Sue Young Histories

Charles William Daniel 1871 - 1955

May 30, 2008

**Charles William Daniel **1871 - 1955 was a publisher, an anarchist, pacifist and a supporter of homeopathy and vegetarianism and so much more.

Mary Elizabeth Everest Boole (1832 - 1916) had a group of friends who called themselves The Cranks. They met at a vegetarian restaurant in London. She wrote Are we berserks or christians? After some time, this group published a magazine called “The Cranks” (with Charles William Daniel a principle organiser of the London Tolstoyan Society), in which Mary Elizabeth Everest Boole worked with numerous articles.

From  ‘… *Charles William Daniel… was a writer and publisher who did much to disseminate Tolstoyan and pacifist ideas, and ideas about food reform and alternative medicine, in the first half of the twentieth century. During the First World War he was twice prosecuted for works that he published. The first prosecution was for his own pamphlet, The Knock-Out Blow; when fined he refused to pay and was imprisoned. Later he was prosecuted for publishing the controversial novel Despised and Rejected by __Rose Allatini _[Rose Laure Allatini{::}** (1890-1980)*], and was again fined. The magazines that he edited and published included work by many of the advanced thinkers of the time_…’

From From the Archives of the Charles William Daniel Company - The C W Daniel Company was founded in 1902 in Cursitor Street, London. The company published books, pamphlets and journals and from 1908 it also had a bookshop.

The company was named after its founder and owner Charles William Daniel, born in Islington, London, on 24 April 1871. He was an anarchist and pacifist and a supporter of vegetarianism.

From the late 1890s he had worked at the Walter Scott Publishing Company, whose publications included works of *Leo Tolstoy, which greatly influenced Charles Daniel. He started his own publishing company with the purpose of further propagating the ideas of *Leo Tolstoy and these publications became his principal stock in trade.

He obtained the agency of the Free Age Press Publications of *Leo Tolstoy’s works. The editor of the Free Age Press was Vladimir G. Tchertkoff, who was *Leo Tolstoy’s only literary representative outside Russia. In 1909 Charles Daniel visited *Leo Tolstoy in Yasnaya Polyana, Russia.

Besides *Leo Tolstoy’s works he published books on health by *Henry Valentine Knaggs, books on child psychology and education by *Mary Everest Boole, **Eleanor Cobham and other educational pioneers, books on vegetarianism by Ernest Savage, who later changed his name into Edgar J. Saxon, and books on many other subjects as long as these did not oppose his beliefs.

Charles Daniel was a pioneer of the cheap paperbacks. A series of paperbacks for the price of one penny, called ‘People’s Classics’, ‘printed to place in the hands of the masses, at the cheapest price, the richest thoughts of the world’s greatest thinkers’, containing the works of Plato, Aristotle, Rousseau, *Ralph Waldo Emerson, Francis Bacon and Lao Tze, were the company’s speciality.

Other cheap paperback series were ‘Christian Mystics’ and ‘Pearls from the Poets’.

Charles Daniel met Florence Worland at the London Tolstoyan Society, who was one of the visitors of the meetings. Although often critical of *Leo Tolstoy’s teachings, she nevertheless collaborated with Charles Daniel in writing a book about the Tolstoyan Society. They married in 1905 and went to live at Downham, near Wickford, Essex.

In 1904 Charles Daniel founded and edited (with Florence Worland) the monthly periodical The Crank, later re-named The Open Road, a forum for Tolstoyans, anarchists, pacifists and health food promoters, which existed until 1913 when publication was ceased.

In 1908 Charles Daniel opened a book shop in Amen Corner. Here he first met Edgar J. Saxon, who as author and editor worked together with him for nearly half a century. Edgar J. Saxon was also the editor of Daniel’s magazine _The Healthy Life_, later renamed Health and Life, which was devoted to nature cure and food reform.

From 1913 Denise M. Waltham worked as the main colleague of Charles Daniel. She shared the same opinions on vegetarianism, anarchism and pacifism as Charles Daniel.

After 1914 wartime restrictions reduced the flow of books. But at the same time the war gave a stimulus to Daniel’s publishing activities. It gave him and his fellow Tolstoyans a cause to fight for. Being above military age himself, his contribution to the anti-war effort took the form of pacifist propaganda.

In 1916 he published a pamphlet calling for the end of the ‘cruel and ruinous war’, for which he was condemned and sent to prison at Wormwood Scrubs, and in 1919 he was imprisoned again during three months for publishing a novel dealing with homosexuality and conscientious objection.

Besides publishing Charles Daniel also wrote the book ’Instead of Socialism’, which was based on the ideas of Pierre Joseph Proudhon and on the ‘single tax’ theories of Henry George (c. 1909) and he edited ’An Indictment of War’, an anthology from the works of over two hundred great thinkers (1919).

From the 1920s The C.W. Daniel Company published works of various authors like Alfred Adler, Emma Goldman, Stephen and Rosa Hobhouse, Soren Kierkegaard, S.S. Koteliansky, D.H. Lawrence, José Ortega y Gasset, Nelly Shaw, W.T. Symons, Anton Tchekov and many others.

