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Frida Knight

Frida Knight (1910–1996) was an English Communist activist and author.

Life

Born Frideswide Frances Emma Stewart, and known as Frida, she was the daughter of Hugh Fraser Stewart (1863–1948) and his wife Jessie Graham Crum; her sister Caitin (Katherine) married George Derwent Thomson, and her brother Ludovic married Alice Mary Naish. She left school at 14 with a heart condition, and spent time in Italy.[1][2][3][4][5]

A student of music and drama, Stewart went with one of her sisters to Germany in 1928, studying the violin, and then went to the Royal College of Music.[6] She spent time at the Manchester University Settlement and Hull University College.[7] In 1935 she visited the Soviet Union on a British Drama League trip.[8]

Stewart then joined the Left Book Club and Communist Party of Great Britain, and formed local Spanish Aid committees on the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War.[6][7] She drove an ambulance to Spain on behalf of the National Joint Committee for Spanish Relief.[9] In 1937 she was at a hospital in Murcia with Kathleen MacColgan and Eunice Chapman.[10]

Arrested in France in 1940, after the German invasion, Stewart was in the Caserne Vauban (Besançon) and then the Vittel internment camp. She escaped in 1942, with Rosemary Say.[6][11] She then worked for the Free French in London.[12]

In later life Frida Knight wrote, and campaigned for many causes.[6]

Works

  • The Strange Case of Thomas Walker (1957)
  • University Rebel: the life of William Frend (1757–1841) (1971)[13]
  • Beethoven and the Age of Revolution (1973)[14]
  • Letters to William Frend from the Reynolds family of Little Paxton and John Hammond of Fenstanton 1793–1814 (editor, 1974)[15]
  • The French Resistance, 1940 to 1944 (1975)[16]
  • Cambridge Music: from the Middle Ages to modern times (1980)[17]

She translated The Lost Letter and Other Plays by Ion Luca Caragiale (1956).[18]

Family

She married microbiologist Bert Cyril James Gabriel Knight in 1944 and had five children, of whom four survived infancy. The couple moved to Cambridge on Bert Knight's retirement and Knight remained there after being widowed in 1981.[1]

Notes

  1. ^ a b Postgate, John R. "Knight, Bert Cyril James Gabriel". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/51695.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^ "Janus: Hugh Fraser Stewart and family: Correspondence and Papers". University of Cambridge. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  3. ^ "Warwick Library Modern Records Centre – Knight; Frideswide Frances Emma (Frida) (1910–1996); Author and communist". Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  4. ^ Martin Bernal (July 2012). Geography of a Life. Xlibris Corporation. p. 150. ISBN 978-1-4653-6374-9.[self-published source]
  5. ^ Doll, Richard. "Stewart, Alice Mary". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/76998.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  6. ^ a b c d Molly Andrews (31 May 1991). Lifetimes of Commitment: Ageing, Politics, Psychology. CUP Archive. pp. 82–4. ISBN 978-0-521-42249-9.
  7. ^ a b Linda Palfreeman (1 January 2012). Salud!: British Volunteers in the Republican Medical Service During the Spanish Civil War, 1936–1939. Sussex Academic Press. p. 259. ISBN 978-1-84519-519-9.
  8. ^ Angela Jackson (2 September 2003). British Women and the Spanish Civil War. Routledge. p. 36. ISBN 978-1-134-47107-2.
  9. ^ Angela Jackson (1 March 2012). 'For Us It Was Heaven': The Passion, Grief and Fortitude of Patience Darton. Sussex Academic Press. pp. 142–. ISBN 978-1-78284-041-1.
  10. ^ Angela Jackson (2 September 2003). British Women and the Spanish Civil War. Routledge. p. 235. ISBN 978-1-134-47107-2.
  11. ^ Frontstalag 142: The Internment Diary of an English Lady
  12. ^ Nicholas Shakespeare (7 November 2013). Priscilla: The Hidden Life of an Englishwoman in Wartime France. Random House. pp. 279–. ISBN 978-1-4481-5599-6.
  13. ^ Frida Knight (4 March 1971). University Rebel: the life of William Frend (1757–1841). Gollancz.
  14. ^ Frida Knight (1973). Beethoven and the Age of Revolution. International Publishers. ISBN 978-0-7178-0394-1.
  15. ^ William Frend; Richard Reynolds; Mary C. Reynolds; John Hammond; Frida Knight (31 August 1974). Letters to William Frend from the Reynolds family of Little Paxton and John Hammond of Fenstanton 1793–1814. Cambridge Antiquarian Records Society. ISBN 978-0-904323-00-9.
  16. ^ Frida Knight (13 November 1975). The French resistance, 1940 to 1944. Lawrence and Wishart.
  17. ^ Frida Knight (1 January 1980). Cambridge Music: from the Middle Ages to modern times. Oleander Press. ISBN 978-0-900891-51-9.
  18. ^ Peter France (2001). The Oxford Guide to Literature in English Translation. Oxford University Press. p. 216. ISBN 978-0-19-924784-4.