In 1932, C.L.R. James left his home in Trinidad for the first time and sailed to the United Kingdom to fulfill his literary ambitions. He was thirty-one years old. During his first weeks in London he wrote a series of vigorously opinionated essays for the Port of Spain Gazette, giving his impressions of the great city and its inhabitants, and describing his progress through the Bohemian circles of Bloomsbury.
Letters from London collects these essays for the first time in seventy years, offering an essential record of a crucial period in James’s life. As the education and manners of his colonial upbringing are tested in the heady atmosphere of cosmopolitan London, we sense the emergence of the revolutionary thinker who was to become a major intellectual figure not just of the West Indies but of the world.
|Publisher:||MEP - Prospect Press|
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||4.50(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.60(d)|
About the Author
Historian of revolution, Marxist philosopher, novelist, activist, and critic, C.L.R. JAMES (1901–1989), was a major intellectual figure of the twentieth century. Born in Trinidad, he spent most of his life outside the Caribbean, working with various revolutionary movements in Britain and the United States. His classic works include American Civilization, Beyond a Boundary, and Mariners, Renegades and Castaways, recently published by UPNE for the first time in its complete form since its original appearance.
Table of Contents
Editorial notes xxx
Letters from London
A Visit tot he Science and Art Museums 1
The Bloomsbury Atmosphere 17
Bloomsbury Again 37
The Houses 57
The Men 73
The Women 91
The Nucleus of a Great Civilisation 109
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
C.L.R. James (1901-1989) was a famous historian, Marxist, and postcolonial theorist, as well as an avid cricket enthusiast. He was born and educated in Trinidad, and worked as a teacher, journalist, and writer. He traveled to England in 1932 on the request of a good friend, the Trinidadian cricketeer Learie Constantine, and initially spent several weeks living in Bloomsbury in London. He wrote nine essays for the Port of Spain Guardian about his visit to the capital; seven of these essays are contained in Letters from London.James has a classical English education and a great love of literature, and he fits in with Bloomsbury life "as naturally as a pencil fits into a sharpener." He is befriended by English, Indian and West Indian students, intellectuals and writers, including the poet Edith Sitwell, and he fondly describes these meetings in two of the essays. Other pieces describe his visits to the Victoria and Albert and the Science Museums, the Bohemian life of those who live in Bloomsbury, the cramped yet cozy living conditions of his rooming house, and his interactions with the young, educated, independent and open-minded London women that he meets. The essays provide a vivid insight into Bloomsbury life and 1930s London, and this book was a quick and pleasurable read.