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University Libraries - Papers of Lord Allen of Hurtwood (1899-1939)

Papers of Lord Allen of Hurtwood (1899-1939)

Collection Description

This collection documents the political life and works of the British pacifist, propagandist, and leftist organizer Reginald Clifford Allen, Lord Allen of Hurtwood, (1889-1939). The archive is a comprehensive collection of the author’s professional correspondence, manuscripts and speeches. It was acquired by the university in the mid- 1960s from Allen’s widow, Lady Allen, through the intercession of the British historian Martin Gilbert, who held a visiting position at the University of South Carolina after the completion of his book on Allen, Plough My Own Furrow: The Story of Lord Allen of Hurtwood as Told Through His Writings and Correspondence (1965).
 
Clifford Allen was part of a group of left-leaning conscientious objectors and pacifists who chose prison rather than conscription during World War I. His prison experience left him with the tuberculosis that cost him a political career and periodically immobilized him. It killed him in 1939.
 
Allen was an organizer, publisher, executive secretary, fund-raiser, treasurer, speechifier, newspaper op-ed and letter writer and later broadcast debater. His greatest political influence came in the early 1920s when the first Labour Prime Minister, Ramsay MacDonald, assumed government. MacDonald later engineered the peerage that placed Allen, an avowed Socialist, in the House of Lords. These papers document the immense amount of time and energy Allen spent trying to further the causes of peace and progressivism in inter-war England. Additional notes and descriptions occur at the beginning of each series in the finding aid.