Diaries And Letters 1939-45 by Harold Nicolson hits the £1 shelf in my shop.
Collins, 1967, Hardback in dust wrapper.
Illustrated by way of: Black & White Photographs; Portrait to the frontispiece;
From the cover: A good test for a diary, wrote Cyril Connolly of the first volume of Harold Nicolsons Diaries and Letters, is whether one wishes more of it. In this case one is hardly able to put it down for meals, and closes it with the sensation that a shabby trick has been played on the readers. Come on wheres the rest? Hand it over. Well, here is the second volume, covering the years 1939-1945, and no one who enjoyed the first will be disappointed by its successor. Volume I had an unhappy story to tell of how Britain drifted into the carnage of the Second World War. This volume describes how she redeemed herself by her exertions and saved Europe and the world by her example.
From the first page to the last Britain was at war; from the first to the last but one Harold Nicolson was a Member of Parliament. From 1940 to 1941 he was Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Information and subsequently a Governor of the B. B. C. ; from the moment of Frances fall he kept in closest touch with the Free French in London, He was throughout in the perfect position to observe and describe, knowing the chief actors Churchill, de Gaulle, Eden and many others experiencing with acute anxiety and mounting excitement our fluctuating fortunes, the father of two sons in the Army, the husband of Vita Sackville-West who was living at Sissinghurst in Kent over which the Battle of Britain was fought. Meanwhile Harold Nicolson himself occupied during the week a flat in London and survived the nightly assault of the German bombers.
To those who remember them, this volume will evoke the memory and the atmosphere of those six years when hope was succeeded by disappointment and disappointment by renewed expectation. To those who do not, this is probably the best description of how rational intellectuals like Harold Nicolson came to share a mood of unreasoning faith arid simple patriotism with the rest of the country. On 12th June, 1940, he wrote to Vita Sackville-West, I am embattled. I did not know that I possessed such combative instincts. Why is it that I should feel so gay? And again in July of that year, I have always loved England, But now I am in love with England. What a people! What a chance! The chance that by out stubbornness we shall give victory to the world.
But if this is the theme of this volume it is interpreted by a man who prizes above all things the values of private life. Accounts of conversations with his friends and colleagues form the major part of the diary. He describes what he heard, hoped, felt; the look, the feel, the sound and smell of London under fire; the precise circumstances in which he came to hear the most dramatic news; the gestures with which Churchill, the real hero of this hook, accompanied his greatest
As in Volume I there runs through the whole diary his profound relationship with Vita Sackville-West. I pray for you six times a day, she wrote to him; nor is there any doubt of their joint determination to swallow the lethal pill which he obtained as a precaution against either of diem falling into German hands.
Very Good in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Gently faded at the spine of the dust wrapper. Leans very slightly. Text complete, clean and tight.
Yellow boards with Black Title Plate with Gilt titling to the Spine.
511 pages. Index. 9¼” x 6″.
This book will be listed, sooner or later, for £6.50 on my delightful website… but get 50% off buying from my blog… below…