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Trevelogue

E.S. Turner, 25 June 1987

The Golden Oriole: Childhood, Family and Friends in India 
by Raleigh Trevelyan.
Secker, 536 pp., £16.95, May 1987, 0 436 53403 7
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... ayah was a Burmese murderess called Mimi. Our servants were murderers.’ I do not recall Raleigh Trevelyan slipping this information into the lunchtime conversation when he was my publisher (a very helpful and tolerant one – interest duly declared). He was born in the Andaman Islands, the penal settlement run by the Raj off the coast of Burma, where his ...
George Macaulay TrevelyanA Memoir 
by Mary Moorman.
Hamish Hamilton, 253 pp., £9.95, April 1980, 0 241 10358 4
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Public and Private 
by Humphrey Trevelyan.
Hamish Hamilton, 208 pp., £8.95, February 1980, 0 241 10357 6
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... G.M. Trevelyan (1876-1962) burnt all his papers. His ‘Autobiography of an Historian’ (1949) is as the title suggests both narrow and concise. The sketch by a pupil, J.H. Plumb, published in 1951, is a survey of the books rather than the man. Mrs Moorman, herself the biographer of Wordsworth as well as a loyal daughter, rightly considers this is not enough, and has retrieved letters, chiefly early and chiefly to his brother, the Labour Minister, Sir Charles Trevelyan, which show the forces that inspired G ...

Sterling and Strings

Peter Davies: Harold Wilson and Vietnam, 20 November 2008

... sceptical about the conduct of the war and when pressured refused to send troops. On 1 March 1965, Humphrey Trevelyan, a member of the UK mission at the UN, wrote to Wilson that he had ‘attended a CIA briefing last Friday afternoon’ which had demonstrated ‘pretty conclusively’ that ‘the Americans are in a hopeless position in South ...

Just Like Cookham

Neal Ascherson: Stanley Spencer in China, 19 May 2011

Passport to Peking: A Very British Mission to Mao’s China 
by Patrick Wright.
Oxford, 591 pp., £20, October 2010, 978 0 19 954193 5
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... of the looking-glass which gives a keener edge to everything.’ He also rephrased a warning from Humphrey Trevelyan, the British chargé d’affaires in Beijing: ‘We see what we see. Is what we do not see or even what nobody can see more significant?’ Later, he reflected: ‘You can respect the vigour and strength of a new system that has brought ...

Unhappy Yemen

Tariq Ali: In Yemen, 25 March 2010

... depriving Aden of much of its value to the British, the British finally left, after 128 years. As Humphrey Trevelyan, the last high commissioner, waved a hurried farewell from the steps of the plane returning him to London, the Royal Marine Band from HMS Eagle played ‘Fings Ain’t Wot They Used To Be’. The National Liberation Front had won, but they ...

Damsons and Custard

Paul Laity: Documentary cinema’s unsung poet, 3 March 2005

Humphrey Jennings 
by Kevin Jackson.
Picador, 448 pp., £30, October 2004, 0 330 35438 8
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... Humphrey Jennings never lacked a sense of self-worth. Peggy Guggenheim, with whom he had a brief affair in 1937, remembered him jumping up and down on their Parisian hotel bed crying out: ‘Look at me! … Don’t you think I’m beautiful?’ In fact, she thought he looked like Donald Duck, and insisted he put his clothes on and take her to meet André Breton ...

The Savage Life

Frank Kermode: The Adventures of William Empson, 19 May 2005

William Empson: Vol. I: Among the Mandarins 
by John Haffenden.
Oxford, 695 pp., £30, April 2005, 0 19 927659 5
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... some deplored his scruffiness, but his closest associates, for instance, Jacob Bronowski and Humphrey Jennings, and those seniors best qualified to judge – I.A. Richards especially – admired him greatly. The quality of his writing as an undergraduate is not surprising only because we have been brought up to believe, with approximate accuracy, that ...

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