Charles Madge

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Charles Henry Madge (10 October 1912 – 17 January 1996),[1] was an English poet, journalist and sociologist, now most remembered as a founder of Mass-Observation.[2][3]

Life[edit]

Charles Henry Madge was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, son of Lieut-Col. Charles Madge (1874-1916) and Barbara Hylton-Foster (1882-1967). He was educated at Winchester College and studied at Magdalene College, Cambridge. He was a literary figure from his early twenties, becoming a friend of David Gascoyne; like Gascoyne he was generally classed as a surrealist poet. Madge's essay "Surrealism for the English" (New Verse magazine, December 1933) argued that potential English surrealist poets would need both a knowledge of "the philosophical position of the French surrealists" and "a knowledge of their own language and literature".[4] Madge contributed the essay "Pens Dipped In Poison" (1934) to Left Review, a strong critique of the British intellectuals who had supported the First World War.[5] He worked for a spell as a reporter for the Daily Mirror. By the end of the 1930s, he was more involved in Mass-Observation surveys and reports, socialist realism (in theory) and Communism. By the 1940s, however, Madge was moving away from Communism.[2]

In 1947 he became the Social Development Officer for Stevenage New Town, and in 1950 (despite never having completed a university degree) he was appointed as the first Professor of Sociology at the University of Birmingham, a position he held until1970.[2]

Faber and Faber published his poetry as The Disappearing Castle (1937) and The Father Found (1941).

Family[edit]

In 1938, Charles Madge married the poet Kathleen Raine (previously married to Hugh Sykes Davies). He had two children by Kathleen Raine: Anna Madge (b. 1934) and James Wolf Madge (1936-2006) who married Jennifer Alliston, daughter of architects Jane Drew and James Thomas Alliston. In 1942 he married Inez Pearn, a young novelist who published under the name of Elizabeth Lake. She had previously been married to Stephen Spender.[6] They had two children. Inez died in 1976. Charles married his third wife, Evelyn Brown, in 1979.[7]

Books[edit]

POETRY

  • The Disappearing Castle. Charles Madge. Faber & Faber, London, 1937.
  • The Father Found. Charles Madge. Faber & Faber, London, 1941.
  • Of Love, Time and Places: Selected Poems. Charles Madge. Anvil Press, London, 1994.

SOCIOLOGY

  • Mass Observation Number One. Charles Madge & Tom Harrisson. Frederick Muller, London, 1937.
  • May the Twelfth: Mass Observation Day – surveys 1937 by over two hundred observers. Charles Madge & Humphrey Jennings (editors). Faber & Faber, London, 1937.
  • First Year’s Work, 1937-1938, by Mass Observation. Charles Madge and Tom Harrisson. Lindsay Drummond, London, 1938.
  • Britain, by Mass-Observation. Charles Madge and Tom Harrisson. Penguin Books, London, 1939.
  • War Begins at Home, by Mass Observation. Charles Madge and Tom Harrisson (editors). Chatto & Windus, London, 1940.
  • The propensity to save in Blackburn and Bristol. Charles Madge. National Institute of Economic and Social Research, London, 1940.
  • Industry after the War: Who is going to run it?. Charles Madge in consultation with Donald Tyerman. Foreword by William Beveridge. Pilot Press, London, 1943.
  • Pilot Guide to the General Election. Charles Madge (editor). Pilot Press, London, 1945.
  • To Start You Talking. An experiment in Broadcasting. Charles Madge, A.W. Coysh & George Dixon, and a commentary on the reactions of listening groups by Inez Madge. Pilot Press, London, 1945.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ New General Catalog of Old Books and Authors
  2. ^ a b c Philip Bounds, Orwell and Marxism: the political and cultural thinking of George Orwell. London: I.B. Tauris, 2009. ISBN 9781845118075 (p. 204)
  3. ^ "...the development of the Mass-Observation movement began with an informal group of friends and colleagues who met frequently in Blackheath at the London home of Charles Madge, Surrealist poet, journalist and soon-to-be sociologist." Natalya Lusty; Helen Groth (eds.) Dreams and modernity: a cultural history. London: Routledge, 2013. ISBN 9780415606943 (p. 151).
  4. ^ Rob Jackaman, The Course of English Surrealist Poetry since the 1930s. Lewiston: E. Mellen Press, 1989. ISBN 0889469326 (p. 92).
  5. ^ Brian Pearce,"Some Lessons From History: The Left Review, 1934–1938" The Newsletter, November 1959.
  6. ^ "Spanish Portrait. Elizabeth Lake, Faber & Faber, London, 1938. Republished, The Clapton Press, London, 2019. Pp 227 et seq".
  7. ^ Charles Madge: Obituary by Angus Calder, The Independent, 20 Jan 1976

External links[edit]