Nesta Webster

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Nesta Helen Webster
Webster in later life, aged 53.
Born Nesta Helen Bevan
24 August 1876(1876-08-24)
Trent Park, London
Died 16 May 1960 (aged 83)
Occupation writer, historian, theorist
Nationality English
Citizenship British
Notable work(s) World Revolution: The Plot Against Civilization, Secret Societies and Subversive Movements

Nesta Helen Webster (neé Bevan; 24 August 1876 - 16 May 1960) was a British authoress with an interest in topics such as history, the Illuminati, Freemasonry, and conspiracy theories involving Jews. She wrote on secret societies which plotted world domination, using various common conspiracy theories as smokescreens. According to her, international subversion included the French Revolution, the 1848 Revolution, the First World War, and the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917.[1][2][3]

In 1920, Nesta Webster was one of the contributing authors who a series of articles in The Morning Post, centered on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. These articles were subsequently compiled and published in the same year, in book form under the title of the The Cause of World Unrest.

She had a wide readership, including Winston Churchill.

Contents

Early years

She was born Nesta Bevan in the stately home Trent Park. She was the youngest daughter of Robert Cooper Lee Bevan (of Welsh origin), a close friend of Cardinal Manning. Her mother was the daughter of the Anglican Bishop Shuttleworth of Chichester. She was educated at Westfield College (now part of Queen Mary, University of London). On coming of age, she travelled around the world visiting India, Burma, Singapore, and Japan. In India she married Captain Arthur Webster, the Superintendent of Police.

It is alleged that, while in India, she became convinced of Eastern religions, of the Hindu notion of the equality of all religions and became interested in paganism as well as occultism. One biographer has concluded that by this time she had abandoned Christianity for Asian polytheism.[4]

Fascination with the French Revolution

Returning to England she began her historical studies and literary career with a critical re-assessment of the French Revolution, especially exploring the theory of the monarchy's subversion by a Judeo-Masonic conspiracy. For more than three years she immersed herself in historical research, primarily in the archives of the British Museum and Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris. Modern critics of Webster have suggested that she developed a strong intuition that she had lived a former life in eighteenth-century France. Her first serious book on this subject was The Chevalier de Boufflers, which drew a lengthy review in The Spectator. Her publication in 1919 of "The French Revolution" caused a minor sensation in historiography.

Political views

Following the First World War she gave a lecture on the Origin and Progress of World Revolution to the officers of the Royal Artillery at Woolwich. By special request she repeated the lecture to the officers and non-commissioned officers of the Brigade of Guards in Whitehall, and then she was asked to repeat it a third time to the officers of the Secret Service. It was at their special request that she wrote the World Revolution: The Plot Against Civilisation, based on these lectures. Her charisma helped her to captivate some the leading literary, political and military minds of her day. Lord Kitchener in India described her as the "foremost opponent of subversion".

In 1919 Webster published The French Revolution: a Study in Democracy in which she claimed that a secret conspiracy had prepared and carried out the French Revolution. She wrote, "The lodges of the German Freemasons and Illuminati were thus the source whence emanated all those anarchic schemes which culminated in the Terror,[5] and it was at a great meeting of the Freemasons in Frankfurt-am-Main, three years before the French Revolution began, that the deaths of Louis XVI and Gustavus III of Sweden were first planned."

She had a wide readership. Winston Churchill praised her in a 1920 article entitled "Zionism versus Bolshevism: A Struggle for the Soul of the Jewish People,”[6][7] in which he asserted, "This movement among the Jews is not new. From the days of Spartacus-Weishaupt to those of Karl Marx, and down to Trotsky (Russia), Bela Kun (Hungary), Rosa Luxembourg (Germany), and Emma Goldman (United States), this world-wide conspiracy for the overthrow of civilisation and for the reconstitution of society on the basis of arrested development, of envious malevolence, and impossible equality, has been steadily growing. It played, as a modern writer, Mrs. Webster, has so ably shown, a definitely recognisable part in the tragedy of the French Revolution."[8]

Webster also published Secret Societies and Subversive Movements, The Need for Fascism in Great Britain, the Menace of Communism (with Mrs. Katherine Atkinson) and The Origin and Progress of the World Revolution. In the latter book, published in 1921, she wrote: “What mysteries of iniquity would be revealed if the Jew, like the mole, did not make a point of working in the dark! Jews have never been more Jews than when we tried to make them men and citizens.”[9]

In her books, Webster argued that Bolshevism was part of a much older and more secret, self-perpetuating conspiracy. She described three possible sources for this conspiracy: Zionism, Pan-Germanism, or "the occult power." She stated that she leaned towards Zionism as the most likely culprit of the three. She also claimed that even if the “Protocols” were fake, they still describe how Jews behave.[10]

Webster became involved in several nationalist groups including the British Fascists, The Link, and the British Union of Fascists. She was also the leading writer of The Patriot.

