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Durham University

Department of English Studies

Staff

Academic Staff

Publication details for Professor James Smith

Bradshaw, David & Smith, James (2013). 'Ezra Pound, James Strachey Barnes (`The Italian Lord Haw-Haw’) and Italian Fascism'. Review of English Studies 64(266): 672-693.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

This article sheds new light on Ezra Pound’s activities in wartime Italy through the lens of his friendship and collaboration with James Strachey Barnes. Barnes emerged in the mid-1920s as one of the most fervent British apologists of Fascism and he wrote many articles and a number of books in support of Mussolini. Resident in Italy during the Second World War, Barnes also undertook extensive broadcast propaganda work for the Fascist regime and it was during this period that he became a close friend and devotee of Pound. Although Barnes has only received passing notice in the biographical literature on Pound (if he has received any attention at all) and continues to be a surprisingly marginal figure in both critical accounts of Pound’s politics and the historiography of the British inter-war radical right, this article, drawing on previously unexplored sources, reveals the extent of the co-operation between the two men as Fascist propagandists and the role played by Barnes during the period of Pound’s life (1943–1945) that has been described as ‘the least documented of his adult years’. Despite his post-war attempts to downplay the extent of his work for the Fascist cause, these new materials provide fresh evidence that Pound, like Barnes, contributed to the propaganda efforts of both Italian Fascism and the Republic of Salò consistently, substantially and enthusiastically.

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