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G. M. Trevelyan

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G. M. Trevelyan
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{{Use dmy dates|date=April 2018}}{{Use British English|date=April 2012}}







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| image = GM Trevelyan by Beresford.jpg| image_size = | alt = | caption = Trevelyan photographed by George Charles Beresford in 1926| order1 = 6th| office1 = Chancellor of Durham University| term_start1 = 1950| term_end1 = 1957Charles Vane-Tempest-Stewart, 7th Marquess of Londonderry>The Marquess of LondonderryRoger Lumley, 11th Earl of Scarbrough>The Earl of ScarbroughMaster (college)>Master of Trinity College, Cambridge| term_start2 = 1940| term_end2 = 1951J. J. Thomson>Sir J. J. Thomson| successor2 = Edgar Adrian, 1st Baron AdrianRegius Professor of History (Cambridge)>Regius Professor of History University of Cambridge| term_start3 = 1927| term_end3 = 1943| predecessor3 = J. B. BuryGeorge Norman Clark>Sir George Clark| birth_name = George Macaulay Trevelyan187616|df=y}}| birth_place = Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England19622102df=y}}| death_place = Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England| death_cause = | resting_place = Holy Trinity Church, Langdale, Cumbria| resting_place_coordinates = | residence = Janet Trevelyan|1904}}| occupation = Historian}}George Macaulay Trevelyan {{post-nominals|country=GBR|OM|CBE|FRS|FBA}} (16 February 1876GRO Register of Births: June 1876 6d 641 Stratford – George Macaulay Trevelyan â€“ 21 July 1962),GRO Register of Deaths: September 1962 4a 179 Cambridge, aged 86 was a British historian and academic. He was a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, from 1898 to 1903. He then spent more than twenty years as a full-time author. He returned to the University of Cambridge and was Regius Professor of History from 1927 to 1943. He served as Master of Trinity College from 1940 to 1951. In retirement, he was Chancellor of Durham University.Trevelyan was the third son of Sir George Otto Trevelyan, 2nd Baronet, and great-nephew of Thomas Babington Macaulay, whose staunch liberal Whig principles he espoused in accessible works of literate narrative avoiding a consciously dispassionate analysis, that became old-fashioned during his long and productive career.JOURNAL, 10.2307/1863741, Hernon, Jr., Joseph, M., 1976, The Last Whig Historian and Consensus History: George Macaulay Trevelyan, 1876–1962, 1863741, The American Historical Review, 81, 1, 66–97, The noted historian E. H. Carr considered Trevelyan to be one of the last historians of the Whig tradition.BOOK, What Is History?, Carr, E. H., The Historian and His Facts, 17, 2001, 0333977017, Many of his writings promoted the Whig Party, an important aspect of British politics from the 17th century to the mid-19th century, and its successor, the Liberal Party. Whigs and Liberals believed the common people had a more positive effect on history than did royalty and that democratic government would bring about steady social progress.Trevelyan's history is engaged and partisan. Of his Garibaldi trilogy, "reeking with bias", he remarked in his essay "Bias in History", "Without bias, I should never have written them at all. For I was moved to write them by a poetical sympathy with the passions of the Italian patriots of the period, which I retrospectively shared."

Early life

(File:GMtrevelyan.jpg|thumb|300px|Trevelyan in 1910 with his eldest son, Theo, and father, Sir G. O. Trevelyan. Theo died of appendicitis in 1911.Journey into Wallington historian's own history. Journal Live. 17 April 2009)Trevelyan was born into late Victorian Britain in Welcombe House, Stratford-on-Avon, the large house and estate owned by his maternal grandfather, Robert Needham Philips,WEB,weblink Sir George Otto, Bart Trevelyan, 1911, Encyclopædia Britannica 1911, Volume 27, 255Lancashire merchant and the Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) for Bury (UK Parliament constituency)>Bury. Today Welcombe is a hotel and spa for tourists visiting Shakespeare's birthplace.Trevelyan's parents used Welcombe as a winter resort after they inherited it in 1890. They looked upon Wallington Hall, the Trevelyan family estate in Northumberland, as their real home. George traced his father's steps to Harrow School and then Trinity College, Cambridge.{{acad|id=TRVN893GM|name=Trevelyan, George Macaulay}} After attending Wixenford and Harrow, where he specialised in history, Trevelyan studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was a member of the secret society, the Cambridge Apostles and founder of the still existing Lake Hunt, a hare and hounds chase where both hounds and hares are human. In 1898 he won a fellowship at Trinity with a dissertation that was published the following year as England in the Age of Wycliffe. One professor at the university, Lord Acton, enchanted the young Trevelyan with his great wisdom and his belief in moral judgement and individual liberty.Trevelyan made his own reputation by depicting Italian patriot Giuseppe Garibaldi as a great hero who stood for British ideals of liberty. According to David Cannadine:
his great work was his Garibaldi trilogy (1907–11), which established his reputation as the outstanding literary historian of his generation. It depicted Garibaldi as a Carlylean hero—poet, patriot, and man of action—whose inspired leadership created the Italian nation. For Trevelyan, Garibaldi was the champion of freedom, progress, and tolerance, who vanquished the despotism, reaction, and obscurantism of the Austrian empire and the Neapolitan monarchy. The books were also notable for their vivid evocation of landscape (Trevelyan had himself followed the course of Garibaldi's marches), for their innovative use of documentary and oral sources, and for their spirited accounts of battles and military campaigns.

