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A historian, poet and autobiographer, A. L. Rowse (1903-1997) moved through the worlds of academia, politics and publishing; those he encountered upon the way came in for witty and vitriolic diatribes in his journals. On their first publication in 2003 these diaries were already widely anticipated – Rowse himself had suggested in his lifetime that there would be much to scandalise and entertain in them, and they didn’t disappoint this prediction. Winston Churchill, G. M. Trevelyan, T. S. Eliot and John Betjeman are among the famous characters who came under his gaze, and whose conversations and opinions of one another he recorded.
Compiled and edited by Richard Ollard, the diaries stretch from the 1920s – when Rowse first left his native Cornwall to study at Cambridge – to the 1960s, a fascinating and personal study of the most turbulent decades in recent history.
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