The Wartime Journals

Front Cover
I.B.Tauris, 2012 - History - 322 pages
"As a British Intelligence Officer during the Second World War, Hugh Trevor-Roper was expressly forbidden from keeping a diary because of the sensitive and confidential nature of his work. He had many high-placed enemies in the Secret Intelligence Service who would have been pleased to use such a diary to have him court-martialled or dismissed. However, he did confide a record of his thoughts, contacts and plans to a series of slender notebooks inscribed OHMS ('On His Majesty's Service'). 'The Wartime Journals' reveal the voice and experiences of a 'backroom boy' who spent most of the war engaged in highly-confidential intelligence work in England -- including breaking the cipher code of the German secret service, the Abwehr. He became an expert in German resistance plots and after the war interrogated many of Hitler's immediate circle, investigated Hitler's death in the Berlin bunker and personally retrieved Hitler's will from its secret hiding place. His writings tell of Whitehall officials, Chelsea literary coteries, Oxford dons, Secret Service men, the Home Counties professional classes, Northumberland gentry and Irish raconteurs 'making do' under war conditions. The journals are an eloquent and evocative contribution to the history of the wartime Home Front. The posthumous discovery of Trevor-Roper's secret journals -- unknown even to his family and closest confidants -- is an exciting archival find and provides an unusual and privileged view of the life of an eminent scholar in wartime Britain. The journals include some of the elegant, haunting notes made by Trevor-Roper during his post-war work and his inquisitive, analytic intelligence underlies every line. The resulting book offers an engaging and reflective -- sometimes mischievous -- study of both the human comedy and personal tragedy of wartime"--Publisher's description on p. [2] of dust jacket.

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About the author (2012)

Hugh Trevor-Roper was perhaps the most brilliant historian of his generation. An expert in the history of early modern Britain and Nazi Germany, he was Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford University and latterly Master of Peterhouse College, Cambridge. He received a life peerage in 1979. He was the author of numerous books, including his famous investigation of Hitler's last days, The Last Days of Hitler. During World War II, Trevor-Roper served in the Secret Intelligence Service and this book contains his journals written during the war and in its immediate aftermath.

Richard Davenport-Hines is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the Royal Society of Literature and a past winner of the Wolfson Prize for History. He is the author of many books, including A Night at the Majestic (2006) and The Pursuit of Oblivion (2001). He edited Hugh Trevor-Roper's Letters from Oxford (2006) and is a regular reviewer for the Sunday Telegraph, Sunday Times, History Today, and other publications.

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