Christopher Caudwell is the pseudonym of Christopher St. John Sprigg (20 October 1907 – 12 February 1937), a British Marxist writer, thinker and poet.
He was born into a Catholic family living at 53 Montserrat Road, Putney district, south-west London. Educated at the Benedictine Ealing Priory School, Caudwell's formal education ended at the age of 15 when his father, Stanhope Sprigg, lost his job as literary editor of the Daily Express. Caudwell moved with his father to Bradford and began work as a journalist for the Yorkshire Observer. He found his own way to Marxism and set about rethinking everything in light of it, from poetry to philosophy to physics.
He joined the Communist Party of Great Britain in Poplar in the East End of London. In December 1936 he drove an ambulance to Spain and joined the International Brigades once there, training as a machine-gunner at Albacete before becoming a machine-gun instructor and group political delegate. He also edited a wall newspaper.
Caudwell was killed in action on 12 February 1937 during the first day of the battle of the Jarama Valley. His brother Theodore had attempted to have Caudwell recalled by the Communist Party of Great Britain by showing General-Secretary Harry Pollitt the proofs of Illusion and Reality. However, despite the myth that a recall telegram was sent but arrived after Caudwell's death, no telegram or other recall instruction was ever sent, which was an enduring source of bitterness for Theo.
His marxist works were published posthumously. The first was Illusion and Reality (1937), an analysis of poetry.