One Hundred Letters From Hugh Trevor-Roper (Paperback)
  • One Hundred Letters From Hugh Trevor-Roper (Paperback)

One Hundred Letters From Hugh Trevor-Roper (Paperback)

(editor), (editor)
Paperback 496 Pages
Published: 09/07/2015
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The one hundred letters brought together for this book illustrate the range of Hugh Trevor-Roper's life and preoccupations: as an historian, a controversialist, a public intellectual, an adept in academic intrigues, a lover of literature, a traveller, a countryman. They depict a life of rich diversity; a mind of intellectual sparkle and eager curiosity; a character that relished the comédie humaine, and the absurdities, crotchets, and vanities of his contemporaries. The playful irony of Trevor-Roper's correspondence places him in a literary tradition stretching back to such great letter-writers as Madame de Sévigné and Horace Walpole.

Though he generally shunned emotional self-exposure in correspondence as in company, his letters to the woman who became his wife reveal the surprising intensity and the raw depths of his feelings.

Trevor-Roper was one of the most gifted scholars of his generation, and one of the most famous dons of his day. While still a young man, he made his name with his bestseller The Last Days of Hitler, and became notorious for his acerbic assaults on other historians. In his prime, Trevor-Roper appeared to have everything: a grey Bentley, a prestigious chair in Oxford, a beautiful country house, a wife with a title, and, eventually, a title of his own. But he failed to write the 'big book' expected of him, and tainted his reputation when in old age he erroneously authenticated the forged Hitler diaries.

For an academic, Trevor-Roper's interests were extraordinarily wide, bringing him into contact with such diverse individuals as George Orwell and Margaret Thatcher, Albert Speer and Kim Philby, Katharine Hepburn and Rupert Murdoch. The tragicomedy of his tenure as Master of Peterhouse, Cambridge, provided an appropriate finale to a career packed with incident.

Trevor-Roper's letters to Bernard Berenson, published as Letters from Oxford in 2006, gave pleasure to a wide variety of readers. This more general selection of his correspondence has been long anticipated, and will delight anyone who values wit, erudition, and clear prose.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198703136
Number of pages: 496
Weight: 604 g
Dimensions: 214 x 135 x 38 mm


Hugh Trevor-Roper was probably the greatest letter writer of what Noel Annan called 'our age', corresponding with almost anybody who was anybody, and in a style that was both inimitable and incomparable. This latest anthology is by turns memorable, fascinating, wicked and malicious, and impossible to put down. - Sir David Cannadine

A superb selection ... The book makes a hugely entertaining volume ... it should be treated as a salient part of [Trevor-Ropers'] oeuvre. - Paul Johnson, Standpoint

100 letters that show this brilliant, difficult man in a new light ... The many Trevor-Ropers of this collection ... together make a complex but fascinating creature ... ' - John Gallagher, Sunday Telegraph

A splendid introduction to this delightful, funny, ebullient and relentless person ... The present volume is beautifully produced and the selection from the voluminous correspondence is particularly well judged. - John Banville, The Guardian

Beguiling ... This volume isn't peripheral, but central to a career of fluctuating accomplishment ... Tom Sharpe's Porterhouse Blue couldn't have blended sugar and acid more silkily. - Peter Preston, The Observer

The quality of the prose is so sparkling, the wit is so sharp, and the Enlightenment standpoint so carefully nourished, that the book serves not only as entertainment, but as a manifesto for the intellectual values that were Hugh Trevor-Roper's lodestar. - A.N Wilson, Times Literary Supplement

What better way to celebrate the centenary of Trevor-Roper's birth than to treat the reading public to a hundred of his letters? ... Collected by two editors who really know the territory and who really understand the ethos of the period, Hugh Trevor-Roper's letters are a marvellous evocation of a world now completely vanished. - Leslie Mitchell, Literary Review

Trevor-Roper was ... one of the great prose stylists of our times ... and in this magnificent collection of letters dating from the war years until shortly before his death in 2003, he lays into "impertinent adversaries" with wit and gusto ... He would have been delighted to know that his letters ... have been impeccably edited. - Jeremy Lewis, The Oldie

A masterly editorial touch ... [the editors have] succeeded both in choosing letters of the highest standard and in creating what amounts to a supplementary biography, enhanced by vital, Gibbonian footnotes ... [Trevor-Roper] would surely be delighted that the last ten years have already produced a fruitful harvest of posthumous books, to which these Hundred Letters are both a stylish addition and an admirable tribute to his hundredth birthday. - John Saumarez Smith, Country Life

This is a significant reference work without many, if any, serious competitors for both scope and content. Any libraries supporting a literature collection need to update their reference holdings by including this Companion. - Reference Reviews

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