New India Publishing Co., 1947)

The Cold Flame: Poems (1922-1924, 1935-1938, 1946-1953) (London: Fortune Press, 1956)


'Introduction', in Fredoon Kabraji (ed.) This Strange Adventure: An Anthology of Poems in English by Indians, 1826-1946 (London: New India Publishing Co., 1947), pp. 6-7

Date of birth: 
10 Feb 1897

Here Kabraji discusses the issues raised by Indian poets writing in English, situating this poetry in relation to trends in English poetry, as well as the specifics of the work of some of the poets selected.


Mulk Raj Anand, Walter de la Mare, Nagendranath Gangulee, L. P. Hartley, Henry Reed, Iqbal Singh, Rabindranath Tagore, M. J. Tambimuttu.

Fortune Press

Contributions to periodicals: 

New Statesman and Nation (review of five British poets, 1939)

Life and Letters Today (reviews of Dilip Kumar Roy's Among the Great and Atul Chatterjee's The New India, 12.59, 1948, )



H. N. Brailsford, New Statesman, 1948 (This Strange Adventure)


On the subject of Indian genius the position with regard to poetry in English is that it is the misfortune of English that absolutely the best Indian works remain untranslatable or poorly translated. The case of Tagore is signal. With his versatility this creative wizard succeeded in writing his name across two hemispheres in two languages. But he knew himself that in the end English and England could after all absorb him in limited doses only: Bengal could go on absorbing him and being nourished on him to delighted health. With less than genius and somewhat more than mediocrity, we came into the scope of this anthology. With Toru Dutt, Romesh Chunder Dutt, Manmohan and Aurobindo Ghose, Mrs. Naidu and the contemporaries, we reach its peak. These writers have used the English language as to the manner and the matter born. And out of this small company Manmohan Ghose, Mary Erulkar, Bharati Sarabhai, and Tambimuttu distinguish themselves by more than their faultless command of the foreign tongue - by their pliant control of it as a sentient, responsive and delicate creative instrument.

Secondary works: 

King, Bruce, The Oxford English Literary History, vol. 13, 1948-2000, The Internationalization of English Literature, Ch. 1 'The End of Imperial England, 1948-1969' (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004)


In this extract Kabraji deftly subverts the conventional hierarchies of English and Indian poetry and language, by claiming that it is the English that miss out because of their failure to read Indian languages. Further, his description of the linguistic skills of some of the contributing poets positions English as an additional language of theirs.

Country of birth: 
Date of death: 
01 Jan 1986
Precise date of death unknown: 
Precise 1st arrival date unknown: 
Dates of time spent in Britain: 

From the mid 1920s until at least the 1950s

Balachandra Rajan


Balachandra Rajan was a scholar of poetry and poetics. He was Fellow of Trinity College, University of Cambridge, 1944–8. He was the editor of a series of slim volumes on literary criticism titled Focus which had at least four issues between 1945 and 1948 and was published by Dennis Dobson. The series had its beginnings at Cambridge, where Rajan co-edited (with Wolf Mankowitz) a collection of criticism titled Sheaf which was published by the university, and authored his own collection of poems, Monsoon and Other Poems. While in Britain, he also contributed poems to literary journals, including Life and Letters Today and Poetry London (indeed he was possibly the only South Asian to contribute to the latter, with the exception of its editor, Tambimuttu). Focus appeared to engage critically with work by some of the big literary names of the day, including Huxley, Sartre, Isherwood and Kafka. Contributors of essays include Kathleen Raine, D. S. Savage and Julian Symons, with poems by e. e. cummings, George Barker, John Heath-Stubbs and Vernon Watkins, as well as Rajan himself.

In 1948, Rajan left England for India where he served in the Indian Foreign Service until 1961, working also with UNESCO, UNICEF and as part of the Indian delegation to the United Nations. Later, he returned to academia, initially at the University of Delhi, before taking up a post at the University of Western Ontario, Canada. Best known for his work on Milton, Rajan completed a critical book on Paradise Lost as well as an edition (with introduction and commentary) of this canonical work. He also wrote on Spenser, Yeats, Marvell, Eliot, Keats and Macaulay, and completed two novels.

Published works: 

(ed.) The Novelist as Thinker (London: Dennis Dobson, 1942)

Monsoon and Other Poems (Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1943)

(ed. with Wolf Mankovitz) Sheaf (Cambridge: Trinity College, n.d. [1944?])

