Understand the Weapon, Understand the Wound

Collected Writings of John Cornford rupert john cornford (1915–1936) was an English poet, communist and Charles Darwin’s great-grandson. He was a member of the International Brigades and died while fighting fascism during the Spanish Civil War. Born in Cambridge, Cornford was educated at Stowe School and Trinity College, Cambridge. As an undergraduate he joined the Communist Party of Great Britain and from 1933 was directly involved in Communist Party work in London. At the start of the Spanish Civil War he briefly served with the P.O.U.M. militia and then with a machine-gun unit of the Commune de Paris Battalion, and fought in defence of Madrid. He was killed in uncertain circumstances at Lopera, near Córdoba, in 1936. A memorial volume to Cornford was published in 1938.

jonathan galassi is President and Publisher of Farrar, Straus & Giroux in New York City. His novel, Muse, was published in 2015.

richard baxell is a historian who has written widely about British volunteers in the Spanish Civil War. His latest book, Unlikely Warriors, was published by Aurum Press in 2012. He is currently Chair of the International Brigades Memorial Trust.

dr jane bernal is the daughter of Margot Heinemann (1913– 1992) and J. D. Bernal (1901–1971). She is currently working on a biography of her mother, to be published by Lawrence & Wishart.