Michael Grant: George Weidenfeld Recalls a Masterful Historian of Ancient Rome, and Much Else Besides

By Weidenfeld, George | History Today, December 2004 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Michael Grant: George Weidenfeld Recalls a Masterful Historian of Ancient Rome, and Much Else Besides


Weidenfeld, George, History Today


THE LABEL 'BRIGADIER DON', authorship of which has been variously ascribed to Winston Churchill and Maurice Bowra, denotes a brilliant academic who brought initiative, inventiveness and a tutored mind to wartime political warfare and intelligence, a sense of adventure and readiness for dangerous missions. Some of them transferred those qualities to pioneering work in the rebuilding of Britain's post-war universities. Names such as William (Bill) Deakin, Hugh Trevor-Roper, Noel Annan and Alan Bullock come to mind.

Michael Grant was one of them. The Cambridge-bred ancient historian, numismatist and singularly gifted writer, mastering what the French call the art of 'haute vulgarisation', belongs to this category. His wartime work in the British Council in Ankara and roving commission in the Near East gave him ample opportunity to make his mark in political warfare. After the war he combined fellowships in Cambridge with a professorship at the University of Khartoum and for seven years, from 1959 to 1966, he was Vice-Chancellor of Queen's University Belfast. While there he wrote and translated from the Latin.

My friendship with Michael Grant dates from that period. One of my great ambitions was to publish a new multi-volume world history of civilisation, enabling both well-established and young historians to assert themselves freely and originally. The trio of Isaiah Berlin, Ronald Syme and Hugh Trevor-Roper helped me greatly with their advice. We were fortunate to score an immediate success with Maurice Bowra's Greek Experience followed by The World of Rome by Michael Grant.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Michael Grant: George Weidenfeld Recalls a Masterful Historian of Ancient Rome, and Much Else Besides
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?