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Joseph McCabe

Joseph McCabe (1867-1955) was an English writer and speaker, famous his numerous essays (he wrote more than 250 books) on such diverse subjects as free thought, religion, war, Catholicism (he was a Roman Catholic priest).

Brief biography

McCabe was born in Macclesfield and then his family moved to Manchester. He entered the order of the Franciscans aged 15, was ordered a Catholic priest at age 23, and then went to study in Belgium at the Catholic University of Louvain. He learned Hebrew and Syriac, moved back to England, and ended up losing his faith, leaving priesthood in 1896. It is then that he started writing. He was famously criticised by Chesterton in a quote we love, and which does not take anything away from McCabe's works but puts them in a certain perspective: “Mr McCabe thinks I am not serious and only funny, because Mr McCabe thinks funny is the opposite of serious. Funny is the opposite of not funny, and of nothing else.”

Most of his books were published by Halderman-Julius, and were known as and divided into Little blue books and Big blue books. McCabe was extremely active; he wrote about evolution, translated “Riddle of the Universe” by Ernst Haeckel, fought Arthur Conan Doyle about Spiritualism. He died in 1955.

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Joseph Mc Cabe and Georges Darien

McCabe and Darien met in London where Darien lived from 1894 until 1906. They co-wrote “Can we disarm?”; it was published by Heinemann in 1899. Apparently there was an American edition in Chicago and New York by H.S. Stone in 1899. Darien was an admirer of McCabe and influenced by him, he thought about giving lectures about his own books in England. He referred to McCabe as a “superior man”. He wrote: “The book that my English collaborator and myself have written about disarmament will be released within 8 to 10 days. I think it will be met by the screams of right-minded people, and that we will be forced to write a response...”. Still, he was disappointed with the lukewarm reception that [Can we disarm?->artXXX] got. Soon after [Can we disarm?->artXXX] was published, Darien started working on one of his greatest pamphlets, La Belle France.

© 2013- Les Éditions de Londres

Livres publiés

  • Can we disarm?

    par Georges Darien

    par Joseph McCabe

    ISBN : 978-1-909782-16-7
    Date de parution : 21 juin 2013
    Nombre de pages : 96 pages

    “Can we disarm?” is an essay written and published in 1899 by the English religious philosophical thinker Joseph McCabe in cooperation with the French anarchist libertarian Georges Darien; it is a dense, original and pragmatic essay about the possibility of disarmament in pre-World War One Europe. (...)

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