perhaps best known for her work as organiser of
the International Brigade Dependants and Wounded
Aid Committee and as the wife of the world famous
scientist J.B.S. Haldane (their life together
is well described), Charlotte Haldane had a varied
and interesting life that reached into many fields.
was born in 1894 in the London suburb of Sydenham
of Jewish immigrant parents and counted among
the many friends in her literary circle the writers
Malcolm Lowry and the eminent critic William Empson.
wrote seven novels, 13 biographies, made radio
broadcasts, wrote plays and political essays,
as well as her own autobiography Truth Will
Out (1949), which dealt with her life and
subsequent split with the Communist Party, of
which she had been a member for many years.
ardent feminist, she was one of the earliest women
journalists on Fleet Street and Britains
first female war correspondent. She acted as guide
and interpreter to Paul and Eslanda Robeson in
author says: Charlotte Haldane was a prototype
of the woman whose way opened largely as a result
of the social transformation of the First World
War [and that] her writing is an honest,
radical account of a generation which had a profound
sense of vocation but not always a clear idea
of where that vocation would lead.
is a good assessment of one who, while not a major
figure in the labour movement, nevertheless made
a contribution through her writings and political
activity, and for this she deserves to be remembered.
first life of Charlotte Haldane (1894-1969) will
help to this end.