Wade, Allan (1881–1955). Man of letters and translator. In 1904 he went on the stage as a member of Sir Frank Benson's company and in 1906–1915 became secretary, assistant, and play-reader to Harley Granville-barker. He translated plays by Giraudoux and Cocteau into English. Specialisms included Henry James, W B Yeats, Conrad and Max Beerbohm. His publications are listed in RH-D's letter of 30 October 1955.
Wagg, Alfred Ralph (1877–1969). Merchant banker and philanthropist; Chairman of Helbert, Wagg and Company from before WWI until 1959. The Times described him as 'the merchant banker of the century' (obituary, 31 May 1969).
Wagner, (Wilhelm) Richard (1813–1883). German composer of conspicuously long operas.
Wain, John Barrington (1925–1994). Poet, critic, scholar and novelist. One of the Angry Young Men of the early 1950s, later succeeded Roy Fuller as professor of poetry at Oxford (1973–1978).
Wainwright, Edward (1865–1919). Cricketer. Yorkshire, 1888–1902 and England 1893–1898. All rounder; off-spinner.
Walcott, Sir Clyde Leopold (1926–2006). Cricketer. Batsman and wicketkeeper for West Indies, 1948–1960. Succeeded Colin Cowdrey as Chairman of the International Cricket Council in 1993.
Waley, Arthur David, né Arthur David Schloss (1889–1966). Noted orientalist and sinologist.
Walkley, Arthur Bingham (1855–1926). Civil servant, 1877–1919. Theatre critic of The Times, 1899–1926.
Wallace, Barbie – see Agar.
Wallace, Edgar (1875–1932). Prolific novelist, playwright, and journalist. Creator of King Kong and novels including Sanders of the River (1911); The Four Just Men (1905); and The Mind of Mr J G Reeder(1925).
Waller, Lewis (1860–1915) né William Waller Lewis. Actor and theatre manager. His fine voice and vigorous acting earned him critical acclaim in a number of Shakespeare roles, such as Henry V and Hotspur, but had his greatest successes in romantic roles, and was the prototype of the matinée idol.
Walpole, Horace (1717–1797). 4th Earl of Orford. Writer and aesthete. The Cambridge History of English and American Literature said of him, 'Horace Walpole is generally acknowledged as “the prince of letter-writers,” and he is certainly entitled to this high literary rank in consideration of the extent and supreme value of his correspondence. Byron styled Walpole's letters “incomparable,” … His letters were, indeed, the chief work of his life.'
Walpole, Sir Hugh Seymour (1884–1941). Novelist. RH-D wrote a biography of him, published by Macmillan in 1952. A later biography by Elizabeth Steele was published in 1972.
Walter, Bruno, né Bruno Schlesinger (1876–1962). Leading German conductor, who fled from the Nazis and settled in America. Celebrated for his gentleness of disposition and the warmth and naturalness of his conducting.
Walter, John (1873–1968). Chairman of The Times (1910–22). Joint chief proprietor, 1922–1967. Great-great-grandson of the founder of the paper.
Walters, Catherine ('Skittles') (1839–1920). Famous courtesan. Her liaisons included Lord Hartington, Wilfrid Scawen Blunt and the Prince of Wales.
Walworth, Clarence Augustus (1820–1900). American priest. Pastor of St Mary's Albany from 1866.
Ward, Albert (1865–1939). Cricketer. Played county cricket for Yorkshire and later Lancashire. Wisden mentions his 'irreproachable defence' and describes him as 'essentially careful'.
Ward, Sir Adolphus William (1837–1924). Historian. Master of Peterhouse, Cambridge, 1900–24. Works include: A History of English Dramatic Literature to the Death of Queen Anne, 2 vols (1875); The Counter-reformation (1888); Germany, 1815–1890 (3 vols, 1916, 17 & 18).
Ward, Mrs Humphry (Mary Augusta Ward née Arnold) (1851–1920). Popular novelist who wrote under her married name as Mrs Humphry Ward.
Waring, Sir Holburt Jacob (1866–1953). Surgeon at St Bartholomew's Hospital, and a leading figure of the Royal College of Surgeons and the University of London. His best-known work was A Manual of Operative Surgery (1898).
