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.



7 months 4 weeks 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...


7 months 4 weeks ago

Submitted by Steven. on April 8, 2023

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

Cuddon's Cosmopolitan Review vol 01 #01 (April 1965)

Cuddons issue 1 cover

Debut issue of Cuddon's Cosmopolitan Review, including Albert Meltzer on horror author Dennis Wheatley, a review of Churchill's funeral, poetry etc.

Submitted by Fozzie on April 7, 2023



Editorial - Why Cuddon's

Introduction to the project, from its first issue.

Submitted by Fozzie on April 7, 2023

The first anti-State journal to be published in English (and possibly in any language, since the modern anarchist movement derives from English writers of the early 19th. century) was Ambrose Cuddon's Cosmopolitan Review.

Ambrose Caston Cuddon was originally a follower of Robert Owen, who combined the Utopian Socialism of the Owenites with the non-Statist ideas of William Godwin.

In 1853 Cuddon formed the first anarchist group in an English-speaking country.

Whilst publishing the Working Man, which was still in the radical tradition that had been set moving by Jacobinism, Chartism, Owenism and early trade unionism, he welcomed Michael Bakunin to England (1862) and later in the same year, the French delegation to the London Exhibition.

These two events were the first step to the International (1864 ), at least on the federalist side (as the Anarchists were then called) - it would be unjust to deny the part played by Karl Marx.

As a result of this collaboration between Euripean anarchism and the London "Rational Reformers" (as Cuddon's group was called) the Cosmopolitan Review came into being, the first anarchist journal.

Freedom, which still appears as a weekly paper, was not founded until twenty years later; curiously enough in similar circumstances - the visit of Kropotkin, the temporary exile of the French Communards, and their collaboration with the English-speaking group.

In commemorating Ambrose Cuddon's pioneer endeavour in this magazine, we are thinking of it not only as the first anarchist journal but as one of the last lusty voices of the English revolutionary movement that succeeded Chartism and OWenism.

In choosing for a literary review a name that brings back the turbulent days of anti-Statist radicalism that led to the International, we are aware that we have offended the nicely balanced "impartiality" of what passes as the review of today. We repudiate the Mutual Admiration society that dominates literature and the arts - that passes off each other's anecdotes as current history - and in reviewing each others works, makes sure that it has a voice in what is to pass as contemporary good taste.

We shall be old-fashioned enough not to moderate our criticisms - not to moderately put out the fire that is burning the house - but sufficiently with it to reject the phony satirist approach of Private Eye and the Public school, who imagines that by writing dirty words on the lavatories of the great, has elevated himself to the stature of those who set out to demolish the foundations of their houses.


Cuddon's Cosmopolitan Review vol 01 #02 (April 1965)

cuddons issue 2 cover - an abstract line drawing about Vietnam?

Including: Committee of 100 Christians, Rising Hill progressive school, book review: "Malatesta: Life And Ideas", etc.

Submitted by Fozzie on April 7, 2023


cuddons2.pdf (4.43 MB)


Cuddon's Cosmopolitan Review 28th May 1965

Cuddons 28th May 1965 cover

Including Charles Radcliffe on Bob Dylan, review of Sacco and Vanzetti TV drama, poetry, dated humour.

Submitted by Fozzie on April 7, 2023



Cuddon's Cosmopolitan Review June 1965

Cuddon's Cosmpolitan Review June 1965 page 1

Topics covered include: Charles Radcliffe on Blues music, review of poetry event at Royal Albert Hall, Albert Meltzer on theatre people, poetry.



Cuddon's Cosmopolitan Review #06 November 1965

"a crime of morality: the case of the golden convolvulus"

Articles on the prosecution of Dave Cunliffe for the publication of "The Golden Convolvulus" - an anthology of erotica, Albert Meltzer ("Old Lag") on Colin Wilson, review of a folk/blues festival, Alex Trocchi and drugs hysteria, poetry.

Submitted by Fozzie on April 8, 2023



Cuddon's Cosmpolitan Review #09 (May 1966)

Cuddon's issue 9 cover

Including: editorial, a letter to Jeff Nuttall, poems by M.J. Walsh, Albert Meltzer ("old lag") on Trotskyists.

Submitted by Fozzie on October 14, 2023

With thanks to Kate Sharpley Library for providing a copy to be scanned.

NB: This copy has the final two pages duplicated as p2-3. Page 16 is incorrectly numbered p17.




4 weeks 1 day ago

Submitted by lurdan on November 2, 2023

M. J. Walsh was the late Mike "Digger" Walsh.

Cuddon's Cosmpolitan Review #10 (August 1966)

We dedicate this issue to Barry Bondhus, who emptied two buckets of human shit into the files of the Sherbourne County Draft Board at Elk River Minnesota

Articles including: the Provos in Amsterdam, reprint of Situationist International article on the Watts riots, Albert Meltzer on crisis-mongers, poetry by Jeff Nuttall.

Submitted by Fozzie on April 8, 2023


  • June in Amsterdam - Ted Kavanagh
  • The Decline and Fall of the "Spectacular" Commodity Economy - Situationist International
  • Poem - Jeff Nuttall
  • A funny thing happend - Arthur Moyse
  • The Crisis Mongers - Albert Meltzer
  • Shape of Things - Chicago Anarchists
  • Stirner's poem to his alter ego (if he had one) - M.J. Walsh
  • Advert for Heatwave magazine