Interwar Progressives

This is the page for the project I'm currently working on relating to progressive individuals and movements in Britain between the Wars. So far this is mostly work in progress, working title 'Orwell's Anathema', since he was vitriolic about these cranks, this 'dreary tribe of high-minded women and sandal-wearers and bearded fruit-juice drinkers.... 'vegetarians with wilting beards... earnest ladies in sandals... birth control fanatics', nudists, 'Nature Cure quacks', pacifists and feminists, as well as chubby ramblers in pistachio-coloured shirts and shorts. (The Road to Wigan Pier). Whereas I think there is probably more to be said about them than this blanket dismissal.


Podcast of talk I gave on To Create Community: Some Contrasting Interwar Initiatives in the UK to the Voluntary Action History Seminar at the Institute of Historical Research

My Roy Porter Memorial Lecture 2014 was on 'Healthy Lives/Healthy World: Utopian Visions in Interwar Britain': downloadable pdf of text.

My article '"A city that we shall never find"? the search for a community of fellow progressive spirits in the UK between the wars', in Family and Community History, 18, 2015

Now online (The Wellsian, up to volume 40, 2017 is now digitally available, I am sure Mr Wells would be gratified): Open Conspirators Seek Similar: The Inspiration of H.G. Wells’s Utopian Dreams, The Wellsian, 40, 2017


The Space Between: Literature and Culture, 1914-1945
'The Space Between is a society for the study of literature and culture of the period between the First and Second World Wars. It provides an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary forum for discussion and research of texts, authors and new approaches to traditionally canonical works. It also encourages fresh examinations of art, society and culture illuminating the interwar and wartime periods. The society sponsors an annual conference and a journal.

Workshop: Rethinking the Avant-Garde: Radical Politics and Culture in Europe and the World
11-12 November 2021, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland


Website of considerable relevance: Peace and internationalism: archives of organisations and individuals in the library of the London School of Economics

"Time and Tide: Connections and Legacies": exploring the interwar history and ongoing relevance of Time and Tide, the influential feminist magazine that was launched in 1920. Founded by Welsh businesswoman and feminist Lady Rhondda, Time and Tide became one of the leading reviews of politics and culture during the interwar years, competitive with the New Statesman, and was the only woman-controlled publication of its kind.


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Last Updated 2 June 2021 by Lesley Hall