Warner, Sir Pelham Francis ('Plum') (1873–1963). Cricketer and cricket administrator. As player (1894–1920) played for Oxford University, Middlesex, and England. Later, MCC tour manager, selector, secretary and president. Editor of The Cricketer from its foundation in 1921 until 1962.
Warre, 'Bear' – Edmond Lancelot (1877–1961). Architect and painter. Fourth son of Edmond Warre, below. A keen oar. The clients of his architectural practice were mostly his fellow old Etonians, including John Christie, for whom he designed the original opera house at Glyndebourne. His younger brother Felix was also known as 'Bear': see Duff Hart-Davis's notes for his edition of Sir Alan Lascelles's wartime diaries. Sir Lawrence Jones mentions 'the two "Bear" Warres' in An Edwardian Youth (p 43).
Warre, Edmond (1837–1920). Anglican priest. Eton master, 1860–1884. Head Master, 1884–1905; Provost 1909–1918. A member of the Warre port family. Married, 1861, Florence Dora Malet.
Warre-Cornish, Blanche, née Ritchie (d. 1922 age 74). A niece of W M Thackeray, she wrote two novels, Alcestis (1871) and Northam Cloisters (1882), and contributed to periodical literature. She was a convert to Roman Catholicism and contributed with Shane Leslie (who depicted her as Mrs Thackeray in his novel The Oppidan) to Memorials of Robert Hugh Benson (1915).
Warre-Cornish, Francis Warre (1839–1916). Eton master 1861–1893, Vice-provost and Librarian, 1893–1916).
Wass, Thomas George (1873–1953). Nottinghamshire cricketer.
Watts, George Frederick (1817–1904). Painter. First exhibited at Royal Academy 1837; retired 1896. Presented to the nation the greater part of his life-work, called 'The Watts Collection', now in the National Gallery, and some forty portraits of notables of his time, many of which are in the National Portrait Gallery. Built the memorial wall at St Botolph's, Aldersgate, recording the names of some who lost their lives in the endeavour to save life. Married to the young Ellen Terry, 1864–77.
Watts-Dunton, (Walter) Theodore (1832–1914). Writer and poet. Now chiefly remembered for looking after Swinburne from 1879 until Swinburne's death. Max Beerbohm's essay 'No. 2 The Pines' (printed in And Even Now, 1920), gives a vivid portrait of Watts-Dunton's care of Swinburne.
Wavell, Archibald Percival (1883–1950). 1st Earl Wavell. Soldier. Commanded British forces in the Middle East during World War II; successful against the Italians but not against the Germans. Penultimate Viceroy of India, 1943–1947. His anthology of poetry, Other Men's Flowers, was published in 1944.
Weaver, Harriet Shaw (1876–1961). Political activist, journal editor and patron of James Joyce.
Webb, (Martha) Beatrice née Potter (1858–1943). Socialist campaigner, wife of Sidney Webb.
Webb, Sidney James (1859–1947). 1st Baron Passfield. Politician and theoretician; instrumental in founding the London School of Economics. In Labour cabinets, President of the Board of Trade, 1924 and Colonial Secretary 1929–1931.
Wedgwood, Dame (Cicely) Veronica (1910–1997). Historian, particularly of the seventeenth century. Publications include: Strafford, 1935; The Thirty Years' War, 1938; Oliver Cromwell 1939, rev. 1973; William the Silent, 1944; Richelieu and the French Monarchy, 1949; The King's Peace, 1955; The King's War, 1958; The Trial of Charles I, 1964; Milton and his World, 1969.
Weekes, Sir Everton de Courcy (1925–2020). Cricketer. West Indies batsman and occasional spin bowler, 1948–1958.
Weigall, Gerald John Villiers (1870–1944). Cricketer. Batsman for Cambridge University and Kent, 1891–1920.
Welldon, James Edward Cowell (1854–1937). Anglican priest. Master of Dulwich College, 1883–1885; Headmaster of Harrow, 1885–1898; Bishop of Calcutta, 1898–1902; Dean of Manchester, 1906–1918; Dean of Durham, 1918–1933.
Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of (1769–1852). Soldier and politician. Defeated Napoleon's forces at Porto, Talavera, Salamanca, Vitoria, and Waterloo. Prime Minister, 1828–1830. Foreign Secretary, 1834–1835. Leader of the House of Lords, 1841–1846.
Wellington, Gerald Wellesley, 7th Duke of (1885–1972). Architect. Surveyor of the King's Works of Art 1936–1943.
