The Last Books of Hugh Trevor-Roper

25Jun08

It occurs to me that I should have been more specific in my previous post about the two books — so far — that have appeared since Lord Dacre’s death in 2003. Both of these had long “almost been finished,” but the former Regius Professor held off publishing them, possibly for fear of criticism. He never quite recovered from that Hitler Diaries debacle and he had many enemies at Peterhouse, Cambridge — which used to be known as “Hitlerhouse,” not only to remind Trevor-Roper of his humiliation at every opportunity but to reflect its dons’ robustly conservative views.)

The first of his posthumous works was Europe’s Physician: The Various Life of Sir Theodore De Mayerne (Yale University Press), which is by any definition a marvelous exposition, and the second, which appeared a month or so ago in Britain, is The Invention of Scotland: Myth and Tradition. Adam Sisman, who has been appointed Trevor-Roper’s biographer, reviews it here, the Tory journalist Simon Heffer discusses it here, while Ben Macintyre, author of several good popular histories (like this one and this one) is not quite as complimentary here

Personally, I think Trevor-Roper somewhat overstates the case about Scottish myths; much of this stuff has been around for years and some of it already appeared in his chapter on the creation of the kilt in the Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger-edited The Invention of Tradition. (Me, I’ve never quite understood whyor how Trevor-Roper hooked up with the likes of Hobsbawm . . . 

I hope this clears things up a bit. 

Posted by Alexander Rose, www.alexrose.com



No Responses Yet to “The Last Books of Hugh Trevor-Roper”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: