Diaries and Letters Vol. 3 (1945-1962)

Harold Nicolson
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ISBN 9780571250486 Format Paperback
Published 19/03/2009 Length 458 pages

About Book

Harold Nicolson's Diaries and Letters, spanning the years 1930 to 1962, were first published in three volumes, and it is in this format Faber Finds is reissuing them. The one-volume abridgement available in paperback from Phoenix is practical, and in itself a superb piece of compression, but such a great work, one of the major diaries of the twentieth-century, deserves also to be available in its full original incarnation.

In this third volume we see Harold Nicolson, though no longer a Member of Parliament, still deeply involved in public affairs. He joins the Labour Party: he attends the Nuremberg trials: he broadcasts from Paris on the three-months peace-conference of 1946, and he gives an illuminating account of the Suez crisis. But perhaps the most valuable political aspect of this volume, as with the others, is the portraits and private conversation of leading statesmen: Churchill in advancing age, Macmillan on his way up and as Prime Minister, Eden, Smuts, Bevin and many others.

'One of the best diaries in the language' Michael Foot

'Nowhere are his style and cultivation more truly reflected than in his diaries and letters, edited with skill and candour by his son Nigel . . . Full of witty and intimate pictures of the famous and immediate comments on the great events of the time, they were very much more than a record of classy hobnobbings, for few excelled Nicolson in the art of self-revelation and no lesser diarist could have made so moving and fascinating a thing of the relationship between himself and his wife, Vita Sackville-West, and his sons.' The Times

  • About Harold Nicolson

    Harold Nicolson (1886-1968) was a man of manifold talents: a diplomat, politician, journalist, broadcaster, historian, biographer, diarist, novelist, lecturer, literary critic, essayist and gardener. Perhaps most celebrated for his Diaries (reissued by Faber Finds in their original three volumes), they run the risk of obscuring the excellence of his other books. He wrote over thirty: Some People, Sir Arthur Nicolson, Peacemaking, 1919, Curzon, The Last Phase, 1919-1925, and The Congress of Vienna are all being reissued in Faber Finds.

    Harold Nicolson was educated at Wellington and at Balliol College, Oxford. He joined the Foreign Office in 1909, and in 1913 married the writer Vita Sackville-West. He was a member of the British delegation to the Versailles Peace Conference in 1919. He left the Foreign Office in 1929, and in 1935 he was elected National Labour Member of Parliament for West Leicester. In 1940 he was appointed a Junior Minister in Churchill's wartime government.

    In his eulogy, John Sparrow, with affectionate aptness, described Harold Nicolson as 'a nineteenth-century Whig leading an eighteenth-century existence in the twentieth-century.'

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