The Tagore-Geddes Correspondence

Edited and compiled by Bashabi Fraser (2002) Geddes-Tagore Correspondence, Edinburgh Review, Edinburgh

(2nd ed) Edited and compiled by Bashabi Fraser (2004) The Tagore-Geddes Correspondence, Visva-Bharati, Kolkata

(3rd ed.) Edited and compiled by Bashabi Fraser (2005) A Meeting of Two Minds: The Geddes Tagore Letters, WordPower Books, Edinburgh

Tagore is India’s national poet, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913, and also a novelist, an essayist, and a social reformer, who founded a school and international university in Shantiniketan in Bengal. Patrick Geddes was also a polymath, Scotland’s leading intellectual of his generation, who spent nine years in India (1914-23) as a Professor of Sociology and Civics, and also a town-planner.

This book begins with a 45 page Introduction by Bashabi Fraser, which sets out what brought Tagore and Geddes together and introduces the letters by explaining the thoughts in them, particularly in relation to education, where the two men had a lot in common. Geddes gave advice on building work in Shantiniketan, but their friendship was much wider than that and continued to Geddes’ death in 1930. Geddes founded a Scots College and an Indian College in Montpellier in southern France. He made Tagore President of the Indian College and he was only prevented from visiting by ill-health.