Charles Madge Howard Coster, 1938 (cropped from original image of Madge and Tom Harnett Harrisson).
National Portrait Gallery. Licenced under CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0

Charles Madge


Charles Madge (1912–96), poet and sociologist, was a scholar at Magdalene College, Cambridge (which he left without taking a degree). In 1935–6 he was a reporter on the Daily Mirror: this was thanks to the help of TSE (who also published his first volume of verse, The Disappearing Castle, 1937). In 1937 he set up, with the anthropologist Tom Harrisson, the Mass Observation project: their output included May the Twelfth (1937) and Britain by Mass Observation (1939); and he was Professor of Sociology at Birmingham University, 1950–70. In 1938 he was to marry the poet, scholar and critic Kathleen Raine (1908–2003).