Foolscap folio (the manuscript), 12 leaves of ruled paper (the last one being a third of a sheet), with text on the rectos only; undated but mid-1960s. Stapled in the top left-hand corner; two ring-binder holes in the margin of each leaf (as issued); trifling signs of use and age; in very good condition.
The letters, each of one page, are on Regius Professor of Modern History, Oxford letterhead; two are oblong octavo (31 January and 9 December 1966); the third one is quarto (22 November 1966); the latter has numerous annotations, presumably in the recipient's hand. The letters are creased where folded for posting; apart from file holes punched in the margin of one of them, they are in excellent condition.
The lecture deals with Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford (1593-1641), leading adviser of King Charles I, and William Laud (1573-1645), archbishop of Canterbury (1633-45) and religious adviser to King Charles I. These were the men who, as Roper states at the beginning of the manuscript, were 'the two great ministers whose rule in England, in the 1630s, brought England to the edge of civil war'. The letters deal primarily with proposed television documentaries; the first is signed 'yours sincerely, Hugh Trevor-Roper', while the second and third letters are signed simply 'Hugh'. The second letter replies in detail to two matters arising, one being 'My proposal about my Ardilaun lectures'. Trevor-Roper bridles at an apparent suggestion of Hunt's that the 'lectures were on the bogs on Ireland, but all I said was that I was unwilling to waste them on those unrewarding bogs. I mean, they were lectures on a large European subject, the Revolt of the Netherlands in the 16th century ... I enclose the text of the last lecture (perhaps you would return it [presumably he did, but we don't have it for sale]) which will give you some idea of the scope.... I cannot leave you under the misapprehension that I delivered four lectures on the Bogs of Ireland!'. 'He was best known as a critic and a devastating analyst of other historians' deficiencies. He became Regius professor of modern history at Oxford 1957-80 and Master of Peterhouse, Cambridge 1980-87' ('Dictionary of World Biography'), but in 1983 he suffered significant damage to his reputation when he authenticated diaries purportedly by Hitler shortly before they were proven to be forgeries. Provenance: Collection of The Hon Barry Jones AC.
Provenance: Collection of The Hon Barry Jones AC.