MIA: Encyclopedia of Marxism: Glossary of Periodicals



Clarion (Manchester 1949-1960)


The Clarion was a weekly newspaper published by Robert Blatchford, based in the United Kingdom. For most of its history, it was a socialist publication. Blatchford and Alexander M. Thompson founded the paper in Manchester in 1891. In it, he serialised his book, Merrie England, and published work by a variety of journalists, including George Bernard Shaw and the cartoonist Walter Crane. A large number of clubs and societies connecting with the newspaper were created, of which the National Clarion Cycling Club still survives. As does the People’s Theatre, Newcastle upon Tyne, which began its life in 1911 as the Newcastle Clarion Drama Club.

Enjoying sales of around 30,000 for many years, some readers left after it adopted stance in favour of the Boer War and against women’s suffrage. They rose again as it became associated with the Labour Party, and by 1907 had reached 74,000.

The paper again lost readers when it supported World War I, and in 1924 switched its support to the Conservative Party. It folded in 1931.

Commonweal was a British socialist newspaper founded in 1885 by the newborn Socialist League. Its aims were to spread socialistic views and to win over new recruits. William Morris, founder of the League, was its chief writer, money finder and "responsible head". John Turner, Ernest Belfort Bax and Eleanor Marx also regularly contributed articles. Its publishing office was at Great Queen Street, London. It ceased publication in 1894.