Talk:Stanley James: Cowboy, Preacher and Friend at Richmond upon Thames

Talk, Wed 30 Jun 2021, free entry

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London Borough of Richmond upon Thames,

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Robert Nurden is a writer and journalist who has worked on the Guardian, Independent on Sunday and Daily Telegraph, as well as many other national newspapers and magazines. He has reported on a wide range of issues, as well as working as a travel writer. Now retired, he has spent the last three years researching and writing the life of his grandfather, Stanley James.

His talk today is based on his biography of his unconventional grandfather. He starts from the premise that the most interesting lives are often those that lie just under the radar of the public gaze. Stanley was, Robert argues, just one of those people.

As a young man in 1891, Stanley lived in Richmond. Emigrating to Canada, he was in turn a cowboy, navvy, hobo, soldier and war correspondent, journalist, poet and actor. Back in England he married and became a Nonconformist minister, both charming and alienating his Walthamstow congregation with his feminism, socialism and pacifism in the First World War. The discovery of hundreds of letters and diaries of three young women show that, as a husband and father of seven, he had an affair with one of them and liaisons with others. In 1923 he converted to Catholicism and became a leading Catholic commentator, becoming deputy editor of the Catholic Herald in 1941. He counted WH Davies, Bertrand Russell and G.K. Chesterton among his friends.

Event details

Dates Times
Wed 30 Jun 2021 14:30


Free entry


See location of Richmond upon Thames on Google mapsSee location on Google maps

Map reference: TQ 180749  Lat: 51.46121 Long: -0.30180

Depending on the given area.
Tube stations within the borough: Kew Gardens and Richmond
South West Train stations: Barnes, Barnes Bridge, Mortlake, North Sheen, Richmond, St Margarets, Twickenham, Strawberry Hill, Teddington, Fulwell, Hampton, Hampton Court, Hampton Wick, Whitton.
Fast trains from London Waterloo to Richmond and Twickenham, via Clapham Junction. Semi-fast trains also stop at Putney. All stations are served by slow trains from London Waterloo.