G. M. Trevelyan

G. M. Trevelyan books and biography


G. M. Trevelyan

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George Macaulay Trevelyan CBE OM (February 16, 1876 – July 21, 1962), was an English historian, son of Sir George Otto Trevelyan 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.

After attending Harrow School, where he specialized in history, Trevelyan studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was one of the "Cambridge Apostles" and founder of the still existing "Lake Hunt", a "hound and hares" chase where both hounds and hares are human[citation needed]. In 1898 he won a fellowship at Trinity with a dissertation which was published the following year as England in the Age of Wycliffe. Trevelyan lectured at Cambridge until 1903 at which point he left academic life. 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). 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 was also elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1925, a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1950, and was an honorary doctor of many universities including Cambridge. He worked tirelessly through his career on behalf of the National Trust, in preserving not merely historic houses, but historic landscapes.

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."

Preceded by
Sir Joseph Thomson
Master of Trinity College, Cambridge
Succeeded by
Edgar Adrian
Preceded by
The Marquess of Londonderry
Chancellor of the University of Durham
Succeeded by
The Earl of Scarbrough


Trevelyan's works

  • England in the Age of Wycliffe (1899).
  • England Under the Stuarts (1904).
  • The Poetry and Philosophy of George Meredith (1906).
  • Garibaldi's Defence of the Roman Republic (1907).
  • Garibaldi and the Thousand (1909).
  • Garibaldi and the Making of Italy (1911). 10-digit ISBN 1842124730, 13-digit ISBN 978-1842124734
  • The Life of John Bright (1913).
  • Clio: A Muse and Other Essays (1913).
  • Scenes From Italy's War (1919).
  • The Recreations of an Historian (1919).
  • Lord Grey of the Reform Bill (1920).
  • British History in the Nineteenth Century (1922).
  • Manin and the Venetian Revolution of 1848 (1923).
  • History of England (1926).
  • England Under Queen Anne:
    • Blenheim (1930).
    • Ramillies and the Union with Scotland (1932).
    • The Peace and the Protestant Succession (1934).
  • Sir George Otto Trevelyan: A Memoir (1932).
  • Grey of Fallodon (1937).
  • The English Revolution, 1688-1698 (1938).
  • Trinity College: An Historical Sketch (1943). ISBN 0-903258-01-3
  • English Social History: A Survey of Six Centuries from Chaucer to Queen Victoria (1944). 10-digit ISBN 058248488X, 13-digit ISBN 978-0582484887
  • An Autobiography and Other Essays (1949). ISBN 0-8369-2205-0
  • A Layman's Love of Letters (1954).


The pseudonym Trevanian used by author Rodney Whitaker in some of his spy novels, was based on the name Trevelyan.[1]

This article might use material from a Wikipedia article, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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