Scope and Content

Papers, writings, correspondence and journalism of David Widgery (1947-1992), Trotskyist writer, journalist, polemicist, physician, and activist. (1960-1992)

Administrative / Biographical History

Widgery was born in Barnet and grew up in Maidenhead, Berkshire. He contracted polio as a child and was expelled from sixth form for publishing a magazine. In 1965, Widgery met Allen Ginsberg. It was through this connection that Widgery experienced the civil rights movement in America, later visiting Cuba before returning to the UK where he studied medicine at the Royal Free Hospital Medical School. After graduation he wrote for the New Statesman and Oz magazines, becoming co-editor of Oz during 1971. Widgery also contributed to Ink, Time Out and City Limits, also writing for New Statesman, Socialist Review, International Socialism and New Society. In 1967 he joined the International Socialists, remaining in the group when it became the Socialist Workers Party in 1977. He began working at Bethnal Green Hospital in 1972, and later in the decade he published his first book, The Left in Britain, 1956–68. He presented a paper at the ninth symposium of the National Deviancy Conference in Sheffield (7–8 January 1972) on "The Politics of the Underground".His books include The Chatto Book of Dissent (1991), an anthology of dissident writings co-edited with Michael Rosen, Some Lives!: A GP's East End (1991), the story of his experience as a doctor in London's East End, The National Health: A Radical Perspective, and Beating Time (1986), an account of the Rock Against Racism movement of the late 1970s.Widgery died aged 45.


No further arrangement required.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Donated to Bishopsgate Library by Juliet Ash, August 2015

Other Finding Aids

Adlib catalogue and handlist available in the researchers area.

Archivist's Note

Entry compiled by Grace Biggins.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopying and digital photography (without flash) is permitted for research purposes on completion of the Library's Copyright Declaration form and with respect to current UK copyright law.