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Sir Harold George Nicolson
(1886 - 1968) U.K.

Harold Nicolson

Diplomat and writer


Born in Teheran, persia, the third son of British diplomat Sir Arthur Nicholson, later Lord Carnok, he spent his childhood in Europe, Turkey and Russia. Nicolson then enrolled at Balliol College, Oxford, graduating in 1909. Over the next 20 years he served in Foreign Office in Persia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Morocco.

Nicholson served on the British delegation to the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. Briefly associated with Mosley, he was a National Labour Member of Parliament (1935-45), and in 1947 joined the Labour Party.

In 1929 he resigned his diplomatic post in Berlin to pursue a writing career in fiction, non-fiction and journalism. Between 1935 and 1945, he served in the House of Commons as a member of the National Labour Party.

In 1913 he married the poet and novelist Victoria (Vita) Sackville-West, entering into one of the most legendary gay/lesbian marriages of the 20th century. They led separate intimate lives: Nicolson in a series of passing relationships with younger men, Sackville-West in deep attachment to Violet Keppel Trefuis.

Despite these separate lives, their marriage was a profound friendship and the couple remained together until Sackville-West's death in 1962. Harold Nicolson died at Sissinghurst six years later.

His biographies include Curzon: the Last Phase (1934), and King George V (1952). He also published studies such as Monarchy (1962), but he is chiefly remembered for his Diaries and Letters (1930-62).


Source: excerpts from: Aldrich R. & Wotherspoon G., Who's Who in Gay and Lesbian History, from Antiquity to WWII, Routledge, London, 2001

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