‘Distance lends enchantment to the view’: The Left Book Club abroad.

Modern British Studies Birmingham

Chloe Ward 2 Chloe Ward

Chloe Ward, who is spending some time with MBS as a Universitas 21 Visiting Fellow from the University of Melbourne writes this week on the transnational history of the Left Book Club. You can follow Chloe on Twitter @doctorchlod.


In April 1946 Horace Flower, the manager of the Queensland Farmers’ Co-Operative Association, wrote to the British publisher Victor Gollancz. Flower thanked Gollancz for his ‘splendid work … to open the eyes and the minds of so many world-citizens’ through the Left Book Club. He wrote that the Club’s influence through extended well beyond Britain’s borders:

… ‘distance lends enchantment to the view’ … If you remove the distance then you find we are pretty much alike and with about the same large percentage of unthinking citizens who blindly accept what the Beaverbrooks and Northcliffs (sic) of the world tell them to believe” [1]

Left Book Club Membership Form c. 1938 Left Book Club Membership Form…

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