Graham Wallas, 1858-1932, Professor of Political Science.
Graham Wallas was born in Sunderland on 31 May 1858, the elder son of Gilbert Innes Wallas, then curate at Bishopwearmouth, and his wife Frances Talbot Peacock. He was educated at Shrewsbury School and Corpus Christi College, Oxford, where he obtained a second class in Literae Humaniores in 1881. On leaving Oxford he became a classics master but resigned from his post at Highgate School in 1890 as he refused to conform to the religious requirement of taking communion, and later changed from school teaching to university extension lecturing.
In 1886 he joined the Fabian Society and contributed to the Fabian Essays on Socialism. However, he resigned in 1904 over the Society's support of Joseph Chamberlain's tariff policy. That same year he was elected to the London County Council where he served a three-year term, and was a non-elected member of London County Council's Education Committee from 1908-1910.
Wallas became a lecturer at the recently founded London School of Economics in 1895 and the school's first Professor of Political Science in 1914, a post that he held until his retirement in 1923. In addition to lecturing at the LSE, Wallas made four visits to the United States, where he lectured at Harvard, inter alia.
He married Ada (also known as Audrey) Radford in 1897 and their daughter May was born in 1898. He died at Portloe, Cornwall, on 9 August 1932.
The Life of Francis Place, 1898; Human Nature in Politics, 1908; The Great Society, 1914; Our Social Heritage, 1921; and The Art of Thought, 1926. Social Judgment 1934; Men and Ideas, 1940 (the latter 2 published after his death by May Wallas).
Ada (Audrey) nee Radford Wallas, 1859-1934.
Ada Radford was born in Plymouth on 10 December 1859, the ninth of ten children of George David Radford, draper, and his wife Catherine Heynes. She was educated at Plymouth High School before coming up to Newnham to read maths in 1881. She did not sit the Tripos. After leaving Newnham she taught at Wimbledon High School for a short time, and then kept house for a brother on Dartmoor and helped with the village night school. After his marriage she returned to London and worked for the Free Russia Movement with Stepniak and Volkhovsky.
In 1893 she accepted the honorary post of Lady Superintendent at the College for New Women in Bloomsbury, a position she held until December 1895. She married Graham Wallas in 1897 and the following year gave birth to their daughter, May. She served on the Council of Bedford College 1919-1934, and worked for the School of Mothers for many years. She died on 12 Oct 1934.
The Land of Play, 1906; A Philosopher and her Husband, 1920; Before the Bluestockings, 1929; Daguerreotypes, 1930; as well as various stories and articles in the Westminster Gazette and the Yellow Book.
May Graham Wallas,1898-1972, Lecturer in French and Italian.
May Wallas was born on 6 October 1898, the daughter of Graham Wallas, Professor of Political Science at the London School of Economics, and Ada Radford. She was educated at various day schools in London before coming up to Newnham in 1917. At Cambridge she read French and Italian gaining a first in Part I of the Modern and Mediaeval Languages Tripos and a second in Part II, 1920. She returned home and lived with her parents, obtaining her PhD from the University of London in 1926. The subject of her thesis was the eigtheenth century thinker Luc de Clapiers, Marquis de Vauvenargues. Thereafter she taught part-time at Morley College and the London School of Economics before becoming Assistant Lecturer in French and Italian, then Lecturer in French 1937-1945 at LSE.
She returned to Newnham as Lecturer and Director of Studies in Modern Languages in 1945 and was also University Lecturer in French from 1945-1962. After her retirement from Newnham she moved back to London. She spent much time editing her father's unfinished works and doing her own research on him. She died in London on 24 November 1972.
Luc de Clapiers, Marquis de Vauvenargues, 1928; ed. Graham Wallas's Social Judgment, 1934; and Men and Ideas, 1940.
The Wallas collection contains the personal family papers of Graham Wallas (1858-1932), his wife Ada (nee Radford, 1859-1934) and their daughter May Graham (1898-1972), who deposited the papers at Newnham College, where both she and her mother had been students, and she a lecturer from 1945-1962. (The professional papers of Graham Wallas are deposited at the London School of Economics, where Graham Wallas was Professor of Political Economy.) The papers range from 1841 to 1972, but mainly cover the 1890s to the 1930s.
The archive includes hundreds of letters between Ada and Graham Wallas and between them and May. Theirs was a close-knit family, whose correspondence gives an important insight into the domestic and social life of an upper middle-class family on the political left in the first third of the 20th century. Whenever they were apart they wrote to each other almost every day. Their separations include several lecture trips to the US made by Graham Wallas, and many visits that Ada made to Cornwall for rest and recuperation. (The ill health and complaints of all three Wallases features largely in their letters.)
The parents married late in life (for their generation) in 1897, Graham aged 39 and Ada 38, and the following year produced their one child, May, whom they adored. When she went up to Newnham in 1917, her mother wrote to May several times a week, wanting to know her every movement and counting the days till they could be together again. May herself was homesick and did not make friends easily. (She returned home after Newnham and continued to live with her parents until they died.) As well as revealing their close relationship, the letters portray life in London during and immediately after the First World War, and student life at Cambridge, where May, though socially shy and gauche, was a fearless public speaker and became President of the Newnham Debating Society.
There are also many letters to Graham and Ada Wallas from members of their families, and nearly 300 to Ada from her friend Florence Halevy in France, who continued to write to May until her own death in 1957. In addition to the letters, Ada Wallas's diaries from the First World War are an important resource.
Graham and Ada Wallas died within two years of each other, in 1932 and 1934 respectively, and from then on, May seems to have devoted much of her life to working on her father's affairs: editing his last book, "Social Judgment", dealing with all the correspondence about this and other books with scholars and publishers, and then herself undertaking research on his interests and life. The papers concerning her father form a considerable segment of the archive. There are few other papers of May Wallas: poems written from childhood to her 30s, degree certificates, and materials concerning her research on Vauvenargues; but nothing from her academic career at the LSE, Newnham College, or the University of Cambridge.
There is also a small group of papers and correspondence from the Wallas and Radford families and a collection of family photographs.
The papers were bequeathed to the College by May Graham Wallas in 1972. Ada Wallas's diaries and certain correspondence were transferred to Newnham from the London Scool of Economics in November 2004.