Acton, Harold, 1904-1994

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1904-07-05
Death 1994-02-27
Britons
English, Chinese

Biographical notes:

Harold Acton was born July 5, 1904 in Florence, Italy to parents Arthur Mario and Hortense Acton. He lived in Beijing, China from 1933 to 1939, where he taught English Literature and studied Chinese drama. Acton served in the Royal Air Force during World War II, and was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1974. Acton’s publications span over sixty years and include novels, short story collections, autobiographies and non-fiction. He died February 27, 1994 in Florence.

From the guide to the Letters to Geoffrey Elborn, 1978, (University of Kansas Kenneth Spencer Research Library Department of Special Collections)

Harold Acton was a British writer and scholar. His works include The Last Medici (1932), The Bourbons of Naples, 1734-1825 (1956), and two memoirs, Memoirs of an Aesthete (1948) and More Memoirs of an Aesthete (1970). Acton lived in China from 1933 to 1939, during which time he supported himself by teaching English Literature and collaborated with others to translate various Chinese literary works. His translations include Glue and Lacquer: Four Cautionary Tales (1941) and the unpublished Popular Chinese Plays. He wrote a novel, Peonies and Ponies (1941), about British expatriate life in Beijing before the Second World War. Acton returned to England in 1939 and shortly thereafter embarked upon a lecture tour of Italy under the auspices of the British Council to promote continuing ties between England and Italy at a time when the two countries were on the verge of war.

From the description of Harold Acton papers, 1932-1941. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702196486

Harold Acton was a British writer and scholar. His works include The Last Medici (1932), The Bourbons of Naples, 1734-1825 (1956), and two memoirs, Memoirs of an Aesthete (1948) and More Memoirs of an Aesthete (1970).

Acton lived in China from 1933 to 1939, during which time he supported himself by teaching English Literature and collaborated with others to translate various Chinese literary works. His translations include Glue and Lacquer: Four Cautionary Tales (1941) and the unpublished Popular Chinese Plays . He wrote a novel, Peonies and Ponies (1941), about British expatriate life in Beijing before the Second World War. Acton returned to England in 1939 and shortly thereafter embarked upon a lecture tour of Italy under the auspices of the British Council to promote continuing ties between England and Italy at a time when the two countries were on the verge of war.

From the guide to the Harold Acton papers, 1932-1941, (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

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Permalink:
http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w68p6gf3
Ark ID:
w68p6gf3
SNAC ID:
54295444

Subjects:

  • Chinese literature
  • Chinese drama
  • Translating and interpreting
  • British literature--20th century
  • Chinese literature--Translation into English
  • Authors, English--20th century--Archives
  • Chinese poetry

Occupations:

not available for this record

Places:

  • England (as recorded)
  • England (as recorded)
  • Italy (as recorded)
  • Italy (as recorded)