Bolitho, Hector, 1897-1974

Alternative names
Birth 1898-05-28
Death 1974-09-12
New Zealanders

Biographical notes:

British writer.

From the description of Jinnah, creator of Pakistan / by Hector Bolitho, 1954. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122476239

From the description of The case of the Senior Begum : typescript [1953-1954]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122600802

From the description of Notes & newspaper clippings, Pakistan : papers, 1938-1952. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 86134278

From the description of Jinnah, creator of Pakistan : typescript / by Hector Bolitho, [1954]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122509775

From the description of Jinnah photographs, [1944-1948]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122615836

From the description of Liaquat Ali Khan file, [1955?]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122616709

From the description of Notes & documents, Pakistan : papers, 1938-1953. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122661283

From the description of The Jinnah legend : tentative title, actual title to be decided later: typescript / by Hector Bolitho, 1952-1953. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122565784

From the description of Diary and notes : notebook / Hector Bolitho, 1951 November-1953 May. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122565761

British author.

From the description of Hector Bolitho papers, 1921-1946. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 71064217

Henry Hector Bolitho was born in Auckland, New Zealand, in 1897. In 1915 he became a reporter for a newspaper in New Zealand. In 1922 Bolitho came to England, where he published his first novel. Bolitho wrote widely on historical subjects, most notably on the Royal Family. Before the Second World War he travelled throughout Europe, Africa, North America and Australia. Between 1939-1945 he became a Squadron Leader with the RAF and was the editor of the RAF journal. After the war, Bolitho conducted lecture tours of the United States of America between 1947-1949. He died in England on 12 September 1974.

From the guide to the Bolitho, Henry Hector, c 1930-1937, (Senate House Library, University of London)

Hector Bolitho was born in Auckland, New Zealand, on May 28, 1897, to Henry and Ethelred Frances Bolitho. Bolitho's mother hoped that he would study medicine, but while attending Seddon Memorial College, a love of English literature was instilled in him. At the age of fifteen, Bolitho left school without permission from his parents to pursue a career in writing. He attained a job at the New Zealand Herald and in 1915 moved on to the Auckland Star .

During World War I, Bolitho became a corporal in the New Zealand army. After the war Bolitho went to live on a small island near Auckland which became the subject of his first book, The Island of Kawau (1919).

In 1923, Bolitho moved to London where he worked as a freelance journalist, writing for the Spectator, the Daily Mail, and the Financial Times . While in England he wrote two novels, Solemn Boy (1927) and Judith Silver (1929), but in the following years began to focus on writing biographies.

In 1926, Bolitho was invited by the Dean of Windsor, Albert Victor Baillie, to live in Windsor Castle, where he would remain for eight years. While at Windsor Castle, Bolitho had access to the royal archives which provided material for many important works, including Albert the Good (1932) and Albert, Prince Consort (1964) .

During World War II, Bolitho served as an intelligence officer in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve where he edited the Royal Air Force Weekly and later the Royal Air Force Journal . In 1942, he was appointed editor of the Coastal Command Intelligence Review . After the war, Bolitho met his long-time partner Derek Wilmot Douglas Peel, an army officer with whom he would live for the rest of his life. Bolitho and Peel collaborated on a book, Without the City Wall (1952), and after Bolitho's death, Peel continued negotiations with publisher A. H. Reed on behalf of Bolitho.

Hector Bolitho died on September 12, 1974, in Brighton, England.

From the guide to the Hector Bolitho Collection, 1851-1969 (bulk 1926-1969), (The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center)


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  • Political systems
  • Monarchy
  • Literature
  • Landscape painting
  • Editorials
  • Muslims--Political activity


  • Authors


  • United States (as recorded)
  • New Zealand (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)
  • Mississippi River (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)
  • Karachi (Pakistan) (as recorded)
  • India (as recorded)
  • Lahore (Pakistan) (as recorded)