(ed. with Andrew Pearse) Focus One (London: Dennis Dobson, 1945)

(ed. with Andrew Pearse) Focus Two (London: Dennis Dobson, 1946)

Paradise Lost and the Seventeenth Century Reader (London: Chatto, 1947)

(ed.)  Focus Three (London: Dennis Dobson, 1947)

(ed.)  Focus Four (London: Dennis Dobson, 1948)

(ed.) Modern American Poetry (London: Dennis Dobson, 1950)

The Dark Dancer (London: Simon & Schuster, 1958)

Too Long in the West (London: Atheneum, 1962)

(ed.) Paradise Lost (Books 1 and 2) (London: Asia Publishing House, 1964)

W. B. Yeats: A Critical Introduction (London: Hutchinson University Library, 1965)

(ed.) Paradise Lost: A Tercentenary Tribute (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1969)

The Lofty Rhyme: A Study of Milton’s Major Poetry (London: Routledge, 1970)

The Overwhelming Question: A Study of the Poetry of T. S. Eliot (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1976)

The Form of the Unfinished: English Poetics from Spenser to Pound (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1985)

Under Western Eyes: India from Milton to Macaulay (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1999)

Milton and the Climate of Reading: Essays (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2006)

Date of birth: 
01 Jan 1920

e. e. cummings, Fredoon Kabraji, Wolf Mankowitz, Andrew Pearse, Kathleen Raine, D. S. Savage, Julian Symons, M. J. Tambimuttu.

Contributions to periodicals: 

Asian Horizon (poems published)

Life and Letters Today (poems published)

New Statesman and Nation (wrote reviews)

Poetry London (poems published)

Precise DOB unknown: 
Country of birth: 


Trinity College Cambridge, CB2 1TQ
United Kingdom
52° 10' 21.3528" N, 0° 6' 40.3992" E
Date of death: 
23 Jan 2009
Location of death: 
Western Ontario, Canada
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
01 Jan 1944
Precise 1st arrival date unknown: 
Dates of time spent in Britain: 

c. 1944-8


Trinity College, Cambridge

Sasadhar Sinha


Sasadhar Sinha came to Britain to study for a BSc at the London School of Economics. He stayed on to complete a PhD at the same institution, returning to India shortly afterwards. On his return, Sinha failed to get a job because of the anti-government content of his journalism and lectures. Fearing arrest, he soon returned to Britain, where, in 1935, he opened the Bibliophile Bookshop at 16 Little Russell Street. The Ceylonese writer Alagu Subramaniam worked as Sinha’s assistant there, and the magazine Indian Writing, to which Sinha contributed regularly, was also based there. Indeed, the Bibliophile became known as a political meeting place for Indians.

As well as being prominent in anti-colonial and left-wing political circles in Britain, Sinha worked as an evening lecturer at Eltham Literary Institute and at Lewisham and Dulwich Literary Institute, lecturing on current affairs, Indian history, economics and political science. Along with several other South Asians during this period, he was a regular reader at the British Museum Reading Room where his reading matter was monitored by government officials who kept surveillance reports on politically active South Asians in Britain. He was married to Marthe Goldwyn, a teacher at Prendergast Girls’ School, Lewisham, and registered as a conscientious objector during the Second World War. By 1941, the Bibliophile was running out of funds and Sinha began to incur debts. He sold the bookshop in 1942 - to either Krishna Menon or one Robert Scott Cleminson - but remained its manager. In 1945, he returned to India to take ‘an active part in the nationalist movement in Bengal’ (L/PJ/12/467, p. 17).

Published works: 

Indian Independence and the Congress (London: Swaraj House, 1943) [booklet]

Why Famine in India (London: Swaraj House, 1943) [booklet]

Indian Independence in Perspective (London: Asia Publishing House, 1965)


L/PJ/12/467, India Office Records, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras, p. 7

Date of birth: 
01 Jan 1901

This file contains surveillance reports on Sasadhar Sinha dating from just before his return to England in 1933 to his departure for India in 1945. They document his occupations, his political activities, and his associations with other South Asians in Britain.


Ahmed Ali, Surat Alley, Mulk Raj Anand, Dr Vera Anstey (LSE), Kanwar Muhammad Ashraf, Sudhamay Basu, Dr K. C. Bhattacharyya (Sinha worked briefly as his secretary), Ray Choudhury, Sudhir Mohan Dutt, Professor Ginsberg (LSE), Marthe Goldwyn, Dulip Kumar Gupta, Agatha Harrison, Niharendu Datta Mazumdar, Krishna Menon, Ardesher Phirozsha Petigura, B. C. Sen, K. S. Shelvankar, Alagu Subramaniam, Gajindra Hiralal Thakore.

