Charles Madge (1912 – 1996)

Madge was an English poet, a one time journalist for the Daily Mirror and Sociologist. Faber and Faber published his poetry as The Disappearing Castle (1937) and The Father Found (1940).

Along with Humphrey Jennings he was a member of a group of artists, poets and filmmakers based in Blackheath in London. It was Madge’s letter to the New Statesman in 1936 that inspired Tom Harrisson to contact the Blackheath group and start the Mass-Observation.

Madge’s poetry was associated with the surrealist movement which incorporated ideas about popular culture being as valid as high art. This approach tallied with the Mass Observation idea that popular art forms and people’s responses to them were a way to get to the truth about human experience.