The Info List - Nigel Nicolson

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Nigel Nicolson OBE (19 January 1917 – 23 September 2004) was an English writer, publisher and politician.


1 Biography 2 Marriage 3 Ancestors 4 Bibliography 5 See also 6 References 7 External links

Biography[edit] Nicolson was the son of writers Sir Harold Nicolson
Harold Nicolson
and Vita Sackville-West; he had a brother Ben, an art historian. The boys grew up in Kent, first at Long Barn, near their mother's ancestral home at Knole, and then at Sissinghurst Castle, where their parents created a famous garden. Nicolson was sent to board at Summer Fields, a prep school in Oxford; he then attended Eton College
Eton College
and Balliol College, Oxford. During World War II
World War II
he served with the Grenadier Guards, later writing their official history.[citation needed] Nicolson wrote many books. He and George Weidenfeld
George Weidenfeld
co-founded the publishing house Weidenfeld and Nicolson, of which he was a director from 1948 to 1992. He also worked as a broadcaster and was a member of the Ancient Monuments Board. Although his father had been first a National Labour and then a Labour politician, Nigel Nicolson became active in the Conservative Party and contested Leicester North West in 1950 and Falmouth and Camborne in 1951, without success. He was elected Member of Parliament for Bournemouth East and Christchurch at a by-election in February 1952, when the previous MP, Brendan Bracken, was elevated to the House of Lords. Nicolson was re-elected in the seat in the general election of May 1955.[citation needed] However, he was uncomfortable within the Tory party and voted with Labour to abolish hanging and abstained in a vote of confidence in the government over the Suez War. His constituency association called for him to resign and wrote to the Prime Minister briefing against their MP. A ballot of members was called. Unfortunately for Nicolson, a controversy relating to his publishing interests broke a few years later – the company's decision to publish the British edition of Vladimir Nabokov's novel Lolita
in 1959. Nicolson lost the members' vote and was forced to step down at the general election of October 1959.[1] Nicolson returned to writing, particularly on heritage and biography. He co-wrote a celebrated 1973 book on his parents, Portrait of a Marriage. It balanced a frank account of his bisexual parents' extramarital affairs (especially Vita Sackville-West's 'elopement' with Violet Trefusis) with their enduring love for each other; it caused an uproar when it was published. He edited his father's diaries and, with Joanne Trautmann, the letters of Virginia Woolf. Later he wrote the "Long Life" column for The Spectator, and a Time of My Life column for The Sunday Telegraph. His autobiography, Long Life, was published in 1997.[citation needed] Marriage[edit] In 1953 Nicolson married Philippa, the daughter of Sir Gervais Tennyson-d'Eyncourt, and they had two daughters, Rebecca, a publisher, Juliet, a historian, and a son, Adam, a writer. Juliet has written about her father and his ancestors in A House Full of Daughters (2016). Adam has revived the home farm at Sissinghurst. Nigel and Philippa divorced in 1970. Ancestors[edit]

Ancestors of Nigel Nicolson

16. Maj.-Gen. Sir William Nicolson, 9th Baronet, of Carnock

8. Adm. Sir Frederick Nicolson, 10th Baronet, of Carnock

17. Mary Russell

4. Arthur Nicolson, 1st Baron Carnock

18. James Loch

9. Mary Loch

19. Ann Orr

2. The Hon. Sir Harold Nicolson

20. Cap. Gawin William Rowan-Hamilton

10. Cap. Archibald Rowan-Hamilton

21. Catherine Cockburn

5. Mary Katherine Rowan-Hamilton

22. Rev. George Caldwell

11. Catherine Anne Caldwell

23. Harriet Abdy

1. Nigel Nicolson

24. George Sackville-West, 5th Earl De La Warr

12. The. Hon. William Edward Sackville-West

25. Lady Elizabeth Sackville, 1st Baroness Buckhurst

6. Lionel Sackville-West, 3rd Baron Sackville

26. George Dodwell

13. Georgina Dodwell

27. Victoria Gethin

3. The Hon. Vita Sackville-West

28. George Sackville-West, 5th Earl De La Warr (= 24)

14. Lionel Sackville-West, 2nd Baron Sackville

29. Lady Elizabeth Sackville, 1st Baroness Buckhurst (= 25)

7. Victoria Sackville-West

30. Pedro Durán

15. Josefa Durán y Ortega

31. Catalina Ortega


The Grenadier Guards
Grenadier Guards
in the War of 1939–1945 (1949) with Patrick Forbes Lord of the Isles (1960) on Lord Leverhulme People and Parliament (1958) The United Nations: A Reply to Its Critics (1963) Sissinghurst Castle
Sissinghurst Castle
(1964) Great Houses of Britain (1965) Diaries & Letters of Harold Nicolson
Harold Nicolson
(1966–68) three volumes, editor Great Houses of The Western World (1968) Alex: The Life of Field Marshal Earl Alexander of Tunis
Field Marshal Earl Alexander of Tunis
(1973) Portrait of a Marriage (1973) Letters of Virginia Woolf
Virginia Woolf
(1975–1980) six volumes, editor The Himalayas
The Himalayas
(1975) Mary Curzon
Mary Curzon
(1977) The National Trust Book of Great Houses in Britain (1978) Napoleon
1812 (1985) Lady Curzon's India: Letters of a Vicereine (1986) Two Roads to Dodge City (1986) with Adam Nicolson The Village in History (1988) with Graham Nicholson and Jane Fawcett Counties of Britain: A Tudor Atlas by John Speed
John Speed
(1989) with Alasdair Hawkyard The World of Jane Austen
Jane Austen
(1991) Vita And Harold : The Letters of Vita Sackville-West
Vita Sackville-West
And Harold Nicolson (1992) editor A Long Life: Memoirs (1998) Kent
(1999) Virginia Woolf, part of the Penguin Lives biography series (2000) Fanny Burney: The Mother of English Fiction (2002) The Queen and Us : The Second Elizabethan Age (2003) Vita Sackville-West : Selected Writings (2003) editor with Mary Ann Caws

See also[edit]

Biography portal

List of Bloomsbury Group people


^ Laurence W. Martin. "The Bournemouth Affair: Britain's First Primary Election", The Journal of Politics, Vol. 22, No. 4. (Nov. 1960), pp. 654–81.

External links[edit]

Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Nigel Nicolson A brief biography of Nigel Nicolson Appearance on Desert Island Discs 12 March 1995

Parliament of the United Kingdom

Preceded by Brendan Bracken Member of Parliament for Bournemouth East & Christchurch 1952–1959 Succeeded by John Cordle

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 64009853 LCCN: n79135352 ISNI: 0000 0001 1572 5774 GND: 120158329 SELIBR: 262815 SUDOC: 027047865 BNF: cb119176890 (data) BIBSYS: 90326209 NLA: 35653299 NDL: 00451317 NKC: skuk0001005 BNE: XX1125