Wells, Cyril Mowbray (1871–1963). Eton master. Played county cricket (all-rounder) for Sussex, 1890–93 and Middlesex, 1895–1909. Played six Rugby tests in the 1890s. A classical scholar, and also an expert in wine, butterflies, fishing and stamps.
Wells, Herbert George (1866–1946). Novelist. Married (1) Isabel Mary Wells (c. 1866–1930), his cousin (divorced 1895) and (2) (Amy) Catherine Robbins (c.1871–1927).
Werner, Friedrich Ludwig Zacharias (1768–1823). German poet.
Wesker, Sir Arnold (1932–2015). Playwright and director. Works include The Kitchen (1957), Chicken Soup with Barley (1958), Roots (1959), I'm Talking About Jerusalem (1960), and Chips with Everything (1962).
Wesley, John (1703–1791). Anglican priest; a founder of Methodism.
West, Anthony Panther (1914–1987). Son of Rebecca West and H G Wells. His H G Wells: Aspects of a Life was published in 1984. The novel, Heritage, mentioned by RH-D was his first, published in 1955.
West, Rebecca: pen name of Dame Cicily Isabel Andrews, née Fairfield (1892–1983). Writer, critic, and journalist.
Westminster, Loelia Mary née Ponsonby (1902–1993) Duchess of. Third wife of the second Duke of Westminster (m. 1930, divorced 1947).
Whalley, George (1915–1983). Professor of English at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario. A major contributor to the Bollingen edition of Coleridge's complete works. His edition of Aristotle's Poetics is still a standard version, praised for its vividness.
Wheeler-Bennett, Sir John (1902–1975). Historian. Official biographer of George VI.
Whibley, Charles (1859–1930). Scholar, critic and journalist. Author of A Book of Scoundrels. A high Tory of vehement views.
White, Maude Valérie (1855–1937). Composer. During the 1880s and 1890s she was regarded as one of Britain's leading song-writers.
White, Terence de Vere (1912–1994). Irish writer. Literary editor of The Irish Times from 1961 to 1977.
White, Terence Hanbury (1906–1964). Author. His best known work is The Once and Future King, a retelling of the legend of King Arthur taken from Malory's Morte d'Arthur.
Whitman, Walt(er) (1819–1892). American poet and essayist. His collected oeuvre, known as Leaves of Grass, was constantly revised and republished between 1855 and his death, eventually comprising nearly 300 poems.
Whitney, John Hay (1904–1982). American ambassador to Britain, 1957–1961. Publisher of The New York Herald Tribune and successful businessman.
Whitworth, Aymor William (d. 1976 aged 98). Eton master, retired 1933. Classicist and athlete. His obituary notice in The Times was written by Lord Home, one of his former pupils.
Whitworth, Rex (1916–2004). Soldier and historian. Books include a biography of Field Marshal Earl Ligonier (1958), a history of the Grenadier Guards (1974) and a biography of William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland (1992).
Wickham, A Kenneth (1897–1951). Eton master 1924–1951, teaching modern languages and history.
Wieler, Leslie Frederic Ethelbert (1899–1965). Soldier. Resident Governor of the Tower of London, 1955–1961.
Wigg, George Cecil (1900–1983). Labour politician.
Wightman, Ralph (1901–71). Author, and broadcaster, born in Piddletrenthide, Dorset. Succeeded A G Street in 1942 as the BBC's voice of the countryside and made 290 consecutive weekly broadcasts to America. Later a frequent member of the BBC's Any Questions? panel.
Wilberforce, Octavia (1888–1963). Physician. Great-granddaughter of William Wilberforce (1759–1833), campaigner against slavery. From 1909, a friend of Elizabeth Robins, who helped fund her medical studies.
Wilde, Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills (1854–1900). Irish writer and wit. He published his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, in 1891, followed by a series of stage comedies, including A Woman of No Importance (1893) and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895).
Wilder, Thornton Niven (1897–1975). American playwright and novelist. His best known work is the play Our Town. The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1927) tells the story of several unrelated people who happen to be on a bridge in Peru when it collapses, killing them. Philosophically, the book explores the questions of evil and why bad things happen to good people.
Wilkes, John (1725–1797). Radical, journalist and politician. Instrumental in getting verbatim accounts of parliamentary proceedings published for the first time. In 1776 he introduced the first Bill for parliamentary reform in the British Parliament. A notorious ladies' man.