Contributions to periodicals: 

Indian Writing (regular contributor)

Precise DOB unknown: 

Sinha…is still the proprietor of the Bibliophile Book Shop…From observation kept on this shop, it would seem to be primarily a rendezvous for Indians. On several occasions recently, particularly in the afternoons, as many as twenty-five Indian men and women have been seen to enter and remain on the premises for some considerable time. When leaving none of them appeared to have purchased any of the various extremist books and pamphlets displayed for sale in the window.

Secondary works: 

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


Of particular interest is Sinha’s establishment of the Bibliophile Bookshop in 1935. This is evidence of the presence of South Asians in Bloomsbury, the heart of London and its literary scene, during this early period of migration. The bookshop’s role as meeting place for politically active South Asian writers, as well as the content of the editorials of Indian Writing and Sinha’s involvement in numerous political organizations, are suggestive of the way in which Sinha, and many of his fellow writers, viewed literature and political commitment as closely linked, in contrast to a belief in ‘art for art’s sake’. The level and detail of the surveillance kept on Sinha is also striking: of particular note in this respect is evidence that the political content of Sinha’s choice of reading matter at the British Museum was monitored.

Archive source: 

L/PJ/12/467, India Office Records, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

Involved in events: 

India League meetings

City of birth: 
Santini, Ketan, Bengal
Country of birth: 


London School of Economics
Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
51° 30' 50.1948" N, 0° 6' 59.6736" W
Bibliophile Bookshop
16 Russell Street
London, WC2B 5HF
United Kingdom
51° 30' 45.6336" N, 0° 7' 16.1472" W
Date of death: 
01 Jan 1972
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
01 Jan 1925
Precise 1st arrival date unknown: 
Dates of time spent in Britain: 

1925-32, 1933-45

Venu Chitale


Venu Chitale was a talks broadcaster and assistant to George Orwell at the BBC’s Indian Section of the Eastern Service. She arrived in Britain in the mid-1930s. She had come to Britain with her teacher in Poona, Winnie Duplex, to study at University College, London.

She joined the BBC in 1940 when the service expanded to broadcast different Indian languages including Marathi, her mother tongue. From 1941, Chitale assisted George Orwell in his work as a talks programme assistant for the BBC Indian section of the Eastern Service from 1941-43. She broadcast on his series of talks ‘Through Eastern Eyes’ as well as his 1942 magazine programme 'Voice'. She also broadcast as part of the series of talks ‘The Hand That Rocks The Cradle’, which focused on the role of women in the war effort. Like Indira Devi of Kapurthala, she also broadcast on the Home Service, where she served as a newsreader at the height of the war. She contributed to programmes such as ‘Indian Recipes’ and the ‘Kitchen Front’ series, which was produced by Jean Rowntree. Orwell was particularly impressed by Chitale and she was often complimented for her speaking voice. She became a full-time member of staff as the Marathi Programme Assistant in 1942.

While in London, Chitale also became involved with the India League and forged a close relationship with Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, Jawaharlal Nehru’s sister. She returned to India in 1950 and married Prof T. G. Khare. She published several novels and died in 1995.

Published works: 

In Transit, Foreword by Mulk Raj Anand (Bombay: Hind Kitabs, 1950)

Incognito (Pune: Sriniwas Cards, 1993)

Date of birth: 
28 Dec 1912
Secondary works: 

De Souza, Eunice and Pereira, Lindsay (eds), Women’s Voices: Selections from Nineteenth and Early-Twentieth Century Indian Writing in English (Delhi: OUP India, 2002)

West, W. J. (ed.), Orwell: The War Broadcasts (London: Duckworth/BBC, 1985)

Archive source: 

BBC Written Archives Centre, Caversham Park, Reading

City of birth: 
Shirole, Kolhapur
Country of birth: 
Other names: 

Leelabhai Ganesh Khare


Central Club YMCA
Great Russell Street
London, W.C.1B 3PE
United Kingdom
51° 31' 4.8504" N, 0° 7' 36.2964" W
48 New Cavendish Street
London, W1W 6XY
United Kingdom
51° 31' 8.2956" N, 0° 8' 57.3864" W
Date of death: 
01 Jan 1995
Precise date of death unknown: 
Location of death: 
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
01 Jan 1937
Precise 1st arrival date unknown: 
Dates of time spent in Britain: 


Sudhindra Nath Ghose


Sudhindra Nath Ghose was a Bengali novelist. After studying at the University of Calcutta, he travelled to Europe in the 1920s to continue his studies in Western Art at the University of Strasbourg where he graduated with a D.Litt. He subsequently worked as a research scholar at the Universities of London, Paris, Berlin, and Geneva. While at university he worked as a journalist, becoming foreign correspondent for The Hindu of Madras from 1924-32. He was also associate editor of World's Youth, the official organ of the YMCA from 1929-31. In 1931, he joined the staff of the Information Section of the League of Nations Secretariat in Geneva.

