Harold Nicolson

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Sir Harold Nicolson in 1939

Sir Harold George Nicolson KCVO CMG (21 November 18861 May 1968) was an English diplomat, author, diarist and politician.


  • Dr Johnson is the only conversationalist who triumphs over time.
    • Diary, 31 Jan 1934. Fontana Books. 1969. Page 158.
  • To be a good diarist, one must have a little snouty, sneaky mind.
    • Diary, 9 Nov 1947
  • For seventeen years, he did nothing at all but kill animals and stick in stamps.
  • The Dell, (Bodnant Garden) is the most extensive, most varied and most tasteful piece of planting I have ever seen. I have no doubt at all that this is the richest garden I have ever seen. Knowledge and taste are combined with enormous expenditure to render it one of the wonders of the world.
    • Dairy Aug 18, 1952
  • Nye Bevan dies at 4.15 in the afternoon. I regret the loss of this splendid coloured figure and a great parliamentarian and patriot. When I was once being scolded for being malicious in my descriptions of people, Nye protested, "Harold is not malicious at all, He is the angel of pity".
    • Diary 6 July 1960.
  • Kennedy reminds me of Lindbergh and I suspect him of wishing to have a tough foreign policy and to worry about prestige. On the other hand, he is on the left, will be nicer to Negroes than to Big Business and has promised to appoint Adlai Stevenson as secretary of state. So it works out 50/50 by me.
    • Letter to V.S-W. 9 Nov 1960.

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