Alistair Horne

Sir Alistair Allan Horne CBE FRSL (9 November 1925 – 25 May 2017)[1] was a British journalist, biographer and historian of Europe, especially of 19th and 20th century France. He wrote more than 20 books on travel, history, and biography.

Sir Alistair Horne

Born9 November 1925
London, England
Died25 May 2017 (aged 91)
Oxfordshire, England
Notable work
A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1954-1962
The Price of Glory: Verdun 1916

Early life, military service, and education

Horne was born on 9 November 1925.[2] He was the only son of Sir Allan Horne (died 1944)[3] and Auriol (née Hay-Drummond),[4] niece of the 13th Earl of Kinnoull. He was educated at Eastacre, then Ludgrove School when it was at Cockfosters and described Ludgrove as a place of "humbug, snobbery and rampant, unchecked bullying" which he thought was intended to toughen the boys up.[5] He seems to have hated Stowe, which he escaped from to America during wartime.[6]

As a boy during World War II, Horne was sent to live in the United States. He attended Millbrook School, where he befriended William F. Buckley, Jr., who remained a lifelong friend.[7] Horne served in the RAF (1943–44) and later as an officer in the Coldstream Guards (1944-47). He graduated from Jesus College, Cambridge, as a Master of Arts (MA) and received the degree of LittD from the University of Cambridge (1993).[2]

Personal life

He married, first, in 1953, Renira Hawkins, the daughter of Admiral Sir Geoffrey Hawkins, and had three daughters. The marriage was dissolved, and in 1987 he married, secondly, Sheelin Lorraine Ryan, an artist and former wife of Hon Simon Eccles.[1] He lived with his wife Sheelin at Turville, Oxfordshire.[8]


Horne worked as a foreign correspondent for The Daily Telegraph from 1952 to 1955. He was the official biographer of British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, a work originally published (in two volumes) in 1988. Horne was an Honorary Fellow of St Antony's College, Oxford, and a cricket enthusiast. The Price of Glory: Verdun 1916 received the Hawthornden Prize in 1963.[8]

Horne's 1977 book A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1954–1962 received the Wolfson Prize in 1978.[8] Following the 2003 American invasion of Iraq, A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1954–1962 came to be of much interest to American military officers, having been recommended to U.S. President George W. Bush by Kissinger. In October 2006 the book was republished and in January 2007, by phone from his home in England, Horne was invited to take part in an Iraq War discussion panel on the Charlie Rose Show on PBS. It was reported, in the 2 July 2007 edition of the Washington Post, that Horne met with President Bush sometime in mid-2007 at the administration's request."[9] He described his visit in a Daily Telegraph article.[10]

In 2004, Horne was offered the authorship of former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's official biography but declined due to the daunting amount of work involved and his age, he opted instead to write a volume on one year in Kissinger's life (Kissinger: 1973, The Crucial Year, 2009).[11]

