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Trevelyan, George Macaulay; 1876-1962   (view)   (view in production)

P20 Biographical Archives


"George Macaulay Trevelyan, OM CBE FRS FBA (16 February 1876 – 21 July 1962), was a British historian and academic. He was a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge from 1898 to 1903. He then spent more than twenty years as a full-time author. He returned to the University of Cambridge and was Regius Professor of History from 1927 to 1943. He served as Master of Trinity College from 1940 to 1951. In retirement, he was Chancellor of Durham University. Trevelyan was the third son of Sir George Otto Trevelyan, 2nd Baronet, and great-nephew of Thomas Babington Macaulay, whose staunch liberal Whig principles he espoused in accessible works of literate narrative avoiding a consciously dispassionate analysis, that became old-fashioned during his long and productive career. The noted historian E. H. Carr considered Trevelyan to be one of the last historians of the Whig tradition. Many of his writings promoted the Whig Party, an important aspect of British politics from the 17th century to the mid-19th century, and its successor, the Liberal Party. Whigs and Liberals believed the common people had a more positive effect on history than did royalty and that democratic government would bring about steady social progress. Trevelyan's history is engaged and partisan. Of his Garibaldi trilogy, \"reeking with bias\", he remarked in his essay \"Bias in History\", \"Without bias, I should never have written them at all. For I was moved to write them by a poetical sympathy with the passions of the Italian patriots of the period, which I retrospectively shared.\" Once called \"probably the most widely read historian in the world; perhaps in the history of the world.\" Trevelyan saw how two world wars shook the belief in progress. Historiography has changed and the belief in progress has declined. Historian Roy Jenkins argues: Trevelyan's reputation as an historian barely survived his death in 1962. He is now amongst the great unread, widely regarded by the professionals of a later generation as a pontificating old windbag, as short on cutting edge as on reliable facts. On the other hand, historian J. H. Plumb argues: What is perhaps most frequently forgotten, or ignored, is the skill of his literary craftsmanship. Trevelyan was a born writer and a natural storyteller; and this, among historians, is a rare gift … If one quality is to be singled out, is should be this, for all historians he is the poet of English history... His work has one other great and enduring merit: the tradition within which it was written. The Victorian liberals and their Edwardian successors have made one of the greatest contributions to science and to culture ever made by a ruling class. To these by birth and by instinct Trevelyan belonged." (from Wikipedia)

Lifespan: 1876-1962
Clippings: 1949-1962
German National Library: http://d-nb.info/gnd/118802690
Wikidata: http://www.wikidata.org/entity/Q1373357
DBpedia: http://dbpedia.org/resource/G._M._Trevelyan
VIAF: http://viaf.org/viaf/24609782


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