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.