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Webbs on the web

Friday 6 to Saturday 28 October
Clement House, Aldwych, London WC2

From 6 to 28 October the London School of Economics and Political Sciences will stage a photographic exhibition celebrating the early history of the School by founding partners Beatrice and Sidney Webb.

The exhibition of photographs and material from LSE archives is being held to mark both the launch by Virago of a new one volume abridged version of Beatrice Webb's famous diaries, and a new online history of LSE now available on the web at www.lse.ac.uk/lsehistory|

The Diaries of Beatrice Webb, edited by Norman and Jeanne MacKenzie, have been abridged by Lynn Knight, and include a new preface by Hermione Lee. Robert Skidelsky wrote in New Society that "The only English twentieth century diary to equal it is that of Virginia Woolf." This version illustrates more of the personal qualities of Beatrice Webb, who at sixteen was reproaching herself for laziness, and at nearly seventy, urging herself: "Courage, old woman, courage: be game to the end."

It was these qualities which led her, and her husband Sidney Webb to found LSE in 1895 with the support of fellow Fabians including George Bernard Shaw. He will also feature in the history exhibition The Webbs and LSE, to be staged in the School's Clement House, Aldwych during October.

Beverley Friedgood, Head of LSE Academic Publications Manager, said: "LSE owns the copyright of the Webb diaries, part of fruitful long-term legacy left to the School by the Webbs. The aim of this new edition is to attract younger readers, and re-kindle interest in Beatrice's life and thought. This version highlights the narrative sweep of her life, and foregrounds the personal as well as the political issues which drove her."

The exhibition shows some of their legacy in founding LSE. After 105 years, LSE retains its vitality as a unique 'laboratory of the social sciences', a place for students from across the world to study social, political and economic issues.

The exhibition is free and open to the public from 6 to 28 October, 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm Saturday, in Clement House, Aldwych, London WC2. For more details ring 020 7955 6043 or see the LSE website at www.lse.ac.uk|

The exhibition is part of LSE's contribution to London's String of Pearls Millennium Festival.


Contact: Judith Higgin, LSE Press Office, on 020 7955 7582
Joanna Thurman, Virago, on 020 7911 8070


  • LSE is the world's leading social science institution. Based in the heart of London, its 7,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students come from more than 130 countries worldwide to study in one of the 18 departments or 31 research institutes. The School, led by sociologist and Third Way author Anthony Giddens, is one of the UK's top three research universities. A total of 12 Nobel prize winners have either studied or taught at LSE.
  • The British Library of Political and Economic Science is currently being redesigned by architects Norman Foster and Partners in a major project to provide a fitting home for one of the world's largest libraries devoted to the social sciences. The impressive new building will open in Spring 2001.
  • The Diaries of Beatrice Webb are published on 5 October 2000, in hardback, priced £25. More details from Virago on www.virago.co.uk

22 September 2000