Posted by: alison-cullingford | August 10, 2011

The Priestleys and the H-Bomb

J.B. Priestley and Jacquetta Hawkes in 1958

J.B. Priestley and Jacquetta Hawkes in 1958

The latest in the 100 Objects exhibition from Special Collections sheds more light on nuclear disarmament campaigning in Britain during the 1950s.  The article (and accompanying video on youtube) uses the Archives of J.B. Priestley and his wife, the archaeologist Jacquetta Hawkes, to tell the story of the couple’s involvement in the founding of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) in 1958.  Priestley wrote an important article, Jacquetta brought women together to campaign.  Both believed in traditional parliamentary methods rather than using the mass civil disobedience of the Committee of 100, and gave up their active role in CND as a result of leadership splits over this issue.  Jacquetta remained sympathetic to unilateral nuclear disarmament well into the 1970s.

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