September 2015 – Carshalton Left Book Club banner, late 1930s

September 2015 - Carshalton Left Book Club banner, late 1930s

Carshalton Left Book Club banner, late 1930sPublisher Victor Gollancz launched the Left Book Club (LBC) in May 1936. The club aimed to revive the left and create greater awareness about world events especially the rise of fascism. Members of the club bought one book per month from a list of publications. The various clubs held study groups and other activities such as trips and plays. Membership had reached 57,000 by 1939.

The image of the book and the phrase ‘Mightier than the Sword’ emphasise the importance of learning over the use of force. The club’s motto was ‘Against Fascism, Against War’. The aims of the club suffered as a result of the Nazi-Soviet Pact and the start of World War II in 1939. Its influence diminished until its final publication in 1948. The Town That Was Murdered by Ellen Wilkinson

The picture on the left is an example of an LBC publication currently available to view in our archives. Paperbacks were published in orange and hardbacks in red. This particular print, published 75 years ago, focuses on unemployment in the town of Jarrow.

The banner (pictured on the right) is currently in storage but will be going on display in January 2016 as part of our annual banner hang.