Hugh Thomas, Baron Thomas of Swynnerton

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hugh Swynnerton Thomas, Baron Thomas of Swynnerton (born October 21, 1931 in Windsor , Berkshire , † May 6, 2017 in London ) was a British historian and writer .

life and work

Thomas studied at the Sorbonne in Paris and graduated from Queens' College (Cambridge) with a Bachelor of Arts . From 1966 to 1975 he was a full professor of history at the University of Reading . From 1979 to 1991 he was the director of the London “ Center for Policy Studies ” and at the same time a political advisor to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher .

His historical work focuses on the history of Spain and the history of Latin America. His book on the Spanish Civil War , which was first published in 1961 and translated into numerous languages, has long been regarded as the authoritative standard work on this subject. However, because it is largely based on French military historians, it is now considered out of date. Thomas also published various political writings in which he appeared, among other things, as a proponent of European integration. In addition, Thomas has emerged as the author of three novels.

Hugh Thomas received the prestigious Somerset Maugham Award in 1962 for his work on the Spanish Civil War . In 1981, Thomas was raised to a Life Peer by Queen Elizabeth II as Baron Thomas of Swynnerton , of Notting Hill in Greater London , and thereby became a member of the House of Lords . He was also awarded the Grand Cross Knight of the Spanish Order de Isabel la Católica in 2001.

In the autumn of 1982 Thomas hosted an intimate dinner in his London home, to which he invited several of Great Britain's most important literary figures and which was attended as a guest of honor by the highly controversial Prime Minister Thatcher. The participants in the round included VS Pritchett , Al Alvarez , Stephen Spender , Tom Stoppard , Philip Larkin , Anthony Powell , Dan Jacobson , the later Nobel Prize winners Mario Vargas Llosa and VS Naipaul, and the academics Isaiah Berlin , John H. Plumb and Anthony Quinton .

Thomas was married to Vanessa Jebb, a daughter of the first UN Secretary General Gladwyn Jebb, 1st Baron Gladwyn .

Fonts (selection)

  • The world's game , Eyre & Spottiswoode, London 1957, OCLC 6829535 .
  • The Spanish Civil War (original title: The Spanish Civil War ), translated by Walter Theimer , editor Fred K. Prieberg , Ullstein: Berlin / Frankfurt am Main / Vienna 1962, DNB 455054878 .
  • Spain , with the editing of the Time Life books, translated by Karl-Heinz Böttcher, Time-Life International |, Amsterdam / Frankfurt am Main 1969, DNB 458183032 .
  • Castro in Cuba, the Führer lives, balance sheet of a hopeful departure or the descent into real socialism , special print for the Hessian state center for political education from Die Zeit , No. 44, Wiesbaden 1978 DNB 800816684 .
  • Castros Cuba (Original title: Cuba: The Pursuit of Freedom ), Siedler, Berlin 1984, ISBN 978-3-88680-035-3 .
  • History of the world (Original title: An unfinished history of the world ), translated by Ulrich and Ursel Bracher, DVA, Stuttgart 1984, ISBN 978-3-421-06180-5 .
  • The conquest of Mexico: Cortés and Montezuma (original title: The conquest of Mexico ), translated by Thorsten Schmidt, S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 1998, ISBN 978-3-10-078003-4 .

Web links


  • Gina Thomas: Always on the side of Europe. On the death of the British historian Hugh Thomas. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , May 9, 2017, No. 107, p. 13.


  1. Manuel Lucena Giraldo: Muere Hugh Thomas, el hispanista que mejor contó la Guerra Civil española. In: DIARIO ABC, SL, May 7, 2017, accessed May 8, 2017 (Spanish).
  2. ^ Hugh Thomas, La Guerra Civil española , Sociedad Benéfica de Historiadores Aficionados y Creadores, Referencias bibliográficas
  3. Hugh Thomas Destaca "el liderazgo" de Juan Carlos en España y en Europa. In: EFE América. June 2, 2014, Retrieved September 18, 2014 (Spanish).
  4. ^ Nigel Farndale: Dinner with Margaret Thatcher: the story of a secret supper. In: The Observer December 7, 2013, accessed September 18, 2014; Release of MT's private files for 1982 - Life at No. 10. In: Margaret Thatcher Foundation, accessed September 18, 2014.