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Fabian tracts

Identifier: SLC 0121

Scope and Contents

Two volume bound collection formed by H. Halliday Sparling, William Morris’s son-in-law and co-editor of The Commonweal who later became the first secretary of the Kelmscott Press.

From 1892 Sparling served on the Fabian Society’s Executive Committee (along with Hubert Bland, Sidney Webb, and George Bernard Shaw). The presence in the volumes of Shaw’s writings and the invitation signed by him evokes a poignant irony in view of Shaw’s "intrusion" in the marriage of Halliday Sparling and May Morris. Indeed at the date noted in Sparling’s ownership inscription—9 February 1893—Shaw was spending many nights in their Hammersmith Terrace house after having virtually lived there for three months during which time he and May renewed their "mystic betrothal" affair begun in the mid-1880s, see Michael Holroyd, Bernard Shaw, 1988, v. 1, p. 223–230; Jan Marsh, Jane and May Morris, 1986, p. 226–229; Bernard Shaw: the diaries, ed. Stanley Weintraub, 1986, v. 2, p. 882–906.

Includes printed invitation, signed by Bernard Shaw, to Sparling, for William Morris’s lecture "The aims of art," delivered 2 July [1886], and miscellaneous Fabian Society printed matter, including the original announcement of the Society, membership lists for 1891 and 1892, lecture lists, and reports for 1890–1892. With the bookplate of George Goyder and signatures of H. Halliday Sparling, 9.23.93, and George Goyder, 1944. Second volume has postcard laid in: “Best wishes for the New Year 1906 from May Morris.”

Includes the following by Shaw: A Manifesto (no. 2, 1884, his first seperately published work, Laurence A1), To Provident Landlords and Capitalists (no. 3, 1885, Laurence A2), Facts for Socialists (drafted by Sidney Webb, revised by Shaw, no. 5, 1887, Laurence BB3), The True Radical Programme (no. 6, 1887, Laurence A6), Capital and Land (drafted by Sidney Olivier, revised by Shaw, no. 7, 1888, Laurence BB5), Facts for Londoners (drafted by Webb, revised by Shaw, no. 8, 1889, Laurence BB6), What Socialism Is (no. 13, 1890, Laurence A10), English Progress towards Social Democracy (drafted by Webb, revised by Shaw, no. 15, 1890, Laurence BB9), The Reform of the Poor Law (drafted by Webb, revised by Shaw, no. 17, 1891, Laurence BB10), What the Farm Laborer Wants (drafted by Webb, revised by Shaw, no. 19, 1891, Laurence BB11), A Democratic Budget (drafted by J. F. Oakeshott, revised by Shaw, no. 39, 1892, Laurence BB12), Fabian Election Manifesto 1892 (no. 40, 1892, Laurence A14, second issue), Vote! Vote!! Vote!!! (Fabian leaflet no. 43, 1892, Laurence A15), and The Fabian Society: What it Has Done (no. 41, 1892, Laurence A16).

The author information and date of publication used in the container list are from 100 Years of Fabian Publishing: Full Cumulative Indexes Under Authors and Titles 1883-1987 by Rashid Kareh. London: World Microfilms Publications, 1987. Microfiche no. 2018.

Bookplate of George Goyder.


  • Creation: 1884-1938


Language of Materials

Materials primarily in English, with one item tranlated into Welsh.

Access Information

The collection is open for research.

Access is by appointment only. For more information visit:

Conditions Governing Use

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library,


2 volume (82 pamphlets) : illustrated ; 21-26 cm

Metadata Rights Declarations


Two volume bound collection of materials related to the Fabian Society in Great Britain, formed by H. Halliday Sparling, William Morris’s son-in-law, co-editor of The Commonweal, and eventual secretary of the Kelmscott Press.


Materials not necessarily bound in order of publication: Tract No. 29 is bound after Tract No. 37; Tract No. 43 is bound after Tract No. 40; Tract No. 44 is bound after Tract No. 28

Related Materials in This Repository

Mark Samuels Lasner Collection has Fabian tracts 1-42 (1884-1892)

Physical Description

Bound in rose cloth, binder’s leaves made up of Kelmscott Press paper ("flower" watermark). Includes bookplate of former owner George Goyder and ownership inscription of H. Halliday Sparling.

Shelving Summary

Volumes 1-2: Shelved in Mark Samuels Lasner Collection - Books A-Z (Shaw, Bernard) - HX11 .F25

MSL Control Number / MSL Barcode

MSL 1986 / 31646

Note: Items are individually cataloged and have their own OCLC Numbers

Processing Information

Processed by Mark Samuels Lasner Collection staff. Encoded by Jaime Margalotti.

Finding aid for Fabian tracts
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Delaware Library Special Collections Repository

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