The Life of Arnold Freeman

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The Life of Arnold Freeman: Philosopher, Teacher and Social Reformer

Arnold James Freeman (1886–1972) was a British writer, philosopher, anthroposophist, adult educator, actor, director, Fabian Socialist, Labour Party candidate, and co-founder of the anthroposophic periodical, The Golden Blade. He established and became first Warden of the Sheffield Educational Settlement. In 1922 he was an organizer with Prof. Millicent Mackenzie of the large public conference, “Spiritual Values in Education and in Social Life,” which took place predominantly at Manchester College, where Rudolf Steiner was able to present his ideas to a group of British educators at a conference that marked the beginning of Steiner-Waldorf education in the UK.

Freeman was a unique individual who, in his adopted home town of Sheffield, became a folk legend because of his infectious enthusiasm in promoting the arts, literature, culture and many other activities in the Sheffield Educational Settlement in the first half of the twentieth century.

This biography offers a rich and detailed account of the life of this extraordinary individual, who deserves to be more widely known for his contribution to the history of Sheffield and his work in widening the spiritual and cultural horizons of numerous individuals, as well as his contributions to Anthroposophy and its initiatives.


Preface by Aonghus Gordon, OBE

Who was Arnold James Freeman?

Chapter 1: Early Influences
The Freeman Family
Early Education and Role Models
1904-5, and Preparations for University

Chapter 2: Oxford        
Oxford, Politics and Faith
George Hay Morgan and the 1906 Election Campaign
Literature and Faith
The Keswick Convention
Evangelism, Disillusion and Decision
Friendship and a Full Life

Chapter 3: George Bernard Shaw  
A Shifting Perspective
The Influence of George Bernard Shaw
Tramps, Supermen and Eugenics
Inklings of a Socialist Utopia
George Bernard Shaw on Rudolf Steiner

Chapter 4: Matters of the Heart      
Falling in Love
Winifred Lines
Juliet Stuart Poyntz
Nora White

Chapter 5: Spiritualism and Theosophy    
Seeking the Spirit
The Mesmerising Literature
Julia’s Bureau
A Struggling Soul, Christian Science and Theosophy
The Theosophical Society and Annie Besant

Chapter 6: The Guru      
Finding the Guru
The Making of a Guru and The Great School
The Road to ‘Mastership’
Sean Williams, a Master for an Eager Student
The Anguish of the Threshold
Gaston De Mengel

About the Author

Kenneth Gibson is a lecturer at the University of Derby, UK, and specializes in adult education and seventeenth-century ecclesiastical history.

Additional information

Weight 19 oz
Dimensions 6.5 × 1 × 9 in


Aonghus Gordon




November 2021






Wynstones Press


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