Bartlett, Vernon, 1894-1983

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Charles Vernon Oldfield Bartlett was born on April 30 1894 at Westbury, Wiltshire and educated at Blundell's School, Tiverton. After being invalided out of the army during the First World War, he began his career as a journalist, joining the Daily Mail as a general reporter. In 1917 he joined the staff of Reuters, which later sent him to cover the Paris peace conference. Subsequently he became a foreign correspondent for The Times, and it was his experiences in reporting from post-war Europe which led him to become the director of the London office of the League of Nations in 1922, a post which he held for a decade. During this period he began to broadcast for the BBC on foreign affairs, including from 1928 the weekly series The Way of the World .

His broadcasting career suffered a setback in 1933, when comments that he made about Germany's withdrawal from the Geneva disarmament conference were misinterpreted as pro-Nazi. Despite many letters in his support, the BBC decided that it would be best if he were not a member of their staff, and Bartlett therefore resigned, joining the News Chronicle, for whom he was to serve as a diplomatic correspondent for twenty years.

In 1938, after Neville Chamberlain's return from Munich, Bartlett stood for Parliament as an anti-appeasement independent candidate and won, becoming MP for Bridgwater, which had previously been considered a safe Tory seat. He held the seat until 1950 and became known for his contributions to parliamentary debates on foreign affairs. Bartlett was a member of the 1941 Committee which published reports calling for nationalisation and post-war welfare.

During the Second World War Bartlett's experience in broadcasting was put to use and he was involved in producing and conveying official propaganda. As well as the Postscript series of evening talks, aimed at boosting domestic morale, he broadcast frequently to America, and also to France, Germany and Scandinavia. He also served as British press attach in Moscow for a time in 1941.

After his retirement from the News Chronicle in 1954 Bartlett moved to Singapore, where he was both political commentator for the Straits Times and South East Asia correspondent for the Manchester Guardian . In 1956 he was appointed CBE. In 1961 he moved to Tuscany, where he ran a vineyard and continued to write. He was the author of twenty-eight books in all, chiefly about foreign affairs and about his travels in South-East Asia, Africa and Europe. He also wrote an autobiography, This is my life, published in 1937. Vernon Bartlett died on January 18 1983.

From the guide to the Papers of Vernon Bartlett, 1928-1973, (Reading University: Special Collections Services)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Gropius, Walter, 1883-1969. Papers, 1925-1969 (bulk: 1937-1969) Houghton Library
creatorOf Bartlett, Vernon, 1894-1983. Constable Correspondence, 1925-1928. Temple University Libraries, Paley Library
creatorOf Sherriff, R. C. (Robert Cedric), 1896-1975. Sherriff mss. : letters, 1929-1957. Indiana University
referencedIn Constable (Firm). Directors' Files, Records, 1899-1959. Temple University Libraries, Paley Library
creatorOf Papers of Vernon Bartlett, 1928-1973 Reading University : Special Collections Services
referencedIn Hudson, Manley Ottmer, 1886-1960. Papers, 1894-1960 Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Letters from others to Anthony Bertram, 1920-1971. Houghton Library
referencedIn Houghton Mifflin Company correspondence and records, 1832-1944. Houghton Library
referencedIn Papers of Vernon Bartlett, 1928-1973 Reading University : Special Collections Services
referencedIn The Nation, records, 1879-1974 (inclusive), 1920-1955 (bulk). Houghton Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Bartlett Charles Vernon Oldfeld 1894-1983 person
correspondedWith Bertram, Anthony, 1897- person
associatedWith British Broadcasting Corporation corporateBody
associatedWith Constable (Firm) corporateBody
correspondedWith Gropius, Walter, 1883-1969 person
correspondedWith Houghton Mifflin Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Hudson, Manley Ottmer, 1886- person
associatedWith League of Nations. corporateBody
correspondedWith Nation (New York, N.Y. : 1865). corporateBody
associatedWith Oldfeld, Peter. person
associatedWith Sadleir, Michael, 1888-1957. person
associatedWith Sherriff, R. C. (Robert Cedric), 1896-1975. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Great Britain
English literature--20th century
Propaganda, British
World War, 1939-1945--Propaganda
Publishers and Publishing
Radio broadcasting


Birth 1894-04-30

Death 1983-01-18




Ark ID: w6r52js2

SNAC ID: 37182122