A monthly magazine Focus on matters of health, wealth and life was published in the 1920s and edited by Florence Daniel-Worland, but ceased after her death in 1927.

Charles Daniel wrote in this magazine under the pseudonyms ‘The Odd Man’ and ‘John Marlow’. Towards the end of 1928 the Company took a house in Bernard street, Bloomsbury, and there the quarterly Purpose was launched in January 1929 in succession to Focus.

Founder and editor was W.T. Symons, a close friend of Charles Daniel and later director of The C.W. Daniel Company. Religion, philosophy, psychology, science, art and sociology came within the orbit of Purpose and among its contributors were V.A. Demant, Philippe Mairet, Maurice B. Reckitt, Henry Valentine Miller, Dorothy Richardson, A.M. Ludovici (adherent of the Alexander Technique), Lord Northbourne and Neil Montgomery.

In 1934 Charles Daniel revived the monthly periodical The Healthy Life, which appeared as Health and Life under the editorship of Edgar J. Saxon. The magazine was published by the company until the end of 1950 when it was sold. The new proprietors continued it under the same editorship. Regular features included articles on nature cure and food reform.

After Desmond Hawkins joined the editorial board in 1935 as literary editor Purpose became a literary journal of the first rank and the contributors consisted of the literary avant-garde of the 1930s, including W.H. Auden, T.S. Eliot, Elizabeth Bowen, Stephen Spender, Hugh Gordon Porteous, Rayner Heppenstall, Dylan Thomas and E.K. Barlow.

The publication of Purpose ceased in July 1940. In 1936 The C.W. Daniel Company had moved to premises in Great Russell Street, which included a small shop and made possible a window display of books.

After 1939, when paper and labour shortage during the war made publishing conditions difficult, it was decided to limit the Company’s output of new books to those on nature cure, food reform, soil regeneration and kindred subjects, including the non-exploitation of animals.

Among them were books by *Maximillian Bircher Benner, a Swiss doctor whose dietary ideas have since become world renowned and the writings of Edward Bach, a physician who discovered ‘flower remedies’ as a treatment.

When in 1941 the publishing offices in Great Russell Street were blasted by an air raid, the business was evacuated to Ashingdon in Essex.

When peace came in 1945 Charles Daniel, at 74, was too old to start again. He did not want to return to London and stayed in Ashingdon, where he went on publishing a few books, until he died on 15 January 1955 at Rochford, Essex, at the age of 85.

*Homeopathic advocates

** Eleanor Cobham was an educationalist associated with Ethel Sturges Dummer, a social welfare leader, philanthropist and author

Of interest:

See Anon, American Homeopathic Review, Volume 5, (J.T.S. Smith & Sons., 1865). Page 94. See also Edward Harris Ruddock* (Ed.), [The Homoeopathic World, Volume 5,]( (1870). Frontspiece.* Also, this footnote is compiled from information provided in an email exchange with Peter Morrell 9.2.13, and a late night phone call with Francis Treuherz FSHom 9.2.13 = I am not absolutely sure who ran The Homeopathic Publishing Company in 1881, possibly John Henry Clarke, who was definitely running this company in 1888 from 2 Finsbury Circus, as it published The Homeopathic World (but then so did Epps, Thatcher Publishers at this time!) The very first mention of The Homeopathic Publishing Company I can find is in 1870. The subject of a specialised homeopathic publishing company was first raised in America in 1864, and by 1870, Edward Harris Ruddock was the editor of *The Homoeopathic World, *which was published by The Homeopathic Publishing Company at 2 Finsbury Circus, London EC. Leslie J Speight was working for The Homeopathic Publishing Company in the 1920s, when he met John Henry Clarke but never got to know him as such. The Homeopathic Publishing Company was owned and run by Leslie J Speight (1901-1995) and Phyllis M Speight{::}** ****(1912-?still alive) *from the 1940s (we think). The Speights were/are British lay homeopaths who were important publishers of homeopathic books, through The Homeopathic Publishing Company (at 13 Bedford Square, WC1 (1943), and then at 24 St. George’s Street, W1 (1947), and also possibly from Landor Road, Stockwell, SW9 at this time, though a lot was lost in the London bombings during WWII. The Homeopathic Publishing Company transferred with the Speights to Rustington in Sussex (in the 1960s?), and then onto Bradford, Holsworthy in Devon as Health Science Press, before being sold to C W Daniel Co. Ltd., 1 Church Path, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB10 1JP, a well established publisher specialising in alternative medicine, until 1992, when the archive of Charles William Daniel was received by the International Institute of Social History_ (IISH ( in 1992. The archive of IISH contains the archive of books from The C.W. Daniel Company, which have been transferred to the library of the IISH and can be found by using the collection code “C.W.Daniel”. _‘…__In the 1960s and 1970s, the Institute benefited from the growing interest in the history of social movements and ideas. It resumed its old task of saving the archives and libraries of persecuted people and organizations…’*


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