THE LATER YEARS, 1945-1962, Volume III, OF THE DIARIES AND LETTERS OF HAROLD NICOLSON by Nigel--Ed. Nicolson
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THE LATER YEARS, 1945-1962, Volume III, OF THE DIARIES AND LETTERS OF HAROLD NICOLSON

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is the last of Harold Nicolson's diaries, and now that we have the three volumes before us we can see that they do trace a person, a society, and a way of life with extraordinary grace, persuasion, and charm. Even the second installment, which when first read seemed rather lackluster and grey, takes on now a different dimension. Nicolson's temperament and political and literary callings are all of a piece, a mixture of Bloomsbury culture, aristocratic responsibility, a humane decorum, and that sort of irresistible whimsicality, completely without guile, which would permit him to note: ""James Pope-Hennessy says that my diary is too boring for words and that there is no use going on with it."" In the present book we find him briefly engaged with the Labor party, writing and publishing King George V, becoming a grandfather, dreading the post-war tide of communist influence and expansion, attending the Nuremberg trials, mixing with the great, noting that the Duke of Windsor no longer has the ""fried egg"" look around his eyes, describing Atlee as a ""lonely little snipe."" The cornerstone of everything is the relationship with his wife, V. Sackville-West; the domesticity they shared at Sissinghurst seems something terribly private and remarkably intense, especially for two such reserved, very English types, and the diary is discontinued after her death. The peculiar charm, humor, and splendid sanity of these memoirs, along with H. N.'s tics, should find a lasting audience.

Pub Date: July 1st, 1968
Publisher: Atheneum