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Henry Williamson

5,449 words


Henry Williamson's hut at Ox's Cross in Devon

Editor’s Note:

This much-expanded version of a previously-published essay on Henry Williamson is chapter 9 of Kerry Bolton’s Artists of the Right: Resisting Decadence, forthcoming from Counter-Currents.

Henry Williamson, 1895–1977, was a member of the generation that fought the First World War, during which the experiences of the front gave rise to a new but eternal worldview. Williamson, like Knut Hamsun in Norway, saw man’s place in Nature as the ultimate source of our being—an idealization of nature as a reaction against the machine and the bank. His hope was of a new Springtime for the West in Spenglerian terms. He was a partisan of the rural against the urban, the rootedness of the soil and of working the land against the nebulous city masses. It was what Spengler had called the final battle of Civilization: “Blood Against Money.”[1]

Yet, while Williamson, Pound, and Hamsun were recognized for their crucial impact upon twentieth-century literature, they were consigned to oblivion for decades following the Second World War. This is because they not only identified with new political forms but also (unlike some of their contemporaries) never repudiated them. Williamson’s outlook, shaped by both his experiences in the trenches and in his attachment to nature, led him to National Socialism, with its concept of “Blood and Soil,”[2] and to the distinctly British Fascism of Sir Oswald Mosley.

Williamson was born  December 1st, 1895 in London, the son of a bank clerk. As a child, he had an intense love of nature, spending much of his time exploring the nearby Kent countryside. He was intent on closely observing things for himself, this faculty remaining with him throughout his life and was the basis of his career as the author of famous and well-loved nature books.

World War I

Williamson enlisted in the army on the outbreak of the First World War and fought on the Somme and at Pas-schendale, where he was seriously wounded. He was invalided home in 1915 but was back as an officer in France in 1916. He came out of the war as a Captain with a Military Cross.

An enduring experience for Williamson was the Christmas Truce of 1914, when Germans and Englishmen left their trenches to fraternize and play soccer. Men such as Williamson returned from the war far from hating Germans and determined that never again would “brother Europeans” fight among themselves for the sake of greed and selfishness. The end of the war brought Williamson the numbing realization that the old world had died, and that such a war “must NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN.”[3]

Man of the Soil

After demobilization, Williamson returned to his family home and entered employment with the Weekly Dispatch in Fleet Street. He had his first articles published in several major periodicals.

In 1919, he read The Story of My Heart by the nineteenth-century English nature writer Richard Jefferies. This was to have a crucial impact upon Williamson as a revelation that he—the individual self—is more than an isolated echo but a link that stretches without beginning or end in a cosmic flow. Jefferies wrote of the rhythms of nature and of the soil, of seeking to reconnect with the earth, in a personal mystic union: “I see now that what I laboured for was soul-life, more soul-nature. To be exalted, to be full of soul-learning. Finally I rose, walked half a mile or so along the summit of the hill eastwards, to soothe myself and come to the common ways of life again.”[4]

Jefferies ends his idyllic vision of nature with a hope that the world, properly reorganized, will allow man the abundance of available resources without recourse to continuous labor; and that a system might develop that allows leisure time to create and to think, rather than to toil.[5] It was a problem that was to preoccupy many, from non-doctrinaire socialists of similar romantic bent, such as Oscar Wilde,[6] to social credit banking reformers, and was reflected in the agricultural policies of British Union and its post-war successor, the Union Movement.

Willamson returned to Jefferies in his autobiographical Children of Shallowford, where again he contemplates fraternization between Germans and British on Christmas Day, 1914 and states that, “Later still, I learned that one of the battalions mingling in comradeship with our volunteer battalion on that immortal day . . . was the List regiment, from Bavaria, in which served as Austrian volunteer named Adolf Hitler.”

