Monday, 4 January 2010

On this day...

The Fabian society, a British socialist movement, was founded in 1884. A pre-cursor of the Labour party, the Fabians promoted the rise of social democracy, yet by reformist, as opposed to revolutionary means. Although interesting in itself as a political movement, the Fabian Society is perhaps more  worthy of note for a number of its past members, many with literary connections. One of the co-founders was children's author E. Nesbit, who was closely followed by Irish playwright George Bernanrd Shaw, and later science fiction writer H.G. Wells, a second Irish playwright in Oscar Wilde, and modernist Virginia Woolf. Shaw in particular was an ardent member, giving lectures on other contemporary socialist writers, of which there were many, notably Swedish playwright Henrik Ibsen. Along with three fellows Fabians, Shaw founded the London School of Economics in 1895; a library in LSE is named in his honour.

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