Ethel Mannin

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Ethel Mannin
Ethel Edith Mannin.jpg
Born 6 October 1900
Clapham, London
Died 5 December 1984(1984-12-05) (aged 84)
Teignmouth, Devon

Ethel Edith Mannin (6 October 1900[1] – 5 December 1984) was a popular British novelist and travel writer. She was born in London into a family with an Irish background.

Life and career[edit]

Her writing career began in copy-writing and journalism. She became a prolific author, and also politically and socially concerned. Mannin's memoir of the 1920s, Confessions and Impressions sold widely and was one of the first Penguin paperbacks.[2]

She initially supported the Labour Party but became disillusioned in the 1930s. A visit in 1936 to the USSR left her unfavourable to communism. According to R. F. Foster (W. B. Yeats: A Life II p. 512)[3] 'She was a member of the Independent Labour Party, and her ideology in the 1930s tended to anarcho-syndicalism rather than hardline Communism, but she was emphatically and vociferously left-wing'. She came to support anarchism, and wrote about the Russian-born, American anarchist Emma Goldman, a colleague in the Solidaridad Internacional Antifascista at the time of the Spanish Civil War. Mannin was actively involved in anti-imperialist activity on behalf of African nations during the 1930s, and befriended George Padmore, C.L.R. James and Chris Braithwaite who were leading figures involved in these movements.[4] Mannin supported the military actions of the Spanish Republic, but opposed the Second World War.[5]

Mannin listed Bart de Ligt and A. S. Neill as thinkers who influenced her ideas.[6] She described W. Somerset Maugham and Aldous Huxley as the writers she most admired, called Norman Haire the 'one completely rational person she had ever met' [7] and stated her "opposition to capital punishment, orthodox education and blood sports".[6]

Mannin's 1944 book Bread and Roses: A Utopian Survey and Blue-Print has been described by historian Robert Graham as setting forth "an ecological vision in opposition to the prevailing and destructive industrial organization of society".[8]

In 1954, Mannin was one of several signatories to a letter protesting against mass executions of Kenyans by the colonial government who had been "charged with offences less than murder".[9]

She married twice: in 1919, a short-lived relationship from which she gained one daughter, and in 1938 to Reginald Reynolds, a Quaker and go-between in India between Mahatma Gandhi and the British authorities. In 1934-5 she was in an intense but problematic intellectual, emotional and physical relationship with W. B. Yeats, who was on the rebound from Margot Ruddock and about to fall for Dorothy Wellesley (a detailed account is in R. F. Foster's life of Yeats, concluding mainly that her emotional engagement was much less than his).[3] She also had a well-publicised affair with Bertrand Russell.

A passionate football fan, she was also the long-time chairwoman of Shrewsbury Town F.C..[10]


Works[edit]

Autobiographies[edit]

  • Confessions and Impressions (1930)
  • Privileged Spectator (1939)
  • Connemara Journal (1947)
  • Brief Voices (1959)
  • Young in the Twenties: A Chapter of Autobiography (1971)
  • Sunset over Dartmoor: A Final Chapter of Autobiography (1977)

Other works[edit]

  • Martha (1923)
  • Hunger of the Sea (1924)
  • Sounding Brass (1925)
  • Three New Love Stories (1925) with Warwick Deeping and Gilbert Frankau
  • Pilgrims (1927)
  • Green Willows (1928)
  • Crescendo, Being the Dark Odyssey of Gilbert Stroud (1929)
  • Children of the Earth (1930)
  • Song of the Bomber (1936)
  • Ragged Banners (1931)
  • Bruised Wings and Other Stories (1931)
  • Common-sense and the Child (1931)
  • Green Figs (1931) stories
  • The Tinsel Eden and Other Stories (1931)
  • All Experience (1932)
  • Linda Shawn (1932)
  • Love's Winnowing (1932)
  • Venetian Blinds (1933)
  • Dryad (1933) stories
  • Men Are Unwise (1934)
  • Some Adventures With A School (1934) with Margaret Johnston
  • Cactus (1935)
  • Forever Wandering (1935)
  • The Falconer's Voice (1935)
  • Forbidden Music (1935)
  • South to Samarkand (1936)
  • Spain and Us (with J.B. Priestley, Rebecca West, Stephen Spender, Francis Meynell,

Louis Golding, T. F. Powys, J. Langdon-Davies, Catherine Carswell) (1936)

  • The Pure Flame (1936)
  • Sounding Brass (1937)
  • Women Also Dream (1937)
  • Common-Sense and the Adolescent (1937)
  • Women and the Revolution (1938)
  • Rose and Sylvie (1938)
  • Darkness My Bride (1938)
  • Julie: The story of a dance-hostess (1940)
  • Rolling in the Dew (1940)
  • Against Race-Hatred and for a Socialist Peace (with Richard Acland, Vera Brittain, G. D. H. Cole,

Victor Gollancz, Augustus John, James Maxton and J. B Priestley ) (1940)

  • Commonsense and Morality (1941)
  • Red Rose: A Novel based on the Life of Emma Goldman (1941)
  • Captain Moonlight (1942)
  • The Blossoming Bough (1942)
  • Castles in the Street (1942)
  • Proud Heaven (1943)
  • No More Mimosa (1943)
  • Bread and Roses: An Utopian Survey and Blue-Print (1944)
  • Comrade O Comrade, or, Low-Down on the Left (1945)
  • Lucifer and the Child (1945)
  • Christianity or Chaos? (1946)
  • Selected Stories (1946)
  • The Dark Forest (1946)
  • Why I Am Still a Pacifist (with Catherina de Ligt, Hugh Fausset, Laurence Housman, Clare Sheridan,

Alex Wood[disambiguation needed], and Myrtle Wright (1946).