Ghose moved to England in 1940. He lectured to H. M. Forces and to US units about India from 1940-6. He was part of the panel of speakers that regularly toured for the India-Burma Association. Much of the research of his papers was conducted in the British Museum Reading Room, for which he had a reader’s pass. In the late 1940s, Ghose worked as the librarian for Student Movement House, 103 Gower Street, London, WC1, trying to persuade the British Council to offer translations of books about British life into Indian languages. He also organized its literary events. Ghose was not part of the Indian organizations fighting for independence, but worked as part of the political system and through his lectures tried to counter what he called ‘the systematic misrepresentation and vilification of Great Britain’ (Mss Eur F 153). He wrote lengthy reports on India League meetings and also attended meetings of the Committee of Indian Congressmen in Great Britain in the 1940s to write detailed reports for the India-Burma Association. Furthermore, Ghose wrote reports for the India-Burma Association following his lectures for Bevin trainees ('Bevin Boys') from India at Letchworth in 1944, fearing they might be led astray by Indian organizations campaigning for Indian independence in Britain.

Ghose was the proof-reader for the Bengali version of the government-produced brochure ‘War in Pictures’. During the war, he also worked as an ARP Warden in North Ealing. He tried on several occasions to get work with the BBC Eastern Service. He was invited to participate in a Round Table Discussion on India for the Home Service Department in May 1942. He was severely criticized by his friends at the Bibliophile Bookshop for taking part in this debate. Subsequently he became an occasional broadcaster for the BBC. He was commissioned by George Orwell in June 1942 to write a talk programme on the Future of Hinduism. However the talk was not accepted for broadcast, as Orwell thought it was not altogether suitable. Bokhari had blocked the broadcast of the programme for fear of antagonising the Hindu community in India and Ghose was subsequently released from his contract because he was deemed to be too expensive, after another venture for a Bengali-language news bulletin fell through. While the organization recognized Ghose’s proficiency in Bengali and his excellent delivery as a microphone speaker, it did not rate him as a script writer and did not employ him again.

Ghose was intensely critical of the Eastern Service, especially Bokhari and Anand, whose left-leaning politics he denounced in his private papers. Ghose alleged that Anand, Shelvankar, and Bokhari were conspiring against him. From 1943 onwards Ghose was a lecturer for the Imperial Institute’s Empire Lecture Scheme to Schools. After the end of the war, he stayed in England and continued to lecture on eastern and western art, architecture, philosophy and literature. He also published a successful tetraology of novels, based on his childhood in Bengal. He returned to India as a Visiting Professor of English at Visvabharati University, Santiniketan from 1957-8. He died in London in 1965 from a heart attack.

Published works: 

The Colours of a Great City: Two Playlets (London: C.W. Daniel Co. 1924)

Rossetti and Contemporary Criticism (London: Bowes, 1928) [non-fiction]

Post-War Europe: 1918-1937 (Calcutta: University of Calcutta, 1939) [non-fiction]

And Gazelles Leaping (London: Michael Joseph, 1949)

The Cradle of the Clouds (London: Michael Joseph, 1951)

The Vermillion Boat (London: Michael Joseph, 1953)

The Flame of the Forest (London: Michael Joseph, 1955)

Folk Tales and Fairy Stories from India (London: Golden Cockerel Press, 1961)

Folk Tales and Fairy Stories from Father India (London: Thomas Yoseloff, 1966)

Date of birth: 
30 Jul 1899

Lord Amery, Mulk Raj Anand (BBC), Z. A. Bokhari (BBC), G. H. Bozman, Hilton Brown (BBC), S. K. Datta, Alexander Duff, Edwin Haward (India-Burma Association),  Michael Joseph, C. H. Joyce, Edwin Haward (Secretary, India and Burma Association), S. Lall, (Deputy High Commissioner of India),  Salvador de Madariaga (BBC), Firoz Khan Noon, George Orwell (BBC), F. Richter (India Society), Krishnarao Shelvankar (BBC), L. F. Rushbrook Williams (BBC Eastern Service Director), Sir Francis Younghusband.

