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Charles Madge (Charles Henry Madge) Biography

(1912–96), (Charles Henry Madge), Britain By Mass Observation, War-Time Pattern of Saving and Spending

poetry sociologist time observation

British poet and sociologist, born in Johannesburg, South Africa, educated at Magdalen College, Oxford. Kathleen Raine was his first wife. After working as a journalist, in 1937 he joined T. Harrisson and H. Jennings in founding Mass-Observation, an organization for the collation of sociological data supplied by widespread observers. With Harrisson, he edited four compilations of reports, which include Britain By Mass Observation (1938). In 1950 he became Professor of Sociology at the University of Birmingham. Among his works as a sociologist are War-Time Pattern of Saving and Spending (1943) and Society in the Mind (1964). Having gained wide notice for his contributions to leading periodicals, he published The Disappearing Castle, his first collection of verse, in 1937. The Father Found (1941) was his last volume of poetry until Of Love, Time, and Places (1994), a selected edition containing numerous uncollected poems. His poetry characteristically combines considerable intellectual energy with a fluent and accessible style. Elsewhere a witty surrealism enlivens his socio-political concerns. His poem ‘Letter to the Intelligentsia’, which states ‘there waited for me in the summer morning | Auden …’, is frequently cited as evidence of W. H. Auden's impact on his generation.

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