Clement Attlee

24 January 2012

Professor Lord (Peter) Hennessy, FBA, spoke about Clement (later Earl) Attlee, 1883-1967, Labour politician; Prime Minister, 1945-51. The event, organized in collaboration with the Attlee Foundation, was chaired by Professor Anne Deighton, Wolfson College, Oxford.

To illustrate his paper,'The documentary spoor of Clement Attlee' [PDF, 3,845kb] Professor Lord Hennessy selected three manuscripts highly evocative of the era: Attlee’s 1945 General Election broadcast; his speech to the new chamber of the House of Commons in October 1950, and the heavily-annotated copy of his ministerial broadcast on his return from America in December 1950. 

Scans of the documents (reproduced below) were used instead of the originals because the Attlee papers have been fasciculed to conserve them (often with several items to a support page).

The event concluded with a questions and answers session.

In addition to Attlee’s Prime Ministerial papers held on deposit from University College Oxford [online catalogue] the Bodleian holds a collection of Attlee’s letters to his brother Tom, 1915-60, [online catalogue] and Attlee’s letters to Patricia Beck, 1957-67 (shelfmark: MS. Eng. lett. c. 571).


Documents from the Attlee papers reproduced with permission of The Master and Fellows of University College, Oxford.

Lord Hennessy’s lecture reproduced with the permission of the author.

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