Selected works

  • Return to Power: A Report on the New Germany. New York: Praeger, 1956. OCLC 184441
  • The Land is Bright. 1958.
  • Canada and the Canadians. Toronto: Macmillan, 1961.
  • The Price of Glory: Verdun 1916. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1962. Reissued in 1963. OCLC 397845
  • The Fall of Paris: The Siege and the Commune, 1870-1. London: Macmillan, 1965. OCLC 401286 Revised edition: Penguin Books 2007, ISBN 978-0-141-03063-0.
  • To Lose a Battle: France 1940. London, Macmillan, 1969.
  • Death of a Generation Neuve Chapelle to Verdun and the Somme 1970
  • The Terrible Year: The Paris Commune, 1871. London, Macmillan, 1971.
  • Small Earthquake in Chile: A Visit to Allende's South America. London: Macmillan, 1972. (Expanded edition, 1990.)
  • A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1954–1962. London: Macmillan, 1977. ISBN 0670619647
  • Napoleon, Master of Europe 1805–1807. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1979. ISBN 0297776789
  • The French Army and Politics, 1870–1970. New York: Peter Bedrick Books, 1984.
  • Harold Macmillan. New York: Viking Press, 1988. [Official biography]
    • Volume I: 1894-1956
    • Volume II: 1957-1986
  • A Bundle from Britain. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1993.
  • Montgomery, David (co-author). Monty: The Lonely Leader, 1944–1945. New York: HarperCollins, 1994.
  • How Far from Austerlitz? Napoleon, 1805–1815. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1996. ISBN 0312155484
  • Horne, A. (ed.).Telling Lives: From W.B. Yeats to Bruce Chatwin. London: Papermac, 2000.
  • Seven Ages of Paris. London: Macmillan, 2002. American ed., ISBN 0679454810
  • The Age of Napoleon. New York: Modern Library, 2004. ISBN 1588363643
  • Friend or Foe: An Anglo-Saxon History of France. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2004. ISBN 0297848941
  • La Belle France: A Short History. Alfred A. Knopf, 2005. ISBN 1400041406
  • The French Revolution. Carlton Books, 2009.
  • Kissinger: 1973, The Crucial Year. Simon & Schuster, June 2009. ISBN 9780743272834
  • But What Do You Actually Do?: A Literary Vagabondage. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2011. ISBN 029784895X
  • Hubris: The Tragedy of War in the Twentieth Century. Harper, 2015. ISBN 9780062397805

Honours and awards


  1. ^ a b "Sir Alistair Horne, historian, journalist and former spy – obituary". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2017-05-27.
  2. ^ a b c "Alistair Horne". Pan Macmillan. Retrieved 2016-04-06.
  3. ^ Francine du Plessix Gray (1994-09-11). "'The Only Childhood I Ever Had'". Retrieved 2016-01-11.
  4. ^ "Person Page 13347". Retrieved 2016-01-11.
  5. ^ Horne, Alistair (2012). A bundle from Britain. Macmillan. p. 85. ISBN 978-1-4472-3177-6.
  6. ^ he wrote in A Bundle from Britain (1993) that it was full of "bullying and buggery." This was a social phenomenon often associated with old-fashioned English public schools, see Christopher Hibbert, "Radley College and the Public School System" (2000).
  7. ^ "Sir Alistair Horne: 2016 Founder's Literature Award - Pritzker Military Museum & Library - Chicago".
  8. ^ a b c "Alistair Horne". Retrieved 2016-04-06.
  9. ^ "A President Besieged and Isolated, Yet at Ease". Retrieved 2014-01-21.
  10. ^ "Comment: editorials, opinion and columns - Telegraph". Retrieved 2014-01-21.
  11. ^ "Alistair Horne". Pan Macmillan. Retrieved 13 Feb 2017.
Boulevard de Sébastopol

The Boulevard de Sébastopol is an important roadway in Paris, France, which serves to delimit the 1st and 2nd arrondissements from the 3rd and 4th arrondissements of the city.

The boulevard is 1.3 km in length, starting from the place du Châtelet and ends at the boulevard Saint-Denis, when it becomes the Boulevard de Strasbourg. The boulevard is a main thoroughfare, and consists of four vehicular lanes, one of which is reserved for buses.

Although the road is line with some shops and restaurants, its importance is that of a thoroughfare running north-south in central Paris. It separates Le Marais from Les Halles.

Danièle Djamila Amrane-Minne

See also Djamila BouhiredDanièle Minne (13 August 1939 at Neuilly-sur-Seine – February 2017) was one of the few European girls convicted for assisting the FLN during the Algerian War. Her mother Jacqueline Netter-Minne-Guerroudj and her stepfather Abdelkader Guerroudj, were both condemned to death as accomplices of Fernand Iveton, the only European who was guillotined for his part in the Algerian revolt. Her mother was never executed, partly due to a campaign on her behalf conducted by Simone de Beauvoir; her stepfather was also freed.

