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Harold Nicolson
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Diplomat
    (November 21, 1886-May 1, 1968)
    Born in Tehran, Iran
    Diplomat, politician and author
    Served in the British Diplomatic Service (1909-29)
    Charge d'affaires in Tehran (1925-27) and Berlin (1928-29)
    Member of Parliament for Leicester West (1935-45)
    Wrote the novels 'Sweet Waters' (1921) and 'Public Faces' (1932)
    Wrote biographies of Paul Verlaine, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Lord Byron and Algernon Charles Swinburne
    Also wrote 'Peacemaking 1919' (1933), 'Why Britain Is At War' (1939) and 'The Evolution of Diplomacy' (1953)
    Diaries published in three volumes (1966-68)
    Married to Vita Sackville-West
    He and Vita regularly had affairs with members of the same sex.
    When his diaries were published, he said, 'It's rather sad that of all my forty books the only ones that will be remembered are the three I didn‘t realise I’d written.'
    He and Vita gave a BBC broadcast on the secrets of a successful marriage (1929), which did not disclose the real secret behind theirs.
    He was snobbish in his affairs. ('The idea of a gentleman of birth and education sleeping with a guardsman is repugnant to me.')
    He admitted, 'Although I loathe anti-Semitism, I do dislike Jews.'
    Vita initially turned down his proposal until her mother offered her a £2,500 per year allowance if she got married.
    Despite their affairs, he and Vita remained devoted to each other, writing to each other almost every day when his diplomatic postings separated them.
    He opposed the appeasement policies of Neville Chamberlain.
    The gardens he and Vita created at Sissinghurst Castle are maintained by the National Trust and are among the most heavily visited gardens in England.
    A critic wrote about his diaries, 'He has a painter’s eye for visual detail and a novelist’s fascination with character revealed in gestures, words and tone of voice... Then, with all these attributes, luck gave him a ringside seat in interesting times.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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