David Womersley

Hugh Trevor-Roper, the man who hated uniformity

One Hundred Letters, a selection of the historian's correspondence, shows he was not only clever and witty, but kindly, wise — and a liberal who disliked conformity

Professor Hugh Trevor-Roper, 1960 Photo: Getty

The arrival of a letter from Hugh Trevor-Roper initiated a whole series of pleasures.  Pleasure began with the very look of the envelope, addressed in his wonderfully clear, elegant hand (writing to Alasdair Palmer in 1986, he advised ‘No, don’t type your letters . . . reject the impersonality of the machine’; and towards the end of his life, when his sight was failing, it was a matter of particular regret that this ‘played havoc’ with his handwriting).

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