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One Hundred Letters From Hugh Trevor-Roper Hardcover – 19 Dec 2013


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 488 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (19 Dec. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198703112
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198703112
  • Product Dimensions: 23.9 x 3.3 x 16.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 75,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

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)

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. (The Times Literary Supplement)

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)

About the Author

Richard Davenport-Hines is a historian, literary biographer, and former Research Fellow of the London School of Economics. He has edited two previous collections of Hugh Trevor-Roper's writings, Letters from Oxford (2006) and Wartime Journals (2011). His other previous books include Dudley Docker: The Life and Times of a Trade Warrior, for which he won the Wolfson Prize, biographies of W. H. Auden and Marcel Proust, Titanic Lives, and, most recently, An English Affair: Sex, Class and Power in the Age of Profumo.

Adam Sisman is a freelance writer, specializing in biography. His first book was a life of Hugh Trevor-Roper's rival, the historian A.J.P. Taylor (1994), and he has more recently written the authorized biography of Trevor-Roper himself (2010). Sisman's other work includes Boswell's Presumptuous Task (2000), which was awarded the National Books Critics Circle prize for biography, and The Friendship: Wordsworth and Coleridge (2006). He is currently at work on a life of John le Carré.

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Judith on 14 Jan. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
An excellent selection from a huge archive which reveals much about the man and the scholar. The early letters particularly reveal a humorous, self-effacing, gentle and kind person whose public persona may have appeared completely differently. If anything, the volume is slightly over-footnoted but better too much than too little. The introductory paragraphs are enlightening and fascinating. The letters about the Hitler diaries fiasco are intriguing and alone tell us much of the real character of Hugh Trevor-Roper. A terrific read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By erser on 13 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Unbridled, academic and worldly - no holds barred, opinionated, a tonic draught of candid bulletins from the heart of public and private life. Kind, cruel - highly recommended
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dr Barry Clayton TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 28 Feb. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Hugh Trevor-Roper was a gifted individual who spent much of his life in fostering his career and social climbing. He was an excellent writer and stylist. One of his descriptions of Jerusalem and another of the infamous LSE riots of 1968 are quite superb. This book is full of fascinating stories about Hugh, is very entertaining and beautifully written. On every level it is richly rewarding.

Born in 1914, Trevor-Roper was one of the foremost historians of the mid-twentieth century. He was also a dreadful snob. He never missed a chance to criticise those Dons who came from lowly backgrounds (his dislike of the Oxford English scholar A.L.Rouse was based on this). Only those with a knowledge of Oxford dons and their behaviour in-house can begin to understand the degree of jealousy, backbiting, scurrilous gossip, intrigue and sheer bitchiness that pervades those hallowed academic grounds.

Trevor-Roper was a very complex, arrogant and colourful character He had a very unhappy upbringing experiencing very little love from either parent. His father was a doctor, a respected member of local society. The family could trace their origins back to the fifteenth century. By his teens Hugh had decided that his father had contracted out of parenthood. Neither of his parents had any intellectual interests. Horse racing was his father's chief interest. As a child, Hugh was frail, short-sighted, poor at games, and awkward in company. Reading was his great pleasure in life. After school at Stancliff Hall which he disliked he was sent to another boarding school, Belhaven Hill in Dunbar,which he loved and where he thrived academically. He won a scholarship to Charterhouse where in his last term he was placed top of the Classical Sixth, the highest form in the school.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By francis on 21 Feb. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book by an exceptionally learned, gifted and opinionated historian covering a tumultuous time in the profession. How he was able to read, travel and write so much in a single lifetime is a mystery!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gordon Johnson on 15 Mar. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An excellent book of personal letters, superbly edited and annotated by Adam Sisman (Trevor Roper's biographer) and Richard Davenport Hines.
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