Saturday, February 1, 2014

One fellow to another

I shall venture to defend Gibbon to you.
I don't find him smug. It seems to me
that, behind the genuine belief in prog-
ress there is always, in Gibbon, a sub-
tlety, a sensitivity, occasionally a mel-
ancholy, which is totally absent from
(say) Voltaire. I suppose I have, by now,
got so used to the formal style that I
hardly notice it, and I enjoy all the 
more the urbanity, the irony, the human-
ity, which underlies it. Also I love the
marvelous precision of language, the ex-
act choice of words to convey such del-
icate shades and ambiguities of meaning.

   Do write again: I love
   your letters, and I      long to hear from you.    Do keep well. I wish I    could see you.

        yours ever

Hugh Trevor-Roper
Regius Professor of History
Master of Peterhouse
Lord Dacre of Glanton 
Letter to Gerald Brenan
11 March 1968

Richard Davenport-Hines
  and Adam Sisman, editors
One Hundred Letters from
  Hugh Trevor-Roper
Oxford University Press, 2014©

Tassos Paschalis
Northern Greece

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