Famous Fabians across the Years

Article excerpt

ANNIE BESANT (1847-1933) Described by George Bernard Shaw as "the greatest orator in England" at the time she joined the Fabian Society in 1885, Annie Besant was a driving force behind the organisation. She led the 1888 London Matchgirls Strike and the 1889 London Dock Strike. Besant left the Fabian Society in 1890 but her political activism continued in India in 1916 where she launched the Home Rule League.

GEORGE BERNARD SHAW (1856-1950) Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw was a leading light in the Fabian Society from its foundation and contributed hugely to the early years of the society. He edited and contributed to the landmark 1889 publication Fabian Essays in Socialism. He also co-founded the London School of Economics with Sidney Webb BEATRICE WEBB (1853-1943) and SIDNEY WEBB (1859-1947) These pioneers of British socialism argued in favour of Lords reform in 1914, called for a national minimum wage in 1918 and predicted a customs union for Europe in 1923 and argued in favour of equal pay between men and women. As co-founders of the society, they were also responsible for the Fabian Research Department which studied social and economic problems of their age. …


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