Role in education

Trevelyan lectured at Cambridge until 1903 at which point he left academic life to become a full-time writer. In 1927 he returned to the University to take up a position as Regius Professor of Modern History, where the single student whose doctorate he agreed to supervise was J. H. Plumb (1936). During his Professorship he was also familiar with Guy Burgess – he gave a positive reference for Burgess when he applied for a post at the BBC in 1935, describing him as a "first rate man", but also stating that "He has passed through the communist measles that so many of our clever young men go through, and is well out of it".WEB,weblink Archive – Guy Burgess at the BBC – Memo quoting a recommendation for Burgess, bbc.co.uk, 27 July 2015, In 1940 he was appointed as Master of Trinity College and served in the post until 1951 when he retired.Trevelyan declined the presidency of the British Academy but served as chancellor of Durham University from 1950 to 1958. Trevelyan College at Durham University is named after him. He won the 1920 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for the biography Lord Grey of the Reform Bill, was elected a fellow of the British Academy in 1925, made a fellow of the Royal Society in 1950,JOURNAL, Adrian, L., 10.1098/rsbm.1963.0017, George Macaulay Trevelyan 1876-1962, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, 9, 314, 1963, and was an honorary doctor of many universities including Cambridge.

Place in British ideas

Shocked by the horrors of the Great War he saw as an ambulance driver just behind the front lines, Trevelyan became more appreciative of conservatism as a positive force, and less insistent that progress was inevitable. In History of England (1926) he searched for the deepest meaning of English history. Cannadine says he reported they were:
the nation's evolution and identity: parliamentary government, the rule of law, religious toleration, freedom from continental interference or involvement, and a global horizon of maritime supremacy and imperial expansion.
Cannadine concluded in G.M. Trevelyan: A Life in History (1992):
During the first half of the twentieth century Trevelyan was the most famous, the most honored, the most influential and the most widely read historian of his generation. He was a scion of the greatest historical dynasty that (Britain) has ever produced. He knew and corresponded with many of the greatest figures of his time... For fifty years, Trevelyan acted as a public moralist, public teacher and public benefactor, wielding unchallenged cultural authority among the governing and the educated classes of his day."
Once called "probably the most widely read historian in the world; perhaps in the history of the world."BOOK, Tombs, Robert, The English and Their History,weblink 2015, 271, 9781101874776, Trevelyan saw how two world wars shook the belief in progress. Historiography has changed and the belief in progress has declined. Historian Roy Jenkins argues:}}On the other hand, historian J. H. Plumb argues:

Other activities

During World War I he commanded a British Red Cross ambulance unit on the Italian front;BOOK, Powell, Anne, Women in the War Zone: Hospital Service in the First World War,weblink 2009, History Press, 978-0-7509-5059-6, his defective eyesight meant he was unfit for military service.Trevelyan was the first president of the Youth Hostels Association and the YHA headquarters are called Trevelyan House in his honour. He worked tirelessly through his career on behalf of the National Trust, in preserving not merely historic houses, but historic landscapes.