Williamson takes down his “worn copy of Jeffries’ Story of My Heart,” reading from the writer he refers to as “a prophet crying in the industrial wilderness.” The passages Williamson cites here from Jeffries refer to the desire to pass something better along to future generations, and to the transient, superficial character of “the piling up of fortunes, the building of cities, the establishment of immense commerce . . . these objects are so outside my idea that I cannot understand them, and look upon the struggle in amazement. . . . It is the human being, as the human being of whom I think . . .” Williamson remarks, “Richard Jefferies, the poor Wiltshire farmer’s son, wrote that in 1875,” ending with a tribute to Sir Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists as being the means by which these ideals might be accomplished:

Illness, neglect, poverty—an early death—the usual fate of English men of genius. But Jefferies was not dead—he lived in the English flow of consciousness—he was immortal! He was with me, I was a trustee, in so far as my talents must be used, of the same ideas! . . . It was not until ten years later that I found, in British Union, an organization of men which was struggling to create a new world; and thereafter, I was among friends.[7]

In 1921 Williams embarked on the first volume of the four-volume Flax of Dreams, “The Beautiful Years.” In 1922, Williamson returned to the countryside and rented a cottage that had been built in the days of King John, next to the local church in Georgeham, North Devon. Williamson lived here hermit-like and studied nature in detail, tramping the countryside and sleeping out. The doors and windows of his cottage were always open, and he gathered about him a family of dogs, cats, gulls, buzzards, magpies, and an otter cub.

Williamson had rescued the otter after a farmer had shot its mother. He named him Tarka (meaning little water wanderer).  The otter would walk like a dog alongside Williamson. One day Tarka walked into a rabbit trap, panicked, and fled. Williamson spent years looking for Tarka, following the rivers Taw and Torridge. He didn’t find the otter, but he was inspired to write his most famous nature book, Tarka the Otter. Published in 1927, this popular book was an intimate description of the English countryside and gained Williamson the Hawthorne Prize for Literature in 1928.

In 1925, he married, and his first son was born the following year. In 1929, the family moved to Shallowford, Devon, where over the next thirteen years four further children were sired, and more books were published, including Salar the Salmon. From 1937–45 the Williamson family lived at the Old Hall Farm in North Norfolk, where many more books and articles were written, and a sixth child was born.

National Socialism

Like Sir Oswald Mosley and the many veterans who joined his British Union of Fascists, Williamson was appalled by the prospect of another war that would again soak the fields of Europe with the blood of closely-related peoples. Not only had the fraternity of the front on Christmas, 1914 forever affected him, but he was also greatly influenced by the act of the German officer who had helped him remove a wounded British soldier caught in barbed wire on the front line. On another occasion, Williamson had heard the weak cry of a German lad wounded on the battlefield, who in delirium was calling for his mother. Williamson assuring the boy that his mother was there. In spite of the particular horror of World War I, it is probably the last major war that retained a vestige of the Western chivalric ethos.

Jeffrey Hamm, Mosley’s principal post-World War II aide, reflecting on Williamson and the other veterans who joined Mosley, writes:

 There were the soldiers who had been assured by the old men of the Establishment that they would return to “a land fit for heroes,” only to find that they had been cheated and betrayed. The returning ex-serviceman was thrown on to the scrap-heap of unemployment, and officers joined with the men they had commanded in selling matches and bootlaces in the streets of an ungrateful country. In bitterness and cynicism that the promised “land fit for heroes” had become one in which you had to be a hero to survive. In later years many of them turned to Fascism, in Britain and all over Europe.[8]

Williamson was therefore able to contrast what he knew of the chivalry of the Germans with the anti-German propaganda that the press had begun to resurrect with the advent of Hitler.[9] In 1930 he revisited Ypres and wrote The Patriot’s Progress, the story of a bank clerk invalided home who came to realize that the war was a “dirty trick” played on the younger generation by the older and was responsible for “most, if not everything, that was wrong with England.”[10]

Williamson saw in National Socialism a spirit that could bring a dying Western civilization back to the wellspring of its life. He felt duty-bound to raise a voice. He was one of the first to commit himself to Mosley and the British Union of Fascists, although he did not join the British Union until 1937.[11] He championed Hitler as the visionary leader of European rebirth. In The Flax of Dreams and The Phoenix Generation Williamson was to describe Hitler as “the great man across the Rhine whose life symbol is the happy child.” Another war against Germany would only serve “Oriental commissars” waiting “like jackals to grow fat on the killings.”[12]