Committee of the International Assembly (London), Charles Lamb Society (London),International Friendship League, International P.E.N. Club, Member of the Allies Club (1942), Royal Institute of International Affairs, Student Movement House.

Contributions to periodicals: 

The Aryan Path

The Envoy

The Hindu, Madras

The Observer

World's Youth

Secondary works: 

Narayan, Shyamala A., Sudhin N. Ghose (New Delhi: Arnold-Heinemann India, 1973)

Who's Who of Indian Writers

Archive source: 

Mss Eur F153: Papers and correspondence, 1940-65, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

L/I/1/1383, India Office Records, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

Involved in events: 
City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Bengal, India
Current name city of birth: 
Other names: 

Sudhin N. Ghose


1 St Mary Abbots Court Kensington
London, W14 8PS
United Kingdom
51° 29' 50.5788" N, 0° 12' 12.222" W
12 St Simon's Avenue Putney
London, SW15 6DU
United Kingdom
51° 27' 28.9656" N, 0° 13' 28.272" W
9 Corringway North Ealing
London, W5 3EU
United Kingdom
51° 31' 23.7756" N, 0° 17' 4.3332" W
Date of death: 
30 Dec 1965
Location of death: 
London, England
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
01 Jan 1940
Precise 1st arrival date unknown: 
Dates of time spent in Britain: 



135 Oakwood Court, London, W14

S. M. Marath


S. M. Marath was born into an orthodox Nayar background in Trichur, at one time the capital of Cochin State. His ancestral home was Sri Padmanabha Mandiram in Tirunvambadi, Trichur. He combined a traditional South Indian background with a cosmopolitan education, studying for his BA in English at Madras Christian College and later, in 1934, enrolling at King’s College London. He went on to join the Indian Civil Service in London, working at India House after Independence in 1947. He married Nancy, an Irish woman, had two sons and settled permanently in Britain.

A Wound of Spring, his first novel, appeared in 1960 and is dedicated to his family. Prior to this, between 1934 and 1960, he published short stories, critical essays and reviews, and broadcast regularly with the BBC Home, Education and Eastern Service. Whilst Marath regularly reviewed Indian works in British periodicals – by Mulk Raj Anand, Bhabani Bhattacharya, Aubrey Menen, Jawaharlal Nehru and M. K. Gandhi, among others – he also wrote commentaries on British writers, French literature and religious philosophy. His published works are all set in Kerala, South India, close to his ancestral home. Written in English and drawing on a wide range of sources, they explore broad existential questions. In Janu, his last published novel, he addresses specific issues related to the Indo-British encounter which indirectly draws on his experience as an Indian living in Britain. He died in London in 2003.

Published works: 

The Wound of Spring (London: Dennis Dobson; Calcutta: Rupa & Co., 1960)

The Sale of an Island (London: Dennis Dobson; Calcutta: Rupa & Co., 1968)

Janu (1988)


Letter to Mohamed Elias, 23 October 1979, in Elias, Mohamed, Menon Marath (Macmillan India, 1981), p. 44

Date of birth: 
29 Oct 1906

Here Marath describes in a letter the impact of English on his life as a writer living in Britain.


Mulk Raj Anand, H. N. Brailsford, Robert Herring, N. Roy Lewis, Aubrey Menen, Krishna Menon, George Orwell, Lord Pethick-Lawrence, Raja Rao, Rolfe Arnold Scott-James.

Buddhist Society, Pimlico; Indian High Commission; King’s College London.

Contributions to periodicals: 


The Hindu Illustrated Weekly

King’s College Review

Life and Letters Today

The London Mercury

The Listener

Times Literary Supplement


Asia and Africa Review

The Auckland Star

The Bookseller

Cork Examiner

Glasgow Herald

Hindustan Standard

London Evening News

New Statesman

Swaziland Times

Times Literary Supplement


Truth to say, English really has been my language always. The subtleties of English as a medium of communication captivated me right from the start. I never intended to write in any language but English. Perhaps I was one of those Indians who were mentally enslaved by our foreign rulers. I confess this with shame. The direct consequence of this was my coming to England. I think I had come here to be released from this enthralment.