Wilkinson, Cyril Hackett (1888–1960). Vice-provost and Librarian of Worcester College, Oxford; Curator of the Bodleian Library; editor of the poems of Richard Lovelace. Publications include The King of the Beggars, Diversions, and More Diversions; Goddords Neaste of Wasps; Saltonstall's Picturae Loquentes, A Challenge from Sir Thomas Urquhart; and Chaloner's Moses his Tombe.
Wilkinson, Ellen Cicely (1891–1947). Labour politician. Minister of Education, 1945–1947.
Willey, Basil (1897–1978). Professor of English Literature, Cambridge, 1946–1964; President, Pembroke College, 1958–1964.
Williams, (Edward) Francis (1903–1970). Baron Francis-Williams. Journalist.
Williams, Sir Griffith Goodland (1890–1974). Civil servant. Board of Education, 1919; Principal Private Secretary 1935–1937; Deputy Secretary Ministry of Education, 1946–1953.
Williams, Sir Harold Herbert (1880–1964). Literary scholar and local government administrator. Publications include: Two Centuries of the English Novel (1911); The Ballad of Two Great Cities (1912);Discovery (1913); Modern English Writers (1918); Outlines of Modern English Literature (1920); Book Clubs and Printing Societies (1929); Dean Swift's Library (1932); The Text of Gulliver's Travels (1952); The Journal to Stella (1948).
Williams, Iolo Aneurin (1890–1962). Journalist, author and art historian.
Williams, Lt Col James Howard, 'Elephant Bill' (1897–1958). Known for his training and use of elephants in Burma, both in peace and war. RH-D published his books Elephant Bill 1950; Bandoola, 1953; and The Spotted Deer, 1957.
Williams, Thomas Lanier ('Tennessee') (1911–1983). American playwright whose stock in trade was angst among dysfunctional families. Plays include The Glass Menagerie (1945), A Streetcar Named Desire(1948), The Rose Tattoo (1952), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955) and The Night of the Iguana (1961).
Wilson Knight – see Knight.
Wilson, Sir Angus Frank Johnstone (1913–1991). Writer, librarian and university lecturer. His first Novel, Hemlock and After, was published in 1952.
Wilson, Sir Arnold Talbot (1884–1940). Colonial administrator and politician. Killed on active service with the RAF. Brother of Mona Wilson.
Wilson, Colin (1931–2013). Prolific writer of fiction and non-fiction, with a wide range of subjects, including Atlantis, Borges, Aleister Crowley, Hermann Hesse, Jack the Ripper, Mozart, Rasputin, Ken Russell, Rudolf Steiner, and sex.
Wilson, Edmund (1895–1972). American journalist and literary critic. His Notebooks and Diaries 1920s–60s were edited for publication by Leon Edel.
Wilson, Evelyn Rockley (1879–1957). Cricketer and schoolmaster. Prominent slow bowler. One of his pupils at Winchester was Douglas Jardine. On the eve of the 1932–33 Bodyline series, Wilson was asked by a journalist about England's chances under Jardine. 'He might well win us the Ashes,' Wilson said, 'but he might lose us a Dominion.'
Wilson, Harriette (1786–1845). Famous courtesan; sometime mistress of the Duke of Wellington. The retort 'Publish, and be damned!' is attributed to Wellington when she proposed to write her memoirs. The book appeared in 1825 in four volumes as Memoirs of Harriette Wilson, Written by Herself, and sold prodigiously.
Wilson, John Gideon (1876–1963). Bookseller. Chairman and managing director of John and Edward Bumpus Ltd, booksellers in Oxford Street, London, 1941–1959.
Wilson, Mona (1872–1954). Civil servant and author. One of the first women to reach the senior levels of the civil service. She retired in 1919, moving to Wiltshire, where she was later joined by G M Young, with whom she had worked as a civil servant. Her book on William Blake (1927) remained popular for several decades and was reprinted several times, and was reissued by RH-D. Other works included Sir Philip Sidney (1931); Queen Elizabeth (1932); and Jane Austen and some Contemporaries (1938). Sister of Sir Arnold Wilson.
