Harold Nicolson

Nicolson, Sir Harold

Sir Harold Nicolson, 1886–1968, English biographer, historian, and diplomat, b. Tehran, Iran. Educated at Oxford, he entered the foreign office in 1909, and, until his resignation 20 years later, he represented the British government in various parts of the world. His work at the Paris Peace Conference (1919) prompted the study Peacemaking, 1919 (1933) and stimulated an interest in diplomacy that is reflected in Diplomacy (1939) and The Evolution of Diplomatic Method (1954, 3d ed. 1963). He served in the House of Commons from 1935 to 1945 and was knighted in 1953. Among the subjects of his skillful and sympathetic biographies are Paul Verlaine (1921), Tennyson (1923), Byron (1924), Swinburne (1926), Curzon (1934), Dwight Morrow (1935), King George V (1953), and Sainte-Beuve (1957). Other works include The Congress of Vienna (1946), Good Behaviour (1956), The Age of Reason (1961), and Kings, Courts, and Monarchy (1962). He was married to the novelist Vita Sackville-West.

See his diaries and letters, ed. by his son, Nigel Nicolson (3 vol., 1966–68); N. Nicolson, Portrait of a Marriage (1973).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Harold Nicolson: Selected full-text books and articles

Helen's Tower By Harold Nicolson Harcourt Brace & Company, 1938
Classics and Commercials: A Literary Chronicle of the Forties By Edmund Wilson Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1950
Librarian's tip: "Through the Embassy Window: Harold Nicolson" begins on p. 121
Why Britain Is at War By Harold Nicolson Penguin Books Limited, 1939
The Versailles Settlement--Was It Foredoomed to Failure? By Ivo J. Lederer D. C. Heath, 1960
Librarian's tip: "Peacemaking 1919 -- A Critique" by Harold Nicolson begins on p. 17
Kings, Courts and Monarchy By Harold Nicolson Simon & Schuster, 1962
Peacemaking, 1919, Being Reminiscences of the Paris Peace Conference By Harold Nicolson Houghton Mifflin Company, 1933
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