Henry Pelling

Henry Mathison Pelling (27 August 1920 – 14 October 1997) was a British historian best known for his works on the history of the British Labour Party, including:

  • The Origins of the Labour Party (1954) and
  • A Short History of the Labour Party (1961) (later editions co-written with Alastair J. Reid)

He was also a pioneer of the serious study of twentieth-century electoral and party politics, and wrote such other works as:

  • Modern Britain 1885-1955
  • Social Geography of British Elections: 1885-1910
  • Winston Churchill
  • Britain and the Marshall Plan
  • American Labor
  • A History of British Trade Unionism, London, 1963
  • America and the British left: from Bright to Bevan
  • The British Communist Party: a historical profile
  • The 1945 General Election Reconsidered
  • Popular Politics and Society in Late Victorian Britain
  • Britain and the Second World War

Pelling was educated at Birkenhead School and St John's College, Cambridge, where he gained firsts in part I of the Classical tripos and part II of the Historical tripos.[1] His collection of British left-wing political pamphlets is held at Senate House Library, while his papers are lodged with St John's College.


  1. ^ "PELLING, Henry Mathison". Who's Who. ukwhoswho.com. 2018 (online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. (subscription or UK public library membership required) (subscription required)

External linksEdit

Pelling's collection at Senate House Library