She dismissed much of the claimed persecution of Jews by National Socialist Germany as exaggeration and propaganda.[11]

Works

  • The Chevalier De Boufflers: A Romance of the French Revolution, London, John Murray, 1910. Reprints: 1916 ; 1920 ; 1924 ; 1925 ; E.P. Dutton & Co., New York, 1926.
  • Britain’s Call to Arms: an appeal to our women, London, Hugh Rees, 1914.
  • The Sheep Track: An Aspect of London society, London, John Murray, 1914.
  • The French Revolution. A Study in Democracy, London, Constable & Co., 1919. Reprints: 1921 ; 1922 ; 1926 ; Sudbury, Bloomfield Books, 1969.
  • The French Terror and Russian Bolshevism, London, Boswell Printing & Publbishing Co., 1920 [?]. OCLC: 22692582
  • World Revolution: The Plot against Civilization, London, Constable & Co., 1921. Reptints: Constable, 1922 ; Chawleigh, The Britons Publishing Co., 1971 ; Sudbury, Bloomfield Books, [1990?].
  • The Past History of the World Revolution. A lecture, Woolwich, Royal Artillery Institution, 1921.
  • with Kurt Kerlen, Boche and Bolshevik, being a series of articles from the Morning post of London, reprinted for distribution in the United States, New York, Beckwith, 1923. Reprint: Sudbury, Bloomfield Books, [1990?]. ISBN 1-4179-7949-6
  • Secret societies and Subversive Movements, London, Boswell Printing & Publishing Co. London, 1924. Reprints: Boswell, 1928 and 1936 ; London, The Britons Publishing Co., London, 1955 and 1964 ; Palmdale, Christian Book Club of America and Sudbury and Sudbury, Bloomfield Books, 198[?] ; Kessinger Publishing, 2003. ISBN 0-7661-3066-5
  • The Socialist network, London, Boswell Printing & Publishing Co., 1926. Reprint: Boswell, 1933 ; Sudbury, Bloomfield, [1989?] ; Noontide Press, 2000. ISBN 0-913022-06-3
  • The Surrender of an Empire, London, Boswell Printing & Publishing Co., 1931. Reprint: Sudbury, Bloomfield Books, [1990?].
  • The Origin and Progress of the World Revolution, London, Boswell Printing & Publishing Co., [1932].
  • (with the pseudonym of Julian Sterne), The Secret of the Zodiac, London, Boswell Printing & Publishing Co., 1933.
  • Germany and England, (reprinted from The Patriot and revised), London, Boswell Publishing Co., [1938].
  • Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette before the Revolution, London, Constable & Co., 1936. Reprint: Constable, 1937 ; G.P. Putnam's sons, 1937.
  • Spacious days: an autobiography, London, Hutchinson, 1949 and 1950.
  • Crowded Hours: part two of her autobiography, manuscript stolen from the Britons library in the early 1970s by an unknown American visitor. It has never been recovered and remains unpublished.
  • Marie-Antoinette intime, Paris, La Table ronde, 1981 (French translation). ISBN 2-7103-0061-3
  • The Revolution of 1848, [ed. and date unknown]. ISBN 1-4253-7315-1

Bibliography

  • Richard M. Gilman, Behind "World revolution" : the strange career of Nesta H. Webster, Ann Arbor, Insights Books, 1982.

See also

References

  1. Who are the Illuminati? Independent on Sunday (London) November 6, 2005
  2. New world order, old world anti-Semitism, The Christian Century September 13, 1995
  3. Not without Honor, Harvard University Nieman Reports March 22, 1997
  4. N. Webster, Spacious days, London and Bombay, 1950, pp. 103 and 172-175.
  5. Johnston, R. M. "Mirabeau's Secret Mission to Berlin," American Historical Review, Vol. 6, Nº. 2, 1901.
  6. Churchill, Winston S. "Zionism versus Bolshevism: A Struggle for the Soul of the Jewish People," Illustrated Sunday Herald (London), 8 February, pg. 5, 1920.
  7. Quoted in Anthony Julius, Trials of The Diaspora, A History of Anti-Semitism in England (Oxford University Press, 2010), p. 719, footnote 387.
  8. Pyle, Joseph Gilpin. "1919 and 1793," The Unpartizan Review, Vol. 13, Nº. 25, 1920.
  9. New world order, old world anti-Semitism, The Christian Century September 13, 1995
  10. The Professor's 'Pendulum, Los Angeles Times November 9, 1989
  11. Julius, Anthony (3 May 2010). Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Anti-Semitism in England. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-929705-4. , page 408.

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