Diary of Writing Italy’s Sorrow

17 November, 2005
Visited Professor Sir Michael Howard today at his home near Newbury.  He is probably Britain’s pre-eminent military historian so I was a little nervous beforehand. I needn’t have worried, however, because he was very friendly and affable.  His study was amazing: built on to the end of his house, it is hexagonal with a gallery around it at the level of the first floor, and lined from floor to ceiling with books.  He was very interesting and we talked partly about his own experiences – including, serendipitously, his time at Monte Sole – but also about the campaign in general.  He was written one of the official histories about British strategy in the war, so I found the conversation absolutely fascinating.  He’s also writing his own memoir [since published as Captain Professor] and leant me a draft of the relevant wartime chapters.  It was a beautiful winter’s day and hugely enjoyable. 

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