Thursday, August 11, 2005

The real Sandy Arbuthnot

In my posting on John Buchan's Greenmantle I suggested that the model for Sandy Arbuthnot was T. E. Lawrence. It turns out that the character owes more to Aubrey Herbert who, amongst many other things, was Tory MP for Yeovil and (posthumously) Evelyn Waugh's father-in-law.

You can read the Wikipedia article about Herbert, and there is a fuller portrait of him in Desmond MacCarthy's introduction to Herbert's Mons, ANZAC and Kut:
No one understood better the internal and external problems of the Albanians. And if it is asked what Aubrey Herbert most notably achieved during his public career, the first answer is that he contributed more than anyone to bringing into existence the modern independent state of Albania.
Then, if you are really keen, you can read the whole book.

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