W.T. Stead by George Bernard Shaw

Quoted in J.W. Robertson Scott, The Life and Death of a Newspaper (1952) p. 85.

I never spoke to Stead in my life, nor even saw him except once at a public meeting, where he behaved so outrageously that I walked out in disgust. I was a contributor to the Pall Mall under his editorship; but as my department was literature and art, and he was an utter Philistine, no contacts between us were possible. Outside political journalism such as can be picked up in a newspaper office he was a complete ignoramus. I wrote him a few letters about politics which he acknowledged very sensibly as "intended for his instruction"; but he was unteachable except by himself.

We backed him up over The Maiden Tribute only to discover that the Eliza Armstrong case was a put-up job of his. After that, it was clear that he was a man who could not work with anybody; and nobody would work with him. When he was set up years after as editor of a new London daily he had learnt nothing and forgotten nothing, being so hopelessly out of date journalistically that the paper collapsed almost at once. He wanted me to review for it on the old P.M.G. terms though I had become a Big Noise in the interval.


About this website

I founded this website in 2001 to assist me in my own research on W.T. Stead, little knowing then that it would become the largest online resource on Stead's life and career. Today this site is used by students, scholars and institutions around the world and has significantly contributed to the Study of W.T. Stead and the evils which he campaigned against. I hope you find it useful.

If you have a question that explicitly concerns any of the content on this website, feel free to Contact me and I will get back to you at my earliest convenience. However, please note that I no longer work in academia. With a very "busy" business to run, the time I can spare responding to enquiries through this website is finite, to say the least. So, please do not ask me to do research for you or assist in matters of family history.

Finally, though this website includes a section on Stead's obsession with spiritualism, I myself am not remotely interested in the subject. So, if you think you have seen Stead's ghost in your kitchen or believe you are the reincarnation of the great editor himself (or anyone else who died on the Titanic), I beg you not to tell me about it..

Owen Mulpetre, BA (Hons) MPhil