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A pamphlet dedicated to artist, activist and writer Gertrude Elias, who left her unique collection to MML. It showcases a stunning series of anti-fascist cartoons alongside a brief biography, an introduction to her archive and an extract from her memoir. This publication was the second in the MML's 'from the archives' series.
The archive of artist and writer Gertrude Elias, housed in the Marx Memorial Library, has uncovered some fascinating material. The variety of correspondences, writings, collages and drawings from Elias are an insight into her deeply held political beliefs and activism, as well as her original artistic flair. This pamphlet aims to pay tribute to her underrated work and showcase eight of her drawings. Nilu and Martin York, who were friends of Elias’, provide a brief biography of her work, plus an outline of her anti-imperialist and anti-fascist activism. Then Elias explains in her own words the context of some particular cartoons of hers, drawings that she is convinced George Orwell heavily drew upon for the concept of his anti-Soviet novel Animal Farm. Regardless of what one considers about this controversy, the cartoons are undeniably interesting - both aesthetically and historically. This pamphlet serves to encourage familiarity with the breadth of Elias’ writings and work, and promote interest in the library’s archive.