The British Union of Fascists

Williamson saw in Mosley’s British Union of Fascists the movement most committed to agriculture and the country. Mosley, clearly influenced by the ideas of Oswald Spengler, warned in a speech that, “the roots of Britain are being dragged from the soil. . . . Any civilization that is to endure requires constant replenishment from the steady, virile stock which is bred in the health, sanity and natural but arduous labor of the countryside.”[13]

British Union propagandist A. K. Chesterton wrote that, “unless they know, mystically, that beneath the concrete lies the earth which has nourished their race for a thousand years . . . and that it is their own earth form which their blood is shed and renewed, then they are a lost people, and easy prey for those who have lacked roots for many centuries.”[14]

Francis McEvoy, writing in BUF Quarterly, expressed nostalgia for the country he had known, addressing himself to the “peasant folk of Britain” who had been driven off the land, to the cities by the “blighting tyranny of modern capitalism.” Summoning his own experiences, McEvoy, somewhat reminiscent of Hamsun, referred to the simplicity of life and the rhythm of the seasons of which country folk are a part, only asking for a modest return to “live on the land of our fathers.”

Food imports were destroying British agriculture as part of a system that “crowds the people of Britain into offices and factories,” making subjecting the dwellers of the great cities to “economic servitude.” This was leading to human standardization in the pursuit of “greed, materialism, triviality” and exploitation: “Long live the ‘little man,’ standardized like a mass-produced motor car, the swarm of Babbits from the service flats and the suburbs, propagandized, exploited, and brutified, in ‘this England of ours’! . . . The death of the countryside portends the death of the nation, for from the soil springs all life, physical and spiritual.”[15]

New Zealand-born Jorian Jencks, a pioneer of organic farming, who had held Government appointments as an agricultural specialist, and was an organizer of the Rural Reconstruction Association, who had been driven from his own farm because of the Slump, was Mosley’s agricultural adviser.

With a commitment not only to a rural revival, but also to sincerely pursuing peace,[16] British Union, together with the qualities of courage and intelligence that Williamson saw in Mosley, had everything to commend it. He stated of Mosley in relation to his own commitment to rural life, “The spirit of the farm and what I was trying to do there was the spirit of Oswald Mosley. It was all part of the same battle.”[17]

The great personal commitment that Williamson had to Mosley is expressed in The Phoenix Generation, the twelfth volume of his post-World War II, semi-autobiographical fifteen-volume saga Chronicle of Ancient Sunlight, where Mosley is portrayed by the character Sir Hereward Birkin, who opposed international finance, the “Minotaur which claims another generation of European youth to bleed to death on the battlefields”:

Birkin is my generation, he is English of the English. I think it a great pity that he resigned from the Labour party. But then all history is a pity. He belonged to the war generation, and we survivors all resolved to do something, to be something different when it was all over on the Western Front, that great livid wound that lay across Europe suppurating during more than fifteen hundred nights and days—torrents of steel and prairie fires of flame, the roar of creation if you like. Birkin should have remained in Parliament—that was his platform but what’s the use of talking about should-haves, or might-haves? Birkin remains the only man of prominence in England with the new spirit. He limped away from the battlefield determined that never again would it happen. Perhaps such a spirit can only be acceptable to a new generation after another war. When he is dead. And I hope I’ll be dead too.[18]

In The Solitary War, the thirteenth volume of Chronicles, Williamson’s semi-autobiographical character Philip Maddison states that Hitler

freed the farmers from the mortgages which drained the land, cleared the slums, inspired work for all the seven million unemployed, got them to believe in their greatness, each one a German to do his utmost in whatever was his work—in the Arbeitsdienst draining swamp land or making Europe’s new autobahn, stripped to the waist—the former pallid leer of hopeless slum youth transformed into the sun-tan, the clear eye, the broad and easy rhythm of the poised young human being.[19]

Lest it be objected that Williamson was seeing Germany through rose colored glasses, very much the same description was given in the perennially-published basic anti-Nazi text The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, by the American journalist William Shirer, whose hatred of Hitler is beyond doubt:

The young in the Third Reich were growing up to have strong and healthy bodies, faith in the future of their country and in themselves and a sense of fellowship and camaraderie that shattered all class and economic and social barriers. I thought of that later, in the May days of 1940, when along the road between Aachen and Brussels one saw the contrasts between the German soldiers, bronzed and clean cut from a youth spent in the sunshine on an adequate diet, and the first British war prisoners, with their hollow chests, round shoulders, pasty complexions and bad teeth—tragic examples of the youth that England had neglected so irresponsibly in the years between the wars.[20]

Williamson attended the 1935 Nuremberg Congress with Mosley’s sister-in-law Unity Mitford, an avid Hitlerite. He was impressed by the economic and social achievements of Germany while the British continued to languish in poverty and unemployment. He saw a racial community based on the values of land and a revived peasantry, freed from banker’s interest, guaranteed from foreclosure, and the pioneering conservation laws and projects. Williamson saw in the faces of the German people an expressiveness and confidence that looked as if they were “breathing extra oxygen,” as he put it. He wrote of the SA Brownshirts as having “the spirit of English gentlemen who had transcended class consciousness.”[21]

Through the war Williamson was still getting published, despite the polemical nature of his books. The locals at Stiffkey, Norfolk, aware of his pro-German attitudes, suspected that he was a spy sending signals to the enemy. He was detained for a weekend in June 1940 under Regulation 18B.[22]

In The Story of a Norfolk Farm, published in 1941, describing the life on the 250 acre farm he had purchased in 1937, Williamson writes in thoroughly “Fascist,” completely subversive mode, placing political parties and the financial and economic system on par with rats, weeds, swamps and pollution:

Rats, weeds, swamps, depressed markets, laborers on the dole, rotten cottages, polluted streams, political parties and class divisions controlled by the money power, wealthy banking and insurance houses getting rid of their land mortgages and investing their millions abroad (but not in the empire), this was the real England of the period of this story of a Norfolk farm . . .

. . . One day the sewage of the cities will cease to be poured into the rivers, and will be returned to the land, to grow fine food for the people. One day salmon will leap again in the clear waters of the London River; and human work will be creative and joyful.

One day the soul of man, shut in upon itself during the long centuries of economic struggle, will arise in the light of the sun of truth. And now I lay down the pen and return to the plow.[23]

Williamson maintained these themes with no less determination after the war, writing similarly in The Phoenix Generation, through the semi-autobiographical Philip Maddison:

When the soil’s fertility is being conserved instead of raped, when village life is a social unity, when pride of craftsmanship returns, when everyone works for the sake of adding beauty and importance to life, when every river is clean and bright, and the proud words “I serve” are in everyone’s heart and purpose. Then my country will be good enough for me.[24]

Peace Work

As noted previously, one of Williamson’s primary political motivations was preventing another war. He called for Anglo-German brotherhood, recognizing that Hitler desired nothing more than peace with Britain. He sought to have his friend T. E. Lawrence (of Arabia) join with Mosley in a peace campaign. According to Williamson, Lawrence considered Hitler to be a humble servant of his people, who was being misrepresented by the press.

Of this account, Lawrence, like Williamson, believed that peace could be maintained by the actions of the ex-servicemen of Britain and Germany: “The English ex-Service man respected the German ex-Service man; and the German ex-Servicemen were in power in Germany.” In Williamson’s peace plan, Lawrence would call a mass meeting of ex-Servicemen in the Albert Hall, London, which would have an impact upon the ex-Servicemen of Britain, Germany, and France because of Lawrence’s prestige.

Again, Williamson harks back to Christmas Day, 1914, when Germans and British troops fraternized in no-man’s land, and the Establishment panicked lest peace spontaneously break out en masse. This event had always remained the basis of Williamson’s hope for an accord in Europe. Williamson wrote of Lawrence: “I believe that had he lived, Lawrence would have confirmed the inner hopes of every ex-Service man in Europe: that the Spirit of Christmas Day, 1914 . . . already hovering in the air, would have swiftly materialised and given, generally in Europe, a vision of a new conception of life.”[25] Lawrence died in a motorcycle accident, which some believe suspicious, on returning from having mailed an answer to Williamson’s appeal that he should meet Hitler. Lawrence sought to discuss the matter with Williamson without delay.[26]

