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Marie Louise Berneri (1918–1949)

Author of Journey Through Utopia

Includes the names: Marie Berneri, Marie L Berneri, Mª Luisa Berneri, Berneri Marie Louise

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Maria Luisa Berneri, later called Marie Louise, was born in Arezzo, Italy, to a deeply committed anti-Fascist family forced into exile in France in 1926 for their opposition to Mussolini. At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936, her father, a well-known intellectual and anarchist, went to Spain to fight for the Republican (Loyalist) side, and was assassinated. Marie Louise earned a baccalauréat degree and studied psychology at the Sorbonne in Paris. She campaigned for relief efforts for the Republicans, and in 1937 went to England, where she married Vernon Richards, a fellow anarchist. She published numerous pamphlets and articles on international affairs for the English anarchist papers Revolt, Spain and the World, and Freedom Press, and was a tireless public speaker and meeting organizer. In 1945, she was one of the four founding editors of the periodical War Commentary who were tried for incitement to disaffection, but was the only one acquitted. She carried on the group's work and was widely admired for her efforts. At age 31, she died unexpectedly from an infection after giving birth to a stillborn baby. Her books Journey Through Utopia (1950), a survey of literary utopias, and Neither East Nor West (1952), a selection of her writings, were published after her death.
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