• Title
    Alexander Baron Collection
  • Reference
    MS 5126
  • Production date
  • Creator
  • Creator History
    Born on 4th December 1917 in Maidenhead, Berkshire, and died 6 December 1999, Alexander Baron was an author and screenwriter whose most acclaimed works captured and reflected his real life experiences of warfare and the grittier aspects of life in London in the early 20th Century. His most acclaimed novel From the City, from the Plough, was published in 1948, and depicts the event leading up to D Day and the Normandy campaign. Baron was a politically active man during the 1930’s, organising the Labour League of Youth (tied with the Communist Party) to campaign against fascism in the East End, and editing the Young Communist League magazine Challenge. Having become disenchanted with far left politics following the Hitler-Stalin Pact of August 1939, he broke ties with the Communists following the end of World War II. He had served in the Pioneer Corps of the British Army during the war, and was transferred as an instructor to a British Army training camp in Northern Ireland in 1945. His experience being part of the first allied troops to land on D-Day and as an instructor informed the themes of other war-based novels including There’s No Home (1950), and the Human Kind (1953). Additional themes explored in his novels include the relationship and place of the individual in society, relations between men and women, and aspects of London life, most prevalent in The Lowlife (1963), which explores the underground society of London’s East End. In addition to his novels, he wrote screenplays throughout the 1950s, serving as a regular writer on BBC’s Play for Today and the A Family at War Series and drama serials such as Poldark, and later in the 1980s, for adaptions of literary classics such as Oliver Twist, Jane Eyre and Vanity Fair. In 1991, Baron was elected an Honorary Fellow of Queen Mary, University of London, in recognition of his contribution to the historical and social understanding of East London.
  • Scope and Content
    Papers of Alexander Baron including his memoirs, published novels, unpublished novels and notes, scripts of television adaptations and plays, radio Plays and film scripts. The Collection also includes personal and professional correspondence and press cuttings.
  • Extent
    c.728 files
  • Language
  • Level of description
  • Content person