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He proclaimed himself a genius and raged against the slightest criticism from fellow scholars; he was a Marxist who despised the ‘Idiot People’; he could be generous and affectionate yet hurled insults at his friends; he inveighed against Puritanism but was himself in many ways a Puritan: A. L. Rowse was a man of many contradictions.
In this clear-sighted and absorbing biography, Richard Ollard examines the many sides of Rowse’s Protean personality to reveal a man who, whatever he was responding to – public affairs, the arts, natural beauty or events in his personal life – did so with tremendous energy and passion.
‘An urbane study of the celebrated historian.’ Antonia Fraser, Daily Mail
‘Strikes a perfect balance between the Jekyll Rowse and the Hyde Rowse.’ Bevis Hillier, Spectator
‘Excellent.’ Katherine Duncan-Jones, TLS
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