  • Bavarian Story (1948)
  • German Journey (1948)
  • Late Have I Loved Thee (1948)
  • Every Man a Stranger (1949)
  • Jungle Journey: 7000 Miles through India and Pakistan (1950)
  • At Sundown the Tiger (1951)
  • The Fields at Evening (1952)
  • The Wild Swans and Other Tales Based on the Ancient Irish (1952)
  • This Was a Man: Some Memories of Robert Mannin by His Daughter (1952)
  • Lover under Another Name (1953)
  • Moroccan Mosaic (1953)
  • So Tiberius … (1954)
  • Two Studies in Integrity: Gerald Griffin and the Rev. Francis Mahony ('Father Prout') (1954)
  • Land of the Crested Lion: A Journey through Modern Burma (1955)
  • The Living Lotus (1956)
  • Pity the Innocent (1957)
  • The Country of the Sea: Some Wanderings in Brittany (1957)
  • Fragrance of Hyacinths (1958)
  • Ann and Peter in Sweden (1959)
  • The Blue-eyed Boy (1959)
  • Ann and Peter in Japan (1960)
  • The Flowery Sword: Travels in Japan (1960)
  • Sabisha (1961)
  • Ann and Peter in Austria (1962)
  • Curfew at Dawn (1962)
  • With Will Adams Through Japan (1962)
  • A Lance for the Arabs: A Middle East Journey (1963)
  • The Road to Beersheba (Hutchinson, 1963).
  • Aspects of Egypt: Some Travels in the United Arab Republic (1964)
  • Rebels' Ride. A Consideration of the Revolt of the Individual (1964)
  • Report from Iraq (1964)
  • Lovely Land: The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (1965)
  • The Burning Bush (1965)
  • Loneliness: A Study of the Human Condition (1966)
  • The Night and Its Homing (1966)
  • The Lady and the Mystic (1967)
  • An American Journey (1967)
  • Bitter Babylon (1968)
  • England for a Change (1968)
  • The Saga of Sammy-Cat (1969)
  • Practitioners of Love. Some Aspects of the Human Phenomenon (1969)
  • The Midnight Street (1969)
  • England at Large (1970)
  • Free Pass to Nowhere (1970)
  • My Cat Sammy (1971)
  • England My Adventure (1972)
  • The Curious Adventure of Major Fosdick (1972)
  • Mission to Beirut (1973)
  • Stories from My Life (1973)
  • An Italian Journey (1974)
  • Kildoon (1974)
  • The Late Miss Guthrie (1976)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ethel Mannin - Gilbert Turner Papers, 1922-1981". Emory University, Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  2. ^ "Writer, Pacifist Mannin Dies". The Montreal Gazette, 10 December 1984.
  3. ^ a b Roy Foster, W. B. Yeats - A Life, II: The Arch-Poet 1915-1939. Oxford, 2003, ISBN 0-19-818465-4 (pp. 504, 510–512).
  4. ^ Susan Dabney Pennybacker, From Scottsboro to Munich: Race and Political Culture in 1930s Britain. Princeton University Press, 2009 ISBN 069114186X, (pp. 93-4).
  5. ^ Martin Ceadel, Pacifism in Britain, 1914-1945 : the defining of a faith . Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1980. ISBN 0198218826 (p.229)
  6. ^ a b Twentieth century authors, a biographical dictionary of modern literature, edited by Stanley J. Kunitz and Howard Haycraft; (Third Edition). New York, The H.W. Wilson Company, 1950 (p.905-6)
  7. ^ Wyndham, Diana; Kirby, Michael. Foreword- (2012), Norman Haire and the study of sex, Sydney University Press, ISBN 978-1-74332-006-8 , p. 415 quoting Confessions and Impressions (1930), pp. 191, 194.
  8. ^ Robert Graham, Anarchism Volume Two: The Anarchist Current (1939-2006). Black Rose Books, 2009 ISBN 1551643103, (p.72-5).
  9. ^ "Hanging in Kenya", Tribune Magazine, 24 December 1954. Other signatories of the letter included Bertrand Russell, Lord Boyd Orr, H. N. Brailsford, Canon Charles E. Raven, Canon John Collins, Benn Levy, Reginald Reynolds, Lord Stansgate, Augustus John, Monica Whateley, and Victor Gollancz.
  10. ^ Nicola Adam, David Simmons (eds) Reassessing the Twentieth-Century Canon: From Joseph Conrad to Zadie Smith, Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.

External links[edit]