Israel Maurice Edelman (2 March 1911 – 14 December 1975) was a Wales-born British Labour Party politician and novelist who represented Coventry constituencies in the House of Commons for over 30 years.

Early life

Maurice Edelman was born in Cardiff in 1911.[1] His parents came to Wales in 1905, escaping the pogroms in Tsarist Russia and Poland. His father was a photographer.[2] He was educated at Cardiff High School[1] and Trinity College, Cambridge,[1] where he was an Exhibitioner in Modern Languages (French, German and later Russian). He joined the plywood industry in 1931 as a company director and at the outbreak of the Second World War was engaged in research into the application of plywood and plastic materials to aircraft construction.[1]

Writing career

Edelman was a prolific journalist and author of several works of fiction and non-fiction. His novels included A Trial of Love (1951), Who Goes Home? (1953), A Dream of Treason (1954), The Happy Ones (1957), A Call on Kuprim (1959), The Minister (1961), The Fratricides (1963), The Prime Minister's Daughter (1964), All on a Summer's Night (1969) and Disraeli In Love (1972).[3]

His non-fiction works included France: The Birth of the Fourth Republic,[1] and a biography of David Ben Gurion.[2] He also produced screenplays for television broadcasts during the 1960s and 1970s.[4] During the Second World War he worked for Picture Post as a war correspondent in North Africa and Italy.[1]

Political Career and Death

At the 1945 election Edelman was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for Coventry West.[1] In 1950 he won the new seat of Coventry North.

He was a vice-chairman of the British Council and chairman of the Franco-British Parliamentary Relations Committee.[1] He was a founder member of the Council of Europe in 1949.[1] A lifelong Francophile, Edelman was appointed Officier de la Légion d'Honneur in 1960,[1] having previously been awarded Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur in 1954.[5]

Following further boundary changes in 1974, Edelman represented Coventry North West until his death. His successor was Geoffrey Robinson, who won a by-election on 4 March 1976.

He appeared on the live television panel show "What's My Line?" from New York on 29 April 1962.[6]

He was also president of the Anglo-Jewish Association, and an active member of the Friends of the Hebrew University.[2] He died on 14 December 1975 aged 64.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Biography in Penguin Books edition of 'The Minister' 1964
  2. ^ a b c Jewish Telegraphic Agency
  3. ^ Catalogue of archives held at the Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick.
  4. ^ BFI filmography at (accessed 21 December 2015)
  5. ^ Letter offering Edelman the rank of officer of the French Légion d'Honneur, 1960, included in a file of "Miscellaneous official correspondence" [MSS.125/1/3/60] from the archives of Maurice Edelman, Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick
  6. ^ YouTube video