- G. M. Trevelyan
name = George Macaulay Trevelyan
birth_date = birth date|1876|02|16
birth_place = Welcombe House,
Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England
death_date = death date and age|1962|07|21|1876|02|16
resting_place = Holy Trinity Church, Langdale, Cumbria
nationality = British
occupation = Historian
George Macaulay Trevelyan CBE OM (
February 16, 1876Welcombe House, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire[GRO Register of Births: June 1876 6d 641 Stratford - George Macaulay Trevelyan] – July 21, 1962 Cambridge[GRO Register of Deaths: September 1962 4a 179 Cambridge, aged 86] ), was an English historian. Trevelyan was the third son of Sir George 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.Hernon, Jr., Joseph M. "The Last Whig Historian and Consensus History: George Macaulay Trevelyan, 1876-1962." "The American Historical Review", 81 (1976): 66-97.]
Many of his writings promoted the
Whig Party, an important aspect of British politics from the 1600s to the mid-1800s, and of 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
Garibalditrilogy, "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."
Born into Late Victorian Britain, Trevelyan was born in Welcombe in the large house and estate owned by his maternal grandfather, Robert Needham Phillips, a wealthy Lancashire merchant and a Liberal M.P for
Bury. Welcombe (today it is a hotel owned by British "Rail and Catering" to 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 Northumberlandas their real home. When his paternal grandfather, Sir Charles Edward Trevelyan, died, George traced his father's steps to Harrow and then Trinity College, Cambridge. After attending Harrow School, where he specialized 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 "hound and hares" 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 Trinity professor, Lord Acton, enchanted the young Trevelyan with his great wisdom and his belief in moral judgement and individual liberty.
Role in Education
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 Academybut served as Chancellor of Durham Universityfrom 1950 to 1958. Trevelyan College at Durham University is named after him. He won the 1920 James Tait Black Memorial Prizefor the biography "Lord Grey of the Reform Bill", was elected a Fellow of the British Academyin 1925, made a Fellow of the Royal Societyin 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.
G.M. Trevelyan had many works he wrote over the years. Listed below are:
*"England in the Age of Wycliffe" (1899). The title of this work is somewhat misleading, since it treats of the political, social and religious conditions of England during the later years of
Wiclif's life only. Six of the nine chapters are devoted to the years 1377 - 1385, while the last two treat the history of the Lollardfrom 1382 until the Reformation. [Kriehn, George, “England in the Age of Wycliffe" The American Historical Review 5, No. 1. (1899), 120-122.]
*"England Under the Stuarts" (1904).
*"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. [Grey, Nelson H. “Garibaldi’s Defence of the Roman Republic (1907)." The American Historical Review 14, No 1 (2008): 134-136.]
*"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:"
**"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).
David Cannadine, "G. M. Trevelyan: A Life in History" (1998).
* [http://www.trin.cam.ac.uk/index.php?pageid=172 The Master of Trinity] at
Trinity College, Cambridge
* [http://www.jmu.edu/history/mhr/McNaylor/Paper.pdf Mitchell McNaylor, "G.M. Trevelyan"]
NAME = Trevelyan, George Macaulay
ALTERNATIVE NAMES = Trevelyan, G. M.
SHORT DESCRIPTION = Historian
DATE OF BIRTH =
PLACE OF BIRTH =
Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England
DATE OF DEATH =
PLACE OF DEATH =
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England
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