Henry Salt Archive

Henry Salt (1853-1939) was the author of the Life of Henry David Thoreau, Animals Rights and A Plea for Vegetarianism which inspired Gandhi for follow a vegetarian diet.

George Bernard Shaw

In about 1880, Salt's brother-in-law, James Leigh Joynes, who was closely connected with the Social Democratic Federation, met the then unknown George Bernard Shaw in London and soon brought him to Eton to meets Henry and Kate Salt.

A close friendship began and was to last until Shaw's marriage in 1898 to Charlotte Payne-Townshend. The Salt-Shaw friendship continued on a less intimate basis until Salt's death in 1939.

Although Salt and Shaw shared many similar social and political views they did disagree during the Boer War on socialist support of the war, but their differences did not bring about a rupture of their friendship.

One of Shaw's visits to the Salts cottage at Tilford offered GBS material for one of his most engaging comic essays, "A Sunday on the Surrey Hills."

As George Hendrick has commented: "Stephen Winsten in Salt and His Circle overemphasized Salt's connections with Bernard Shaw, and while that relationship was important for both men, Salt had a vital life of his own."

Salt's amusing essay on his relationship included in The Savour of Salt: A Henry Salt Anthology.