The Diaries of A L Rowse by A L Rowse, Richard Ollard (ed) - review by J W M Thompson

J W M Thompson

‘My Name is A L Rowse…’

The Diaries of A L Rowse


Allen Lane The Penguin Press 462pp £25 order from our bookshop

RICHARD OLLARD'S BIOGRAPHY of A L Rowse, published some four years ago, profited greatly from the egocentric old historian's compulsive habit of diary-keeping. Ollard has now completed his task with this substantial edition of the diaries, which began during Rowse's Cornish schooldays. He died aged ninety-three in 1997 and they constitute a remarkable record of an extraordmary life.

During his lifetime Rowse grew less and less reticent about himself, so it is not surprising that his diaries are candid and at times painfully revealing. He made no secret of his detestation of the modern world, his disdain for many of his rivals in historical scholarship, or his anger

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