Nicholas Hagger, a short profile of his life, literary works and view of the world, considered by the Gusi Foundation

Nicholas Hagger





Nicholas Hagger graduated at Worcester College, Oxford in English Language and Literature, under Christopher Ricks. He lectured in English Literature at the University of Baghdad, Iraq, and then at Tokyo University of Education, Keio University and Tokyo University, Japan, where he was Visiting Foreign Professor, tutor to Prince Hitachi (Emperor Hirohito’s second son) and speechwriter for the Governor of the Bank of Japan, and visited China at the start of the Cultural Revolution. He lectured at the University of Libya, Tripoli, Libya, and was an eyewitness of the Gaddafi revolution in 1969. Back in London he wrote newspaper articles for The Times and extended his expertise in education in a series of posts before founding a group of four private schools, the Oak-Tree Group of Schools, which employs 320 staff. For seven years he owned the Tudor Hall where the 1607 Jamestown Settlement that founded the US was thought to have been planned.

He is a poet, man of letters and literary author who has written over 40 books. He has written 2,000 poems (including more than 300 classical odes), 1,200 short stories, two poetic epics, five verse plays, a masque, selected diaries, three works of autobiography and two travelogues, and his work A New Philosophy of Literature identified the fundamental theme of all world literature. He has widened his literary work to include several books of history, notably his study of 25 civilizations The Rise and Fall of Civilizations and an American trilogy; works of philosophy, notably The New Philosophy of Universalism; and several books on international politics and current affairs, notably The World Government. His archive of literary works (papers and manuscripts) is held by the University of Essex (The Albert Sloman Library) on permanent deposit as a Special Collection. For a full list of his writings see his website

He wrote his early poems and stories in Japan, including his Modernist ‘The Silence’ on the universal theme of a descent into an Underworld, inner transformation and return with a vision of Reality. From 1979/80 his poems sought to reconcile his vision with social and historical events, and his work became more classical. His first Selected Poems came out at the same time as his study of civilizations in 1991, and the poets David Gascoyne and Kathleen Raine and the historian Asa Briggs spoke at a combined launch. He corresponded with Ted Hughes throughout the 1990s. His first Collected Poems appeared in 1994, and his more classical approach continued in Classical Odes, which catch the tension as the UK emerged from nation-statehood into membership of the regional European Union, a theme that anticipated the recent UK referendum on the EU. His most recent Collected Poems (2006) presents nearly 1,500 poems in 30 volumes and a rich variety of forms: sonnets, lyrics in trimeters and tetrameters, elegies, odes in eight- , ten- or twelve-line stanzas, blank verse and stress metre. His latest 200 poems have just been published.

He is the only Western literary writer to advocate a coming World State. He first had a vision of a coming World State in the Kremlin’s Cathedral of the Archangel in Moscow at the height of the Cold War in 1966, and put it in his poem on Communism, ‘Archangel’. His two poetic epics, which he discussed with the poet Ezra Pound in Rapallo in 1970, Overlord and Armageddon, are about the Second World War and War on Terror, and both have an underlying longing for a peace-bringing World State and world government that will raise the quality of life of all humankind within a universal peace. Both reconcile the violent conflicts of war and the Oneness of the universe, and in the midst of war foresee a lasting peace. In 2015 he chaired a constitutional convention of the World Philosophical Forum and set up an embryonic World State.

Nicholas Hagger sees the UN General Assembly (or UN Parliamentary Assembly) becoming a democratically elected lower house of 850 Representatives in such a world government. He is working to bring in a UN-based partly-federal World State, a United Federation, with an upper house of 92 World Senators and a World Commission of 27 that will oversee disarmament and abolish war, famine, poverty and disease. In his literary works he has reflected the aspirations and hopes of our war-ravaged Age and shown the way forward.

Nicholas Hagger