With Mosley’s rallies attracting larger audiences than ever in 1940, Williamson wrote to Mosley: “If I could see him [Hitler], as a common soldier who had fraternized, on the faraway Christmas Day of 1914, with the men of his Linz battalion under Messines Hill, might I not be able to give him the amity he so desired from England, a country he admired . . . ?”[27] Williamson visited Mosley full of hope, but Mosley’s reaction was that “I am afraid the curtain is down.” Williamson nodded and asked Mosley what he would do. Mosley replied that he would carry on as long as possible working for peace.[28]

In 1940, around a thousand Englishmen were interned without trial for opposing the war, including Mosley and  over 700 BUF members.[29] As noted previously Williamson was jailed for a weekend on suspicion of being a “spy.” Williamson was released on condition that he remain silent, a condition that he managed to circumvent, as we have seen from his novels during the war years. With the defeat of Germany, Williamson stated that his hopes for a regenerated Europe had been killed.

The Gale of the World

Williamson’s marriage broke up in 1947. He returned to North Devon to live on the hilltop hut he had bought in 1928. In The Gale of the World,[30] the last volume of his 15 volume Chronicles of Ancient Sunlight, Williamson has Philip Maddison (i.e. himself) questioning the legality of the Nuremberg Trials and the devastation of Germany, and puts the blame for the mass deaths in German concentration camps partly on the Allied bombing of the German transport system.

Williamson remained loyal to Sir Oswald Mosley (the character Sir Hereward Birkin in The Gale of the World). In this last volume, he has Maddison write some notes for guidance to a young writer, a survivor of the Second World War who aspires to write a War and Peace for this age. Williamson asks hopefully whether such a writer might write from his own spirit and vision, “unimpeded and unimpaired by contemporary massed emotions to truly show the luminous personality of Adolf Hitler”: to write with “divination and truth, without admiration or contempt, and above all without moral judgment, of the causes and effects of the tragic split in the mind of European man, from which arose this war.”

The creator of a work of art, continues Williamson/ Maddison, will reveal the truth of this age, “holding in balance the forces and counter-forces which led to the disintegration of the West.” “The mind of the poet must with detachment assess the fatal war with an “admired sister nation,” which resulted in exposing the West to “a greater ruin from the East,” because a leader (Churchill) pursued Britain’s centuries old policy of European “balance of power” and thereby endorsed the further decline of the West by destroying Germany.

Williamson/Maddison, questions whether there was a soul of Britain or just a “disruptive determination,” arising from its island isolation and its position of wealth from trade. “Its policy for four hundred years has been to rule by money, thus keeping in division the continent of Europe,” as Winston Churchill has written in an early autobiography: “And will history decide that this European of great talent and emotion [Churchill] felt it to be his crowning purpose in life to balk and destroy a fellow European [Hitler] of genius—who could build only because he had forced out money for money’s sake?”[31]

It had been a war of the “spiritually damaged.” The German leadership was being tried and executed unchivalrously for war crimes, when the Soviets had been guilty of Katyn. When thousands of shopkeepers in France were murdered and their shops looted, they were condemned as “collaborators.”

Early in The Gale of the World, Maddison notes that after Berlin had been subdued  by  the shelling from 11,000 guns,

. . . rape and sadism preceded slow murder. Neither those “war criminals” nor their Russian Generals are being tried at Nuremberg.

What of the so-called Allied war crimes? We are impotent to do anything about the loss of Poland’s integrity. What the war was about for Churchill, and those who sought to keep Europe down and divided, was the preventing of Hitler from making Europe united and self-sufficient, and independent of loans and imports.

For this is what the war was about; it was not directly about Synagogues burned down or heads shaved or Catholics saying Mass or anything else which the man in the street was told, since that was ALL he could comprehend. The war, was, and remains, an economic war; and historically speaking, the misery of generations is less in eternity than a wave expending itself on a rock. The European wave breaks, and is no more.[32]

Williamson has a doctor attached to the dispossessed Ukrainians in Britain point out that Hitler ordered the German tanks to halt at Dunkirk: “Declaring that he had no quarrel with the English, and wished not to invade or injure in anyway a ‘cousin nation,’ the Führer said that if the British Empire went down, the Germans, although they would win the war in Europe, would go down under Bolshevism. Because we did not command the sea as well.”[33] Williamson was acutely aware that the Soviets had been permitted to invade half of Europe while the British and American forces were held back, and that they would soon have the atomic bomb.

