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The Dictionary of National Biography By Volume editor Robert Blake

The Dictionary of National Biography by Volume editor Robert Blake

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Summary

This volume includes biographies of 380 prominent men and women, mostly British, who died between 1 January 1981 and 31 December 1985. This is the first DNB 20th century supplement to span only five years and is thus intended to be more topical and include more accurate information.

The Dictionary of National Biography Summary

The Dictionary of National Biography: 1981-85 by Volume editor Robert Blake

This volume includes biographies of 380 distinguished men and women who died between 1 January 1981 and 31 December 1985. For the most part the entrants are British, though a few subsequently took other nationality (e.g. the soldier and author John Masters), and some, though spending much of their life in Britain, never became British subjects (e.g. Anna Freud). The lives of some eminent Commonwealth citizens, such as Indira Gandhi, are also recorded. This is the first "DNB" 20th century supplement to span only five years, and is thus more topical and less unwieldy than the decennial volumes. The shorter time span has made it possible to commission the most appropriate contributors more readily, and to draw on accurate information about a person's career from colleagues and contemporaries more easily. As in other volumes, the entrants form a distinguished roll-call of persons prominent in many fields. Politics and the law are represented among others by politicians George Brown and R.A. Butler, union leader Terence Duffy, and Baron Diplock, the judge who established trial by judge alone in Northern Ireland. The exploits of spies Anthony Blunt and Donald Maclean are recorded, as are those of the Russian defector Igor Gouzenko, balancing the more conventional military service of field-marshal Sir Claude Auchinleck and the legless flying ace Douglas Bader. People from the stage include actors Richard Burton, Diana Dors, Sir Ralph Richardson, and Dame Flora Robson; ballet dancer Sir Anton Dolin and ballet director Dame Marie Rambert, both of whom worked for Diaghilev; and comedians and entertainers Arthur Askey and Eric Morecambe. From the world of letters comes writer Robert Graves, novelist A.J. Cronin, poets Philip Larkin and John Betjeman, historian Michael Wallace-Hadrill, and journalist James Cameron. Musicians are dominated by the distinguished triumvirate of composers Sir William Walton and Herbert Howells, and conductor Sir Adrian Boult, all of whom died within a fortnight of each other early in 1983. The careers are also recorded of Dame Bridget D'Oyly Carte, proprietor of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, and singers Matt Monro and Billy Fury. Science is represented by Nobel prize-winners Paul Dirac, the theoretical physicist, and Sir Martin Ryle, the radio astronomer; sport by Michael Hailwood, world champion motor-cycle rider, and the cricketer Percy Fender. The entries are usually written by people who knew their subjects personally, and who thus can flesh the bare bones of biographical fact with private knowledge and personal anecdote of interest to historian and general reader alike.

The Dictionary of National Biography Reviews

"A glittering, and at times an imaginative, collection."--Weekend Financial Times
"A predictable delight....How often was the DNB mentioned by one of his castaways as the work, apart from the Bible or Shakespeare, to be taken to his desert island? It would probably be my choice."--The Times (London)
Praise for earlier volumes: "As usual, the quality of the writing is exceptional....This is a splendid work."--Library Journal
"This is the only volume of [DNB]--or for that matter of any work of reference--which I have ever tried to go straight through. It added up to a few days of the most enjoyable reading I have recently had....A surprisingly fair series of portraits, many of them entertaining as well."--Observer
"Written by a variety of hands, based variously on newspaper articles, memoirs, biographies, and often the contributior's personal knowledge of his or her subject, these deftly encapsulated life histories are not only authoritative, but also delightful to read: vivid, insightful, and occasionally
irreverent."--The Christian Science Monitor
"The DNB is the most expansive, companionable, and entertaining 'authority' one can hope to meet, interested in everybody and eager to tell you all....One can hardly read any entry without learning something unexpected or unbelievable about people or history."--The American Scholar