Trevelyan's works

G.M. Trevelyan was a prolific author:
  • England in the Age of Wycliffe, 1368–1520 (1899).BOOK, Trevelyan, George Macaulay, England in the Age of Wycliffe,weblink 1900, Longmans, Green, and Company, His first book, based on his PhD thesis. The title of this work is somewhat misleading, since it concentrates on the political, social and religious conditions of England during the later years of Wycliffe's life only. Six of the nine chapters are devoted to the years 1377–1385, while the last two treat the history of the Lollards from 1382 until the Reformation. The work is critical of Roman Catholicism in favor of Wycliffe.JOURNAL, 10.1086/ahr/5.1.120, Kriehn, George, England in the Age of Wycliffe, The American Historical Review, 5, 1, 1899, 120–122,
  • England Under the Stuarts (1904).BOOK, Trevelyan, George Macaulay, England Under the Stuarts,weblink 2002, Psychology Press, 978-0-415-27785-3, Covers 1603 to 1714.Smith, David L. (2002) Review of England under the Stuarts. history.ac.uk
  • The Poetry and Philosophy of George Meredith (1906).
  • Garibaldi's Defence of the Roman Republic (1907). This volume marks the entry of a new foreign historian in the field of Italian Risorgimento, a period much neglected, or, unworthily treated, outside of Italy.JOURNAL, 10.2307/1834542, Grey, Nelson H., Trevelyan, 2008, George Macaulay, Garibaldi's Defence of the Roman Republic (1907), 1834542, The American Historical Review, 14, 1, 134–136,
  • Garibaldi and the Thousand (1909).BOOK, Trevelyan, George Macaulay, Garibaldi and the Thousand,weblink 1909, Longmans, Green, and Company,
  • Garibaldi and the Making of Italy (1911). {{ISBN|978-1-84212-473-4}}BOOK,weblink Garibaldi and the Making of Italy, Trevelyan, George Macaulay, 1 January 1911, Longmans, Green and Company, en,
  • The Life of John Bright (1913).JOURNAL, Review of John Bright by George Macaulay Trevelyan, The Athenaeum, 7 June 1893, No. 4467, 609–610,weblink$c108351;view=1up;seq=437,
  • Clio, A Muse and Other Essays (1913).BOOK,weblink CLIO A MUSE AND OTHER ESSAYS, Trevelyan, G. M., 1 January 1949, en,
  • Scenes From Italy's War (1919).BOOK,weblink Scenes From Italy's War, By G.M. Trevelyan, Trevelyan, George Macaulay, 1 January 1919, T. C. and E. C. Jack,
  • The Recreations of an Historian (1919).
  • Lord Grey of the Reform Bill (1920).
  • British History in the Nineteenth Century, 1782–1901 (1922).BOOK,weblink British history in the nineteenth century (1782–1901), Trevelyan, George Macaulay, 1 January 1922, London, New York, Longmans, Green, and Co.,
  • Manin and the Venetian Revolution of 1848 (1923).BOOK,weblink Manin and the Venetian Revolution of 1848, Trevelyan, Trevelyan, George Macaulay,
  • History of England (1926; 3rd edition, 1945).BOOK,weblink History of England, Trevelyan, George Macaulay, 1 January 1953, Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday,
  • England Under Queen Anne (3 vols.) (1930–4)BOOK, Trevelyan, G. M., England Under Queen Anne,weblink 1930, Longmans, His magnum opus in 3 volumes: "Blenheim" (1930), "Ramillies and the Union with Scotland" (1932), "Peace and the Protestant Succession" (1934).
  • Sir George Otto Trevelyan: A Memoir (1932).
  • Grey of Fallodon (1937).
  • The English Revolution, 1688–1698 (1938).BOOK,weblink The English Revolution, 1688–1689, Trevelyan, George Macaulay, 1 January 1938, T. Butterworth Limited, en, Portrays James II as a tyrant whose excesses led directly to the Glorious Revolution, becoming a standard work.
  • A Shortened History of England (1942).BOOK,weblink A shortened history of England, Trevelyan, George Macaulay, 1 January 1987, Penguin Books, en,
  • English Social History: A Survey of Six Centuries: Chaucer to Queen Victoria (1942 US and Canada, 1944 UK). {{ISBN|978-0-582-48488-7}}.BOOK,weblink English Social History, Trevelyan, G. M., 1 January 1944, en, Published during the darkest days of World War Two, it painted a nostalgic picture of England's glorious past as the beacon of liberty and progress, stirring patriotic feelings and becoming his best selling book, also his last major history book.
  • Trinity College: An Historical Sketch (1943). {{ISBN|0-903258-01-3}}
  • An Autobiography and Other Essays (1949). {{ISBN|0-8369-2205-0}}
  • A Layman's Love of Letters (1954).

See also

References

Further reading

External links

{{Commons category|George Macaulay Trevelyan}} {{Authority control}}

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