Maurice Edelman

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Israel Maurice Edelman (2 March 1911 – 14 December 1975) was a Wales-born British Labour Party politician and novelist who represented Coventry constituencies in the House of Commons for over 30 years.

Early life[edit]

Maurice Edelman was born in Cardiff in 1911.[1] His parents came to Wales in 1905, escaping the pogroms in Tsarist Russia and Poland. His father was a photographer.[2] He was educated at Cardiff High School[1] and Trinity College, Cambridge,[1] where he was an Exhibitioner in Modern Languages (French, German and later Russian). He joined the plywood industry in 1931 as a company director and at the outbreak of the Second World War was engaged in research into the application of plywood and plastic materials to aircraft construction.[1]

Writing career[edit]

Edelman was a prolific journalist and author of several works of fiction and non-fiction. His novels included A Trial of Love (1951), Who Goes Home? (1953), A Dream of Treason (1954), The Happy Ones (1957), A Call on Kuprim (1959), The Minister (1961), The Fratricides (1963), The Prime Minister's Daughter (1964), All on a Summer's Night (1969) and Disraeli In Love (1972).[3]

His non-fiction works included France: The Birth of the Fourth Republic,[1] and a biography of David Ben Gurion.[2] He also produced screenplays for television broadcasts during the 1960s and 1970s.[4] During the Second World War he worked for Picture Post as a war correspondent in North Africa and Italy.[1]

Political Career and Death[edit]

At the 1945 election Edelman was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for Coventry West.[1] In 1950 he won the new seat of Coventry North.

He was a vice-chairman of the British Council and chairman of the Franco-British Parliamentary Relations Committee.[1] He was a founder member of the Council of Europe in 1949.[1] A lifelong Francophile, Edelman was appointed Officier de la Légion d'Honneur in 1960,[1] having previously been awarded Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur in 1954.[5]

Following further boundary changes in 1974, Edelman represented Coventry North West until his death. His successor was Geoffrey Robinson, who won a by-election on 4 March 1976.

He appeared on the live television panel show "What's My Line?" from New York on 29 April 1962.[6]

He was also president of the Anglo-Jewish Association, and an active member of the Friends of the Hebrew University.[2] He died on 14 December 1975 aged 64.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Biography in Penguin Books edition of 'The Minister' 1964
  2. ^ a b c Jewish Telegraphic Agency
  3. ^ Catalogue of archives held at the Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick.
  4. ^ BFI filmography at (accessed 21 December 2015)
  5. ^ Letter offering Edelman the rank of officer of the French Légion d'Honneur, 1960, included in a file of "Miscellaneous official correspondence" [MSS.125/1/3/60] from the archives of Maurice Edelman, Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick
  6. ^ YouTube video

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Coventry West
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Coventry North
1950February 1974
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Coventry North West
February 19741976
Succeeded by
Geoffrey Robinson