"A glittering, and at times an imaginative, collection."--Weekend Financial Times
"A predictable delight....How often was the DNB mentioned by one of his castaways as the work, apart from the Bible or Shakespeare, to be taken to his desert island? It would probably be my choice."--The Times (London)
Praise for earlier volumes: "As usual, the quality of the writing is exceptional....This is a splendid work."--Library Journal
"This is the only volume of [DNB]--or for that matter of any work of reference--which I have ever tried to go straight through. It added up to a few days of the most enjoyable reading I have recently had....A surprisingly fair series of portraits, many of them entertaining as well."--Observer
"Written by a variety of hands, based variously on newspaper articles, memoirs, biographies, and often the contributior's personal knowledge of his or her subject, these deftly encapsulated life histories are not only authoritative, but also delightful to read: vivid, insightful, and occasionally
irreverent."--The Christian Science Monitor
"The DNB is the most expansive, companionable, and entertaining 'authority' one can hope to meet, interested in everybody and eager to tell you all....One can hardly read any entry without learning something unexpected or unbelievable about people or history."--The American Scholar

"A glittering, and at times an imaginative, collection."--Weekend Financial Times
"A predictable delight....How often was the DNB mentioned by one of his castaways as the work, apart from the Bible or Shakespeare, to be taken to his desert island? It would probably be my choice."--The Times (London)
Praise for earlier volumes: "As usual, the quality of the writing is exceptional....This is a splendid work."--Library Journal
"This is the only volume of [DNB]--or for that matter of any work of reference--which I have ever tried to go straight through. It added up to a few days of the most enjoyable reading I have recently had....A surprisingly fair series of portraits, many of them entertaining as well."--Observer
"Written by a variety of hands, based variously on newspaper articles, memoirs, biographies, and often the contributior's personal knowledge of his or her subject, these deftly encapsulated life histories are not only authoritative, but also delightful to read: vivid, insightful, and occasionally irreverent."--The Christian Science Monitor
"The DNB is the most expansive, companionable, and entertaining 'authority' one can hope to meet, interested in everybody and eager to tell you all....One can hardly read any entry without learning something unexpected or unbelievable about people or history."--The American Scholar


"A glittering, and at times an imaginative, collection."--Weekend Financial Times


"A predictable delight....How often was the DNB mentioned by one of his castaways as the work, apart from the Bible or Shakespeare, to be taken to his desert island? It would probably be my choice."--The Times (London)


Praise for earlier volumes "As usual, the quality of the writing is exceptional....This is a splendid work."--Library Journal


"This is the only volume of [DNB]--or for that matter of any work of reference--which I have ever tried to go straight through. It added up to a few days of the most enjoyable reading I have recently had....A surprisingly fair series of portraits, many of them entertaining as well."--Observer


"Written by a variety of hands, based variously on newspaper articles, memoirs, biographies, and often the contributior's personal knowledge of his or her subject, these deftly encapsulated life histories are not only authoritative, but also delightful to read: vivid, insightful, and occasionally irreverent."--The Christian Science Monitor


"The DNB is the most expansive, companionable, and entertaining 'authority' one can hope to meet, interested in everybody and eager to tell you all....One can hardly read any entry without learning something unexpected or unbelievable about people or history."--The American Scholar


Table of Contents

Selected contents: Kingsley Amis on John Betjeman; Michael Foot on James Cameron; Ian Gilmour on R.A. Butler; Bernard Levin on Rebecca West; Sheridan Morley on David Niven and Ralph Richardson; Derek Nimmo on John Le Mesurier; Barry Took on Dick Emery; Mark Tully on Indira Gandhi; Ursula Vaughan Williams on Imogen Holst; Richard Baker on Roy Plomley; David Piper on Kenneth Clark; Roy Jenkins on Lord Harlech; Margot Fonteyn on Lydia Lopokova; David Jacobs on Billy Fury and Matt Monro; John Wain on Robert Graves and Philip Larkin; Auberon Waugh on Alec Waugh; Woodrow Wyatt on Arthur Koestler; Julian Amery on Alan Lennox-Boyd; Robert Armstrong on Lord Redcliffe-Maud; Marius Goring on Dame Flora Robson; Paul Johnson on J.B Priestley; Bernard Lovell on Martin Ryle; Nigel Nicolson on Enid Bagnold; Peter Rawlinson on Lord Diplock; Michael Stewart on George Brown; Sir John Summerson on Nikolaus Pevsner

Additional information

GOR003493058
9780198652106
0198652100
The Dictionary of National Biography: 1981-85 by Volume editor Robert Blake
Used - Very Good
Hardback
Oxford University Press
1990-03-29
531
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us

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