Maddison notes on the radio news the final words of the defendants at Nuremberg as they went to the deaths on the scaffold. Immediately he makes a note: “Herman Göring shot down Manfred Cloudesley over Mossy Face Wood at Havrincourt in 1918. He saw that his enemy, who had killed nine of his Richtofen Staffel pilots, had the best surgeons and treatment in hospital. This morning Göring committed suicide, better to have died on the cross, old Knight of the Order Pour le Merite.”[34]

Post War and Oswald Mosley

In The Gale of the World, Williamson picks up with Mosley’s post-war campaign, stating of Mosley (Sir Hereward Birkin): “Many perceptive men recognized him as a young man of outstanding brilliance, industry and courage. Now let the author of this book speak for himself.” Williamson then quotes from Mosley’s post-war manifesto, The Alternative:

We were divided and we are conquered. That is the tragic epitaph of two war generations. That was the fate of my generation in 1914, and that was the doom of a new generation of young soldiers in 1939. The youth of Europe shed the blood of their own family, and the jackals of the world grew fat. Those who fought are in the position of the conquered, whatever their country. Those who did not fight, but merely profited, alone are victorious.[35]

Williamson takes up Mosley’s post-war analysis, stating that Fascism had failed because it was too national. Its opponent, financial democracy failed too. “It could only frustrate those who would build a New Order.” There follows a large segment from The Alternative, ending with a call for Europeans to overcome their old wounds and rivalries and march onward in the “European Spirit.”

Williamson was one of the first to respond to Mosley’s post-war call for a United Europe and wrote for the new magazine of Mosley’s Union Movement, The European, in which he proclaimed the birth of a new Europe in tune with nature. The journal, despite the “notoriety” of its founder, Mosley, attracted many eminent writers. Ezra Pound kept his faith in Mosley, and his poems appeared in The European.[36] Williamson contributed his reminisces of the poet Roy Campbell.[37]

Under the direction of Jorian Jenks, the post-war Union Movement continued to advocate the renewal of agriculture, demanding self-sufficiency in food, fair prices, and a regulated market, a corporative or syndicalist representation of farmers, farm workers, and consumers to administer agriculture production and distribution, credit for agricultural development, a preference for organic methods, and, “a vigorous land policy, reserving all fertile land for food production, fostering land settlement, promoting the improvement and repopulation of marginal and hill lands, and insisting on high standards of husbandry with special emphasis on soil fertility.”[38]

Like Ezra Pound and Knut Hamsun, Williamson was denied honors and ignored for decades. Mosley’s post-war aide, Jeffrey Hamm, writing of his “old friend” Williamson, stated that:

After the war, when he was creating, as many thought, his masterpiece, the fifteen-volume novel known collectively as A Chronicle of Ancient Sunlight, his books frequently received dismissive reviews, or none at all. The degrees committee of the university of which he was a signal benefactor twice vetoed the proposal to award him an honorary doctorate. In spite of representations made, unknown to him, by friends and admirers, his name was not put forward for recognition in New Year or Birthday honours’ lists.[39]

Richard Thurlow opines that,

Indeed it is his support for Mosley, expressed on many occasions, which goes some way to account for the continuing neglect of his work by much of the literary establishment. Even the most perceptive of critics of the literature of the First World War, Paul Fussell, has totally ignored Williamson’s most important work on this theme. This is indeed unfortunate, for Williamson, perhaps more than any other writer, accurately described the experience of the common man in the trenches and the lingering and traumatic effects it had on the survivors of the experience.[40]

In 1950 Williamson remarried and sired another son, divorcing in 1968. His Chronicle of Ancient Sunlight was written between 1951 and 1969, and was acclaimed as a masterpiece of English literature, despite the efforts of certain interests to obliterate his name. In 1972, he published his final book The Scandaroon, the story of a racing pigeon. In 1974, he began working on the script for a film of Tarka. Unknown to Williamson, filming went ahead despite the failing health that prevented him from completing the task himself. Willamson died on 13 August 1977 and was buried in North Devon. Mosley said of Williamson that he had remained always his “great friend.”[41]


[1] The terms “blood” and “money” in the Spenglerian sense should be regarded as euphemisms for the organic and the artificial respectively. See: Oswald Spengler, The Decline of The West (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1971), p. 507.