Danièle Minne joined the struggle when she was 17, going underground under the nom de guerre of Djamila. Minne was considered a women combatant in the Algerian War known as a fidayat. She "planted at least two bombs during the Battle of Algeris, and joined the maquis in wilaya 3 in 1957". A historian, Alistair Horne, described one of Minne's missions: "The targets were the Otomatic, a favourite students's bar on the Rue Michelet; the Cafeteria opposite (second time over) and the Coq-Hardi, a popular brasserie…placed in the ladies' lavatory, Daniéle Minne's bomb in the Otomatic seriously injured a young girl and several others".Arrested and jailed in December 1956, she was sentenced, on 4 December 1957, to 7 years in prison by a juvenile tribunal.

Freed after independence in 1962, she wrote a PhD dissertation on the participation of Algerian women in the war, based on interviews with eighty-eight women between 1978 and 1986; the dissertation was later published as a book, Des femmes dans la guerre d’Algérie (Karthala, Paris). The book was the basis for the film Algeria: Women at War by Parminder Vir.Danièle Minne became Djamila Amrane by marriage in 1964. She later worked at the University of Algiers but, by 1999, was a professor of history and feminist studies at the University of Toulouse.

Djamila Bouhired

Djamila Bouhired (Arabic: جميلة بوحيرد‎, born c. 1935) is an Algerian militant.

Bouhired is a nationalist who opposed the French colonial rule of Algeria. She was raised in a middle-class family by a Tunisian mother and an Algerian father, having attended a French school in Algeria. She would go on in her youth to join the Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN) while a student activist. There she worked as a liaison officer and personal assistant of FLN commander Yacef Saadi in Algiers.

Frank McLynn

Francis James McLynn FRHistS FRGS (born 29 August 1941), known as Frank McLynn, is a British author, biographer, historian and journalist. He is noted for critically acclaimed biographies of Napoleon Bonaparte, Robert Louis Stevenson, Carl Jung, Richard Francis Burton and Henry Morton Stanley.

McLynn was educated at Wadham College, Oxford and the University of London. He was Alistair Horne Research Fellow at St Antony's College, Oxford (1987–88) and was visiting professor in the Department of Literature at the University of Strathclyde (1996–2001) and professorial fellow at Goldsmiths College London (2000–2002) before becoming a full-time writer.

French Algeria

French Algeria (French: Alger to 1839, then Algérie afterwards; unofficially Algérie française, Arabic: الجزائر المستعمرة‎), also known as Colonial Algeria, began in 1830 with the invasion of Algiers and lasted until 1962, under a variety of governmental systems. From 1848 until independence, the whole Mediterranean region of Algeria was administered as an integral part of France.

One of France's longest-held overseas territories, Algeria became a destination for hundreds of thousands of European immigrants known as colons and, later, as pieds-noirs. However, the indigenous Muslim population remained a majority of the territory's population throughout its history. Gradually, dissatisfaction among the Muslim population with its lack of political and economic status fueled calls for greater political autonomy, and eventually independence from France. Tensions between the two population groups came to a head in 1954, when the first violent events began of what was later called the Algerian War. The war concluded in 1962, when Algeria gained independence following the March 1962 Evian agreements and the July 1962 self-determination referendum.

During its last years of existence, French Algeria was the founding member state of the United Nations, NATO and the European Economic Community (later the European Union).


Grenelle (French pronunciation: ​[ɡʁənɛl]) is a neighbourhood in southwestern Paris, France. It is a part of the 15th arrondissement of the city.

There is currently a Boulevard de Grenelle which runs along the North delimitation of the quartier, and a Rue de Grenelle, a few kilometers North-East in the 7th arrondissement.


