Sir George Otto Trevelyan: A Memoir

Sir George Otto Trevelyan: A Memoir

Sir George Otto Trevelyan: A Memoir

Sir George Otto Trevelyan: A Memoir

Excerpt

The posthumous penalty for very long life is that those who knew a man when he was active in the world have long passed away when his biography or memoir comes to be written. When at last it appears, it belongs not to the realm of quasi-contemporary happenings but to the realm of history. Yet for some, history, too, has its charms. My father lived until 1928, but his first literary successes as a Cambridge undergraduate had been won before the American Civil War broke out, and moreover he had given up politics and retired into the country thirty years before he died. He belongs, therefore, to the generation of the late or even of the middle Victorians. If he had written his own memoirs, he would have made the London society of the 'sixties and 'seventies as actual to the reader as he made the equally brilliant society in which Charles Fox passed his youth.

Unhappily he neglected to do so, and it is useless for another to attempt to write his' Life and Times.' Many years ago he told me that he did not wish his Life to be written. Later he said that I could do as I thought fit in the matter. In any case he disliked long biographies, and I have followed what . . .

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