Chapter

John Harold Plumb, 1911–2001

David Cannadine

in Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 124. Biographical Memoirs of Fellows, III

Published by British Academy

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9780197263204
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734205 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197263204.003.0015

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

John Harold Plumb, 1911–2001

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Sir John Plumb was a commanding figure, both within academe and also far beyond. He was as much read in the United States as in the United Kingdom; he was a great enabler, patron, fixer and entrepreneur; he belonged to the smart social set both in Mayfair and Manhattan; a race horse was named after him in England and the stars and the stripes were once flown above the US Capitol in his honour; and he appeared, thinly disguised but inadequately depicted, in the fiction of Angus Wilson, William Cooper and C. P. Snow. Yet one important aspect of Plumb's career has been repeatedly ignored and overlooked: for while his life was an unusually long one, his productive period as a significant historian was surprisingly, almost indecently, brief.

Keywords: historian; biography; obituary; race horse; fiction

Chapter.  18351 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Methods and Historiography

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