There was an interesting article in the Guardian a couple of weeks ago on Noel Coward and Ivor Novello’s previously unreported flirtation with fascism – a chance discovery of a poster in a London market revealing both on the billing for the British Fascist’s Carnival Ball of 1925.
Both gay men, the author (Philip Hoare) argues convincingly that neither possessed a genuine political commitment or interest in fascism. Certainly, when conflict did break out 14 years later, both were involved in the war effort with Coward employed by the British secret service.
Fascism at the time was in fashion, particularly among the kind of establishment circles that Coward and Novello depended on to finance their artistic endeavours, where it was seen as an important counter-balance to communism, at a time when eugenicist ideas where supported earnestly on both the right and left of the political spectrum.
While, it’s pretty clear…
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