chapter  24
2 Pages

Harold Nicolson, from His Diary, August 1933

Author, diplomat, politician, lecturer, and journalist, Sir Harold Nicolson (1886-1968) began his career in the diplomatic service. In 1913 he married the Hon. Victoria (Vita) Sackville-West, the poet and novelist. After failing as a parliamentary candidate for Sir Oswald Mosley's New Party in 1931, he won a seat for the National Labour Party, 193545. He joined the Labour Party in 1947, but unsuccessfully contested a by-election the next year. Lacking the temperament to become a wholly successful politician, he exercised both before and after the war a far greater talent for writing literary and historical biographies, his later achievements including the splendid 'George V: His Life and Reign' (1952). He was knighted in 1953, and in 1956 stood for the Chair of Poetry at Oxford, which Auden won by twenty-four votes (see Evelyn Waugh's comment in headnote to No. 76 below).