A Very British Family: The Trevelyans and Their World

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Bloomsbury Academic, Aug 25, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 272 pages

"It is a rule that no Trevelyan ever sucks up either to the press, or the chiefs, or the "right people". The world has given us money enough to enable us to do what we think is right. We thank it for that and ask no more of it, but to be allowed to serve it" - G.M. Trevelyan. The Trevelyans are unique in British social and political history: a family which for several generations dedicated themselves to the service and chronicling of their country, from the radical, reforming civil servant Charles Edward Trevelyan to the historian G.M. Trevelyan. Often eccentric, priggish, high minded and utterly self-regarding, they have nonetheless left their mark on our past. This engaging history dispassionately explores the lives and achievements of this unique family and the part they played in shaping the history of Great Britain. From their inauspicious beginnings in a small dwelling in Cornwall to the present day, some Trevelyans have been famous and distinguished, others less so, but for a hundred years from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century family members from Lord Macaulay to G.M. Trevelyan contributed to both the writing and the making of history.
This book is primarily the tale of the five men who flourished during this period - Charles Edward, George Otto, Charles Philips, George Macaulay and Humphry Trevelyan - and the clever and formidable women they married. Including many vivid portraits of the most influential members of this remarkable family, The Trevelyans casts light on the period of enormous social and cultural change in which they lived and examines why they chose not to simply exploit their position as landed gentry but instead to take their place at the centre of scholarship and politics.

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About the author (2006)

Laura Trevelyan is a BBC Correspondent. She has worked for the BBC since 1993, reporting for many radio and television programmes including Newsnight, The Today Programme and the Ten O'Clock News. She lives with her husband and children in New York.

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