THE LIVES OF FREDA: THE BLOG
Here's the review of The Lives of Freda in the news magazine India Today. Geeta Doctor is the reviewer:
'This well-written, extensively researched work — interviews with friends and family (including her son Kabir Bedi, the actor), combined with the scrutiny of correspondence, tape recordings, newspaper archives— makes for an insightful, riveting tale of a life extraordinaire.'
That's from a review of The Lives of Freda in today's New Indian Express: http://www.newindianexpress.com/lifestyle/books/2019/apr/21/woman-extraordinaire-1966289.html
This was truly a labour of love. When romance stirred between B.P.L. Bedi and Freda Houlston, fellow students at Oxford, their joint endeavour to track down Karl Marx's newspaper articles about India cemented their relationship. They spent many hours in the reading room of the British Museum seeking out and copying down Marx's writings.
A couple of years after moving to Lahore, the couple undertook the first publication in book form of Marx's articles on India. It was a conspicuous contribution towards the growing interest in Marxism in South Asia.
My own copy of Letters on India - I can't remember how I got it, but I think from a second-hand bookshop in Gurgaon - bears the ownership signature of Rajani Palme Dutt. He was a prominent British communist who had particular responsibility for guidance - intellectual and strategic - of the Indian communist movement. There's some underlining in the text, mainly in red crayon, but no waspish comments or other sotto voce marginal notes.
At the time the Bedis brought out Marx's Letters on India they were publishing a particularly impressive progressive quarterly. Contemporary India also touched on Marx and Marxism. There's a complete set of the journal in - of course - the British Library.
The news magazine The Week has just published a favourable review of The Lives of Freda, describing the biography as a 'vivid portrayal of [Freda's] life and choices' - the link to the piece is here: https://www.theweek.in/theweek/leisure/2019/04/12/the-lives-of-freda-review-vivid-portrayal-of-a-remarkable-life.html
The Lives of Freda
- a blog about my biography of Freda Bedi