Harki (adjective from the Arabic harka, standard Arabic haraka حركة, "war party" or "movement", i.e., a group of volunteers, especially soldiers) is the generic term for native Muslim Algerians who served as auxiliaries in the French Army during the Algerian War of Independence from 1954 to 1962. The word sometimes applies to all Algerian Muslims who supported French Algeria during the war. A principal motive for fighting on the side of the French was to provide for family and protect property, rather than strictly a patriotic devotion to France. They are regarded as traitors in Algeria and thousands died after the war in reprisals despite the Évian Accords ceasefire and amnesty stipulations.In France the term can apply to Franco-musulmans rapatriés (repatriated French Muslims) living in the country since 1962 - and to their metropolitan-born descendants. In this sense, the term Harki refers to a social group - a fraction of the French Muslims of Algerian Descent - as distinct from other French of Algerian origin or from Algerians living in France.

Paris wanted to avoid their massive resettlement in France. Early arrivals were interned in remote detainee camps and were victimized by endemic racism. In 2012, 800,000 Harkis, Pied-Noirs and their descendants over the age of 18 lived in France. French President Jacques Chirac established 25 September 2001 as the Day of National Recognition for the Harkis. On 14 April 2012, President Nicolas Sarkozy recognized France's "historical responsibility" in abandoning Harki Algerian veterans at the time of the war.

Horne (surname)

Horne is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Alexander Robert Horne (1881–1953) Scottish engineer

Alistair Horne (1925–2017), British historian

Barry Horne (1952–2001), British animal-rights activist

Barry Horne (footballer) (born 1962), Welsh footballer

Charles Silvester Horne (1865–1914), British minister and politician

Des Horne (born 1939), South African and English footballer

Donald Horne (1921–2005), Australian writer and social critic

Edmond Henry Horne (1864–1953), Canadian prospector

Edward Horne (1835–1908), English clergyman and cricketer

Frederick J. Horne (1880–1959), a four-star admiral in the United States Navy

Henry Horne, 1st Baron Horne (1861–1929), British general

James A. Horne, British sleep scientist and co-developer of the Morningness–eveningness questionnaire

James H. Horne (1874–1959), American college sports coach

James W. Horne (1881–1942), American actor, screenwriter, and film director

James Welton Horne (1853–1922), Canadian land developer, businessman, and political figure

Jim Horne (model) (1917–2008), American model

John Horne (1848–1928), British geologist

John Horne (botanist) (1835–1905), British botanist

Keith Horne (born 1971), South African golfer

Kenneth Horne (1907–1969), English comedian and businessman

Kenneth Horne (writer) (1900–1975), English writer and playwright

Lena Horne (1917–2010), American singer, actress and civil rights activist

Marilyn Horne (born 1934), American opera singer

Mathew Horne (born 1978), British actor and comedian

Matt Horne (born 1970), New Zealand cricketer

Richard Henry Horne (1803–1884), English poet

Robert Horne (1871–1940), Scottish businessman, advocate and Unionist

Thomas Horne (disambiguation), various people

Willie Horne (1922–2001), British rugby league player

Jerry White (historian)

Jerry White is a British historian who has specialised in the history of London. From 1997 onwards he has worked on a trilogy of books about London from 1700 to 2000.

Modern Library Chronicles

The Modern Library Chronicles are a series of short books published by the American publisher, Modern Library. Most of the books are under 150 pages in length and intended to introduce readers to a period of history.A partial list includes:

The Renaissance, by Paul Johnson

Islam, by Karen Armstrong

The Balkans, by Mark Mazower

The German Empire: 1870-1918, by Michael Stürmer

The Catholic Church, by Hans Küng

Peoples and Empires, by Anthony Pagden

Communism, by Richard Pipes

Hitler and the Holocaust, by Robert S. Wistrich

The American Revolution, by Gordon S. Wood

Law in America, by Lawrence Friedman

Inventing Japan: 1853-1964, by Ian Buruma

The Company: A Short History of a Revolutionary Idea, by John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge

