Reporter 399, 17 March 1997

Leeds MP's tribute to socialist pioneer

West Leeds MP John Battle, an English graduate of the University of Leeds, launched his book Tom Maguire: Socialist and Poet in the Brotherton Room at the University Library.

Tom Maguire (1866-95) was a political activist consulted by leading social thinkers such as William Morris. He founded the Leeds branch of the Socialist League, co-founded the Labour Party's forerunner, the Independent Labour Party, and led the famous 1890 Leeds Gasworkers' Strike.

John Battle's book features Maguire's major poems together with the political and artistic background to his life and writing.

During his research for the book, John Battle made considerable use of the Mattison collection of rare pamphlets and correspondence, assembled by Alf Mattison, who was a personal friend of Tom Maguire. On Mattison's death the collection was acquired by Lord Brotherton, a political opponent of Mattison whom he nevertheless respected greatly, and it is now preserved in the Brotherton Library.

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