Gerald Gould

Gerald Gould (1885–1936) was an English writer, known as a journalist and reviewer, essayist and poet.


He was born in Scarborough, Yorkshire,[1] and brought up in Norwich, and studied at University College London and Magdalen College, Oxford. He had a position at University College from 1906, and was a Fellow of Merton College, Oxford, from 1909 to 1916.[2]

Gould had assisted the production of the edition of The Suffragette when the offices of the WSPU had been raided to review at the printers, whilst Grace Roe was going to Paris to speak to the Pankhursts.[3]

On 6 February 1914 he and his wife Barbara Ayrton-Gould became two of the founders of the United Suffragists, which had male and female members.[4] The United Suffragists ended their campaign when the Representation of the People Act 1918 gave women limited suffrage in the United Kingdom.[4]

From 1914 he was an official in C. F. G. Masterman's Wellington House War Propaganda Bureau, which may explain his failure to produce much poetry concerned with the War.[5] He also worked as a journalist on the Daily Herald as one of "Lansbury's Lambs" — the group of idealistic young men helping with it after George Lansbury purchased it in 1913, and which included G. D. H. Cole, W. N. Ewer, Harold Laski, William Mellor and Francis Meynell.

It was probably Gould who brought Siegfried Sassoon to the paper as literary editor after its relaunch in 1919.[6] Gould regularly contributed poetry to the Herald and gave several sonnets to Millicent Fawcett's Common Cause when it became the Woman's Leader in 1920.

Gould also reviewed novels for the New Statesman, moving to The Observer as fiction editor in 1920. He was also (not coincidentally) made chief reader for Victor Gollancz Ltd, where he was involved in the early publication history of George Orwell.

His poem Wander-thirst is often quoted. Much of his poetry remains buried in the columns of newspapers and periodicals. The few collections that appeared, although well reviewed by contemporaries, are long out of print.

He died in 1936 in London.[7]


He married Barbara Bodichon Ayrton (1888–1950), suffragette and after his death on the Labour National Executive and a Labour Party MP 1945–1950; she was daughter of the scientists William Edward Ayrton and Hertha Marks Ayrton. The artist Michael Ayrton (1921–1975) was their son.


  • Lyrics (1906)
  • On the Nature of Lyric (1909)
  • My Lady's Book (1913)
  • Poems (1914)
  • Monogamy (1918) poems
  • The Happy Tree and Other Poems (1919)
  • The Journey:Odes and Sonnets (1920)
  • Lady Adela (1920)
  • The Coming Revolution in Great Britain (1920)
  • The English Novel of Today (1924)
  • The Return to the Cabbage and Other Essays and Sketches (1926)
  • Beauty the Pilgrim (1927) poems
  • Collected Poems (1929)
  • Democritus or the Future of Laughter (1929)
  • The Musical Glasses (1929) essays
  • All About Women: Essays and Parodies (1931)
  • Isabel (1932) novel
  • Refuge From Nightmare (1933)
  • Wander Thirst


  1. ^ GRO Register of Births: JUN 1885 9d 367 SCARBRO Gerald Gould, mmn = unknown
  2. ^ Poems of Today (1915), p. xxiii of biographical notes to later editions.
  3. ^ "Woman's Hour - Grace Roe". Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  4. ^ a b Kettler, Sara (22 October 2015). "'Suffragette': The Real Women Who Inspired the Film". Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  5. ^ Lucy Masterman. CFG Masterman. p. 275.
  6. ^ Jean Moorcroft Wilson, Siegfried Sassoon vol. II (2003), p. 47.
  7. ^ GRO Register of Deaths: DEC 1936 1a 667 MARYLEBONE - Gerald Gould, aged 51