Signs of Change; Lectures on Socialism

Signs of Change; Lectures on Socialism

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Signs of Change; Lectures on Socialism

Signs of Change; Lectures on Socialism

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Excerpt

The diary of the Socialist movement which my father began to write in 1887 with a view to publication later was started on a very full scale, as it was meant to be a record of the happenings and tendencies of a time that the writer felt to be full of meaning and to presage great change. Naturally he kept it up but a short time--it is only necessary to read through a month's, or even a week's list of his lecture and other engagements to see that he had no leisure for yet further writing: but there it is, witness of a man's incessant toil and cheerful abnegation of personal comfort and leisurepursuits for the sake of explaining his beliefs to sometimes indifferent listeners.

One night he is at Merton Abbey lecturing on True and False Society to "rather rough lot of honest poor people" I then at the Hammersmith Club speaking on the Labour Question. Then next Sunday, after speaking in the open air--"a very cold windy (N.E.) morning at the Walham Green station"--he lectures to our own League Branch in the evening on Mediaeval England. Another day he is at Hackney, lecturing on Monopoly--"a new lecture and good, though I say it"; and then we find him in Edinburgh, in the thick of one of his Scotch campaigns, which, as you will remember, he always enjoyed. The repetition will be forgiven perhaps if I remind you again that in the midst of all this racket, this tossing to and fro, the translation of the Odyssey is being printed: in a letter in which he tells Jenny of certain street-disturbances of a trivial nature being "an elaborate lie" got up locally to discredit the Socialists, he says, "I've just finished the 16th book and am getting the first volume through the press fairly quick considering, not the wings of love but those of printers."

I have before me two long lists in parallel columns of lectures on Art and lectures on Socialism. Some are published already and are included in these volumes; some are in manuscript--ragged, much used manuscript, several of them--and the blank portion of the last page, or the back of . . .

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