English semiotician and founder of Basic English, C. K. Ogden (1889-1957), can most accurately be described as a polymath. A man of varied and wide-ranging interests, as a Cambridge undergraduate he was drawn to the study of language, and this passion was to be all consuming and lifelong. In 1909 he helped establish the Heretics, an irreverent society dedicated to the free discussion of religious matters.
Telling the Truth
In 1909 at his own expense, Norman Angell (1872-1967) published a prescient pamphlet on the Anglo-German armaments rivalry entitled Europe’s Optical Illusion. Contrary to the popular press and political thinking of the period, Angell maintained that it was not in a nation’s self-interest to have a foreign policy based on military conquest and war.