Cuddon's Cosmopolitan Review

Cuddon's Cosmpolitan Review masthead

Partial online archive of this anarchist literary review published in London 1965-7. Contributors included Albert Meltzer, Ted Kavanagh and Arthur Moyse. At least 11 issues were published.

Submitted by Fozzie on April 7, 2023

PDFs constructed from jpegs available at Wisconsin Historical Society's GI Press Collection.

Missing: #7 (Dec/Jan 1965/66), #11 (July 1967), more?

In 1965 a group of us had got together and started publishing occasionally a review Cuddon’s Cosmopolitan Review. The reference was to Ambrose Cuddon, whose review may have been the first consciously anarchist one to appear in English, and who was possibly the first in the English speaking world to be an anarchist in the modern sense. He was certainly a connection between the Luddite and Chartist movements on the one hand, and the newer non-Parliamentary Socialist groupings on the other. Our historical judgment was criticised as based only on anecdotal history from veterans but knowing how conventional history is concocted I doubt if it suffered from that.

We carried on Cuddon’s for a year or so, off and on, Ted Kavanagh editing, and it became a focus for people interested in the international struggle even though it refrained from mentioning it. We never quite decided whether it was to be entirely satirical, political or humorous, but the mixture made for interest and gathered a nucleus which later became an important pivot of active anarchism. One decision, though, not to publish more than was sold, so as to encourage people to read it rather than file it, and not to have back copies for reference, meant once it was gone it sank out of sight which was a pity. Some generations on, it would be good to reprint some of the witty pieces.

Cuddon’s was one of the first of the satirical magazines later in vogue, not that we ever were, but nothing I was ever associated with ever got into the market place, even when I wanted to be.

Albert Meltzer - I Couldn't Paint Golden Angels

The Cuddon's group subsequently produced Black Flag.



1 year 3 months ago

Submitted by Fozzie on April 8, 2023

I guess this is a bit of a curio now, with a lot of it quite dated. But it is interesting to see how the arty/literary currents of London bashed up against the anarchist scene.

Also the differences between the first issue and the 10th are quite stark - much less satire and poetry in the latter - the art giving way to the Provos in Amsterdam and the SI's article on the Watts riots. In a way that mirrors the content of the SI's own journal Internationale Situationniste which has a lot more content about painting and art generally (and things like urbanism) in its early issues published in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Something was in the air...


1 year 3 months ago

Submitted by Steven. on April 8, 2023

Never heard of this publication before, nice one for finding and putting together!