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Literary Musings of a Wartime Spy

The Wartime Journals by Hugh Trevor-Roper, edited by Richard Davenport-Hines I.B. Tauris, 2011, 322 pages, $54.95 Samuel Johnson and Sydney Smith spoke works of literature: one can imagine them in low fireside chairs, genially dictating the sole draft of their wit from elephantine memory. Something of this measured spontaneity—the chief virtue of a diarist—is evident in the secret wartime journals of Hugh Redwald Trevor-Roper (1914–2003), published now for the first time. Trevor-Roper was an influential and acclaimed history professor at Oxford from the 1950s to the 1980s, and subsequently Master of Peterhouse, Cambridge. His reputation was damaged by the Hitler…

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