Scope and Content

Letters to Mackinder concerning the National Theatre and the published textof a speech by Mackinder to the House of Commons.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir Halford John Mackinder 1861-1947

Mackinder was educated at Gainsborough Grammar School, Epsom College andChrist Church, Oxford. He was President of Oxford Union Society, 1883. He wascalled to the bar (Inner Temple), 1886. He was Reader in Geography at OxfordUniversity 1887-1905. From 1900-1925 Mackinder was Reader and afterwardsProfessor of Geography at the University of London. He was Principal ofUniversity College, Reading 1892-1903. Mackinder was President of theGeographical Section, British Association in 1895 and 1931. In 1899 he madethe first ascent of Mount Kenya. He contested (L) Warwick in 1900. From1903-1908 he was Director of the London School of Economics and PoliticalScience. Mackinder was also Senator of London University 1904-1908. Hecontest the Hawick Burghs (LU) in 1909. He was MP (U) for Camlachie Division,Glasgow from 1910 to 1922, and also the British High Commissioner for SouthRussia 1919-1920. Mackinder was Chairman of both the Imperial ShippingCommittee 1920-1945, and the Imperial Economic Committee 1926-1931. He wasalso a member of Royal Commissions on Income Tax (1919), Awards to Inventors(1919), Food Prices (1925) and the Montagu War savings Committee (1916). From1933 to 1936 he was Vice-President of the Royal Geographical Society.Mackinder was knighted in 1920.

His publications include:

  • Britain and the British Seas(2nd edition, 1907)
  • The Rhine, its Valley and History(1908)
  • Elementary Studies in Geography(18th edition, 1930)
  • Eight Lectures on India(1910)
  • Democratic Ideals and Reality(1919)


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