The Americas: A Hemispheric History, by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto

The Boys' Crusade, by Paul Fussell

The Age of Shakespeare, by Frank Kermode

The Age of Napoleon, by Alistair Horne

Evolution: The Remarkable History of a Scientific Theory, by Edward J. Larson

London: A History, by A.N. Wilson

The Reformation: A History, by Patrick Collinson

Nazism and War, by Richard Bessel

The City, by Joel Kotkin

Infinite Ascent: A Short History of Mathematics, by David Berlinski

California: A History, by Kevin Starr

Storm from the East: The Struggle Between the Arab World and the Christian West, by Milton Viorst

Baseball: A History of America's Favorite Game, by George Vecsey

Nonviolence: Twenty-five Lessons from the History of a Dangerous Idea by Mark Kurlansky

The Hellenistic Age: A Short History, by Peter Green

A Short History of Medicine, by F. Gonzalez-Crussi

The Christian World, by Martin Marty

Prehistory, by Colin Renfrew

Dangerous Games: The Uses and Abuses of History, by Margaret MacMillan

Uncivil Society: 1989 and the Implosion of the Communist Establishment, by Stephen Kotkin

The Korean War: A History, by Bruce Cummings

The Romantic Revolution: A History, by Tim Blanning

Musée de Cluny – Musée national du Moyen Âge

The Musée de Cluny - Musée national du Moyen Âge, formerly the Musée national du Moyen Âge, or just the Musée de Cluny (French pronunciation: ​[myze də klyni]), or the Musée national du Moyen Âge – Thermes et hôtel de Cluny ("National Museum of the Middle Ages – Cluny thermal baths and mansion"), is a museum in Paris, France. It is located in the 5th arrondissement at 6 Place Paul-Painlevé, south of the Boulevard Saint-Germain, between the Boulevard Saint-Michel and the Rue Saint-Jacques.

Among the principal holdings of the museum are the six The Lady and the Unicorn (La Dame à la licorne) tapestries.

Nicholas Stadlen

Sir Nicholas Felix Stadlen (born 3 May 1950) is a former judge of the High Court of England and Wales. He was appointed to the High Court's Queen's Bench Division on 2 October 2007 and retired early, on 21 April 2013.His parents were campaigner Hedi Stadlen and pianist and composer Peter Stadlen. He was educated at St Paul's School, London and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he read history and classics and was President of the Cambridge Union in 1970. He was called to the bar in 1976 and became a QC in 1991, and was a member of Fountain Court Chambers. He was knighted in 2007.In 2006–07 he conducted a series of interviews with well-known figures (Gerry Adams, Desmond Tutu, F. W. de Klerk, Simon Peres, Hanan Ashrawi, Tony Benn and David Blunkett) which were podcast by The Guardian. He is Alistair Horne Visiting Fellow at St Antony's College, Oxford. Since retirement he has researched the history of the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa and is writing a book on the Rivonia Trial, which led to Nelson Mandela's imprisonment.In 2005 he made the longest speech in British legal history when he spoke for 119 days while defending the Bank of England at the Royal Courts of Justice.In 2015 he appeared on the BBC Radio 4 programme Great Lives, nominating anti-apartheid lawyer Bram Fischer.

Richard A. Fletcher

Richard Alexander Fletcher (28 March 1944, in York, England – 28 February 2005, in Nunnington, England) was a historian who specialised in the medieval period.

Roland Huntford

Roland Huntford (born 1927) is an author, principally of biographies of Polar explorers. He lives in Cambridge, and was formerly Scandinavian correspondent of The Observer, also acting as their winter sports correspondent. He was the 1986–1987 Alistair Horne Fellow at St Antony's College, Oxford.