Secondary works: 

Elias, Mohamed, Menon Marath, Kerala Writers in English (Macmillan India, 1981)

Harrex, S. C., The Fire and the Offering: The English Language Novel of India (Calcutta: Indian Writers Workshop, 1977)

Mukherjee, M., The Twice-Born Fiction: Themes and Techniques of the Indian Novel in English (Delhi: Heinemann, 1971)


Like many other Indian writers in English of his generation, Marath was aware from the outset of the difficulties of translating his experience of Kerala into English and finding an appropriate form to articulate this.

Archive source: 

S. Menon Marath Papers, Add. 73500, British Library, St Pancras

Involved in events: 

India League meetings

Independence celebrations at India House, London

City of birth: 
Trichur, Cochin, Kerala
Country of birth: 
Other names: 

Sankarankutty Menon Marath

Sam Menon Marath


Middlesex, TW11 8ES
United Kingdom
51° 25' 37.2324" N, 0° 20' 14.37" W
London, NW3 6NR
United Kingdom
51° 33' 20.1924" N, 0° 11' 36.7116" W
Date of death: 
02 Jan 2003
Location of death: 
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
01 Jan 1934
Precise 1st arrival date unknown: 
Dates of time spent in Britain: 


Iqbal Singh


Iqbal Singh was a Punjabi author, journalist and broadcaster. Fearing that their son would become radicalized by the political climate of the Punjab in the 1920s and 1930s, his parents sent him to England and France to complete his education. In London, however, he became involved with a group of politically active writers and intellectuals, including Mulk Raj Anand, Sasadhar Sinha and Krishnarao Shelvankar. With Sinha, Shelvankar and the Ceylonese writer Alagu Subramaniam, he founded the magazine Indian Writing which combined literature with politics and was based at the Bibliophile Bookshop. Indian Political Intelligence surveillance files place him at several meetings of the Progressive Writers’ Association, and he contributed a short story to the first (and probably only) edition of their magazine New Indian Literature. He also attended numerous India League meetings, where he associated with British political figures of the left such as Reginald Bridgeman and Ben Bradley, as well as his fellow Indian writers and activists.

Singh published his first book, Gautama Buddha, an analysis of the Buddha’s life, in 1927 when in his early twenties. It shows the influence on him of European writers such as Shakespeare and Baudelaire, as well as Indian writers. In addition to short fiction, he wrote essays on Indian literature, art, history and politics which he contributed to a number of magazines. He published a book on the poet-philosopher Mohammad Iqbal, and co-edited an anthology of short stories by Indian writers with Mulk Raj Anand, and a collection of socio-political essays on India on the cusp of independence with Raja Rao. It is uncertain exactly when he returned to India. Once there, he continued to work as a journalist and writer, as well as a broadcaster.

Published works: 

Gautama Buddha (London: Boriswood, 1937)

(ed. with Raja Rao) Changing India (London: Allen & Unwin, 1939)

(ed. with Mulk Raj Anand) Indian Short Stories (London: New India Publishing Company, 1946)

(ed. with Raja Rao) Whither India? (Baroda: Padmaja Publications, 1948)

The Ardent Pilgrim: An Introduction to the Life and Works of Mohammed Iqbal (London: Longmans, 1951)

Rammohun Roy: A Biographical Inquiry into the Making of Modern India (London: Asia Publishing House, 1958)

Date of birth: 
28 Sep 1912

Surat Alley, Mulk Raj Anand, Ben Bradley, Reginald Bridgeman, D. P. Chaudhuri, D. N. Dutt, Mrs Dutt, P. N. Haksar, Sunder Kabadia, Narayana Menon, V. K. Krishna Menon, Syedi Mohamedi, Raja Rao, K. S. Shelvankar, Sasadhar Sinha, Alagu Subramaniam, Sajjad Zaheer.

London Indian Majlis

Contributions to periodicals: 

Indian Writing

Life and Letters (‘India: A Contemporary Perspective’, 21.20, 1939; ‘Indian Art: Perspective for a Revaluation’, 28.42, 1941; ‘Tagore: A Determination’, 32.55, 1942)

New Indian Literature (‘When One Is In It’, 1, 1936)


Mulk Raj Anand, Life and Letters 18.11 (1938), pp. 178-80 (Gautama Buddha)

Archive source: 

L/PJ/12/450, India Office Records, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

L/PJ/12/453, India Office Records, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

L/PJ/12/499, India Office Records, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras

Involved in events: 

Meetings of the India League and the Progressive Writers’ Association

City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Current name country of birth: 
Date of death: 
01 Jan 2001
Precise date of death unknown: 
Dates of time spent in Britain: 

1936-41 at least


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