[2] For a scholarly account on the environmental and rural policies and ideology of the Third Reich see: Anna Bramwell, Blood and Soil: Walther Darré and Hitler’s Green Party (Buckinghamshire: The Kensal Press, 1985).

[3] Stephen Dorril, Black Shirt: Sir Oswald Mosley and British Fascism (London: Penguin Books, 2007), p. 33.

[4] Richard Jefferies, The Story of My Heart: An Autobiography (London: Longmans, Green, & Co., 1883), Chapter 1.

[5] The Story of My Heart, Chapter 11.

[6] Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism, 1891 http://www.readbookonline.net/readOnLine/457/ [2]

[7] Henry Williamson, “Autobiography,” from The Children of Shallowford, in Selections from BUF Quarterly, ed. E. R. Fields (Marietta, Georgia: The Truth At Last, 1995), pp. 59–64.

[8] Jeffrey Hamm, Action Replay (London: Howard Baker, 1983), pp. 18–19.

[9] “Atrocity propaganda” had been used to good affect by the British during World War I, with tales of German soldiers throwing babies into the air as part of bayonet practice, and the like.

[10] Henry Williamson, The Patriot’s Progress, 1930 (London: Macdonald, 1968).

[11] Roger Eatwell, Fascism: A History (London: Vintage, 1996), p. 188.

[12] Henry Williamson, A Phoenix Generation (London: Macdonald, 1965), p. 349.

[13] Black Shirt, p. 417.

[14] Black Shirt, p. 417.

[15] Francis McEvoy, “The Disinherited of the Soil,” in Selections from BUF Quarterly, pp. 22–23.

[16] Unlike certain other forms of Fascism outside Britain, and the views of other veteran literati such as Ernst Jünger in Germany, and Marinetti in Italy, who declared “war is the world’s hygiene,” Mosley and his variety of “British Fascism” did not hold any romantic ideals about war.

[17] Quoted in Radio Times, August 17, 1972; cited by Robert Skidelsky, Oswald Mosley (London: Macmillan, 1975), p. 350.

[18] A Phoenix Generation.

[19] Henry Williamson, The Solitary War (London: Macdonald, 1966), p. 365.

[20] William Shirer, The Raise and Fall of the Third Reich (Book Club Associates, 1977), p. 256.

[21] David Pryce-Jones, Unity Mitford: A Quest (London: W. H. Allen, 1978), p. 141.

[22] The Henry Williamson Society, “The Norfolk Farm,” http://www.henrywilliamson.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=71&Itemid=102 [3]

[23] Henry Williamson, The Story of a Norfolk Farm (London: Faber, 1941).

[24] The Phoenix Generation.

[25] Henry Williamson, “Lawrence of Arabia and Germany,” Anglo-German Review, January 1937, p. 107.

[26] Henry Williamson, in T. E. Lawrence by his Friends, ed. A. W. Lawrence (London: Jonathan Cape, 1937).

[27] Oswald Mosley, p. 442.

[28] Oswald Mosley, pp. 442–43.

[29] Oswald Mosley,, p. 449.

[30] Henry Williamson, The Gale of the World (London: Macdonald, 1969).

[31] The Gale of the World.

[32] The Gale of the World.

[33] The Gale of the World.

[34] The Gale of the World.

[35] Oswald Mosley, The Alternative (Ramsbury: Mosley Publications, 1947).

[36] Ezra Pound, “Ci De Los Cantaruies,” The European, vol. 12, no. 6 (February 1959), pp. 382–84.

[37] Henry Williamson, “Roy Campbell: A Portrait,” The European, vol. 12, no. 6 (February 1959), pp. 357–58.

[38] Jorian Jenks, None Need Starve, Union Movement Agricultural Council (London: Robert Row, 1952).

[39] Action Replay, p. 226.

[40] Richard Thurlow, British Fascism: A History, 1918–1985 (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1987), p. 26.

[41] Oswald Mosley, My Life (London: Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1968), p. 226.