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This article is taken from PN Review 50, Volume 12 Number 6, July - August 1986.

Hindead Highmindedness (III) Clyde Binfield

It was the age of speakers: G. B. Stallworthy on the South Seas, plus 'curiosities and limelight views with the lantern presented by Professor Tyndall to the Haslemere Natural History Society'; and again on 'Experiments in Chemistry'; and again on 'Legends of the Rhine', this time with 'Views shewn by Mr. Willie Stallworthy, while Mr. Arthur Quinton played a series of appropriate airs on the piccolo'. Miss Colenso explained 'Our Troubles in South Africa, from a Zulu point of view', Hon. Mrs Rollo Russell presiding. Mrs L. T. Mallet of the Fabian Society similarly considered 'Russia: From a Revolutionary Standpoint', with Aneurin Williams F.R.S. presiding, in his guise as the Labour Association's Treasurer. This was of a piece with Joseph King's peace meeting 'in support of Mr W. T. Stead's Crusade in favour of the Czar's Rescript and the ensuing European Conference on National Armaments' . . . 'freely noticed by the Daily Papers in consequence of the presence and support of well-known literary men. Dr Conan Doyle (in the Chair) and Mr Bernard Shaw were the principle speakers'.

Shaw was a busy supporter. He chaired Fred Whelan's 'Present Day Politics' and he sat with his wife under the London Vegetarian Society's Mrs Bentley. Her theme was Vegetarian Cookery. 'The day was extraordinarily wet, or the audience would have been larger. Mr and Mrs Bernard Shaw were present'. This is close indeed to Major Barbara, which had its premiere the following year, because three weeks earlier the ...

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