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He was born into a Roman Catholic family, resident at 53 Montserrat Road, Putney. He was educated at the Benedictine Ealing Priory School, but left school at the age of 15 after his father, Stanhope Sprigg, lost his job as literary editor of the Daily Express. Caudwell moved with his father to Bradford and began work as a reporter for the Yorkshire Observer. He made his way to Marxism and set about rethinking everything in light of it, from poetry to philosophy to physics, later joining the Communist Party of Great Britain in Poplar, London. In December 1936 he drove an ambulance to Spain and joined the International Brigades there, training as a machine-gunner at Albacete before becoming a machine-gun instructor and group political delegate. He edited a wall newspaper.
He was killed in action on 12 February 1937, the first day of the Battle of the Jarama Valley. His brother, Theodore, had attempted to have Caudwell recalled by the Communist Party of Great Britain by showing its General Secretary, Harry Pollitt, the proofs of Caudwell's book Illusion and Reality. Caudwell's Marxist works were published posthumously. The first was Illusion and Reality (1937), an analysis of poetry.
Caudwell published widely, writing criticism, poetry, short stories and novels. Much of his work was published posthumously. His mystery novel, Death of an Airman, was re-released in 2015 by The British Library Publishing Division in the United Kingdom and by Poisoned Pen Press in the United States.
- Illusion and Reality (1937)
- Studies in a Dying Culture (1938)
- The Crisis in Physics (1939)
- Further Studies in a Dying Culture (1949)
- Romance and Realism (1970)
- Scenes and Actions (1986)
"The concept of freedom", 1st edition published by Lawrence & Wishart, London, 1965
- The Kingdom of Heaven (1929)
- Crime in Kensington/Pass the Body (1933)
- Fatality in Fleet Street (1933)
- The Perfect Alibi (1934)
- Death of an Airman (1934)
- The Corpse with the Sunburnt Face (1935)
- Death of a Queen (1935)
- The Six Queer Things (1937)
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Christopher Caudwell|
- Christopher Caudwell at Find a Grave (surname misspelled)
- Christopher Caudwell Archive at the Marxists Internet Archive
- Christopher Caudwell by Helena Sheehan: an extract from Marxism and the Philosophy of Science: A Critical History (Humanities Press: 1985, 1993).
- A British Hero - Christopher St.John Sprigg aka Christopher Caudwell by Dr. James Whetter (Lyfrow Trelyspen: 2011).