He has written biographies of Robert Falcon Scott, Ernest Shackleton and Nobel Peace Prize winner Fridtjof Nansen; these biographies have been the subject of controversy. Huntford's controversial The Last Place on Earth (originally titled Scott and Amundsen) had a tremendous impact on public interest in Polar matters.Huntford put forth the point of view that Roald Amundsen's success in reaching the South Pole was abetted by much superior planning, whereas errors by Scott (notably including the reliance on man-hauling instead of sled dogs) ultimately resulted in the death of Scott and his companions.

Huntford's other books include Sea of Darkness, The Sayings of Henrik Ibsen and Two Planks and a Passion: The dramatic history of skiing. His polemical The New Totalitarians is a critique of socialism in Sweden, written from the point of view of western political culture. His main thesis was that the Swedish social democratic party, like the "new totalitarians" in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, relied less upon the violence and intimidation of the old totalitarians than upon sly persuasion and soft manipulation in order to achieve its goals.

Rosemary Hill

Rosemary Hill (born 10 April 1957) is an English writer and historian.

The Women Incendiaries

The Women Incendiaries is a historical account of the role of women during the 1871 Paris Commune, written by French historian Édith Thomas. The book was first published in French in 1963 as Les Pétroleuses and translated into English in 1966 by James and Starr Atkinson. The history puts special emphasis on the role of Louise Michel in the Commune's events.The librarian trade publication Library Journal's review wrote that the book's contemporary—the 1966 The Fall of Paris: The Siege and the Commune by Alistair Horne—was more interesting with the same subject matter. As a result, the reviewer concluded that Thomas's book would have a smaller audience. The Atlantic's reviewer, however, praised Thomas's memorable characters. Both reviewers noted Thomas's positivity towards the Commune's events, a position one put as "impassioned indignation".

Thomas Brimelow, Baron Brimelow

Thomas Brimelow, Baron Brimelow (25 October 1915 – 2 August 1995, London, United Kingdom) was a British diplomat.

He served as Ambassador to Poland (1966–69), Permanent Under-Secretary at the British Foreign Office (1973-75), and Member of the European Parliament (1977–78).Alistair Horne describes him as "cherubic, and unflappable, but with a piercing intellect" and "the Foreign Office expect on the Soviets, and Russian behaviour". He was also known to be passionate about equality of opportunity and a less stratified society in Great Britain.He played an important role alongside US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in negotiating the 1973 Agreement on the Prevention of Nuclear War between the United States and the USSR which, according to Kissinger, "owed, in fact, more to British than American expertise". Kissinger described Brimelow's role as "an example of the Anglo-American 'special relationship' at its best, even at a time when the incumbent Prime Minister (Heath) was not among its advocates. There was no other government which we would have dealt with so openly, exchanged ideas so freely, or in effect permitted to participate in our own deliberations."He was educated at New Mills Grammar School and New College, Oxford. His daughter, Alison, was the fifth President of the European Patent Office.

Victoria Schofield

Rosemary Victoria Schofield is a British author, biographer, and historian. Her most recent books are a two volume history of the Black Watch and a biography of John Wheeler-Bennett. She also authored the first full-length biography of Field Marshal Archibald Wavell. She regularly contributes to British national and specialist media.Victoria Schofield was educated at the Royal Naval School for Girls, and at Lady Margaret Hall (LMH) of Oxford University, from which she holds a degree in Modern History. At LMH she was a close friend of Benazir Bhutto, whom she succeeded as President of the Oxford Union Society. She was the visiting Alistair Horne Fellow at St Antony's College, University of Oxford in 2004-2005.Schofield is married to Stephen Willis and has three adult children.

Évian Accords

The Évian Accords comprise a treaty which was signed on 18 March 1962 in Évian-les-Bains, France, by France and the Provisional Government of the Algerian Republic, the government-in-exile of FLN (Front de Libération Nationale) which sought Algeria's independence from France. The Accords ended the 1954–1962 Algerian War with a formal ceasefire proclaimed for 19 March, and formalized the idea of cooperative exchange between the two countries.

Winners of the Wolfson History Prize

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