An autograph note signed by J.D. Bernal to an unknown recipient, referring to Henry Noel Brailsford (1873-1958), the prolific British left-wing journalist
Small oblong octavo, one page (in pencil), undated but circa February 1920; the bottom portion of a sheet of paper, but the note appears to be complete.
Folded once down the centre; a few small spots of foxing; in very good condition.
'You may have heard that there is a plot on foot to capture Brailsford as he comes to the meeting tonight and to rag the meeting. If you feel inclined to help com [sic] to Dickinson's rooms at 7.30 tonight'. Extraordinarily, the minor incident referred to in this note, and the events leading up to it, are discussed at some length in Andrew Brown's biography, 'J.D. Bernal: The Sage of Science' (2006). While a student at Cambridge, 'Bernal's conversion to socialism took place in Dickinson's rooms on the night of 7 November .... Dickinson was not slow to exploit his new convert's zeal.... [They] cast themselves as Emmanuel's leading radicals and as such risked occasional physical retribution'. They arranged a meeting of the Cambridge University Socialist Society [CUSS], with Brailsford the guest speaker. They got wind of the fact that a group of ex-servicemen intended to kidnap Brailsford. Bernal 'enjoyed organising a "protective force" to keep Brailsford safe during his visit' (pages 24-26). Offered with a copy of the 'Times Literary Supplement' (20 August 1999): the front cover features a portrait of Bernal, the subject of the leading review, 'Intellectual disgrace and J.D. Bernal' by Christopher Hitchens. Provenance: Collection of The Hon Barry Jones AC.
Provenance: Collection of The Hon Barry Jones AC.