Winchester, Henry William Montagu Paulett (1862–1962) 16th Marquess of. Married Bapsy Pavry in 1952. The Marchioness blamed Evelyn Fleming for the collapse of the marriage, but lost her lawsuit against Mrs Fleming on appeal.
Wingate, Orde Charles (1903–1944). Soldier. Commander of the Chindit brigade in Burma was a British major general and creator of two special military units during World War II. Churchill's doctor, Lord Moran, wrote of him, 'He seemed to me hardly sane—in medical jargon a borderline case.'
Winn, Godfrey Herbert (1906–1971) Journalist. Columnist for The Daily Mirror 1936–1938, and The Sunday Express 1938–1942. Known in Fleet Street as 'Winifred God.'
Winnington-Ingram, Arthur Foley (1858–1946), Bishop of London, 1901–1931.
Winston – see Churchill, Winston.
Wise, Thomas James (1859–1937). Well-known bookseller, who forged a large number of publications, passing them off as first editions. Authors included Tennyson, George Eliot, Charlotte Bronte and Matthew Arnold.
Wither, George (1588–1667). Poet.
Wodehouse, Sir Pelham Grenville (1881–1975). Novelist, playwright and lyricist. Creator of Bertie Wooster, Jeeves, and Lord Emsworth.
Wollheim Richard Arthur (1923–2003). Professor of Mind and Logic, University College London, 1963 to 1982. Married, 1950, Anne Barbara Denise Toynbee née Powell (1920–2004), the former wife of Philip Toynbee.
Wolsey, Thomas (1475–1530). Archbishop of York, 1514–1530, and minister of Henry VIII.
Wood, Sir Henry Joseph (1869–1944). Conductor. Co-founder of the Henry Wood Promenade Concerts.
Wood, Rayner – see Rayner Wood, Algernon.
Woodcock, Arthur (1865–1910). Cricketer. Fast bowler for Leicestershire, 1894–1908.
Woodcock, John (1926–) Cricket correspondent of The Times, 1954–1988 and Editor of Wisden Cricketer's Almanack 1981–1986.
Woodham-Smith, Cecil Blanche, née FitzGerald (1896–1977). Biographer and historian. Her four major works were Florence Nightingale (1950); The Reason Why (1953) The Great Hunger (1962), and Queen Victoria: her Life and Times, Vol I (1972).
Woodruff, (John) Douglas (1897–1978). Journalist. Editor of The Tablet, 1936–1967.
Woolf, (Adeline) Virginia, née Stephen (1882–1941). Novelist and critic. Married (1912) the writer Leonard Woolf (1880–1969), with whom she founded the Hogarth Press in 1917. Committed suicide in 1941.
Woollcott, Alexander, 1887–1943. American critic, essayist and wit. Best known for his articles in The New Yorker. A member of the Algonquin Round Table.
Woolley, Frank Edward (1887–1978). Cricketer. Left hand bat, a stroke-maker of exceptional flair and elegance. Played county cricket for Kent, 1906–38 and played 64 Test matches for England between 1909 and 1934.
Woolton, Frederick James Marquis (1883–1964), first Earl of. Politician and businessman, born in Salford, Lancashire.
Wordsworth, Dorothy (1771–1855). Sister of William Wordsworth.
Wordsworth, William (1770–1850). Poet.
Worrell, Sir Frank Mortimer Maglinne (1922–1967). Cricketer. West Indies, 1948–1963. The first cricketer to be honoured with a memorial service in Westminster Abbey.
Wortham, Hugh Evelyn (1884–1959). Nephew and biographer of Oscar Browning. Journalist, author of the 'Peterborough' column in The Daily Telegraph, 1934–1959.
Wrench, Sir (John) Evelyn Leslie (1882–1966). Publisher, editor, author, and enthusiast for empire. Proprietor and editor of The Spectator, 1925–1932. Wrote three biographies: Francis Yeats-Brown (1948), Geoffrey Dawson and our Times (1955); and Alfred, Lord Milner: the Man of No Illusions (1958).
Wright, Sir Almroth Edward (1861–1947). Medical scientist. A leading bacteriologist, but perhaps better known as the model for the bombastic Sir Colenso Ridgeon in Shaw's The Doctor's Dilemma and for his outspoken opposition to women's suffrage. Brother of Hagberg Wright.
Wright, Sir Charles Theodore Hagberg (1862–1940). Librarian of the London Library 1893–1940. Brother of Almroth Wright.
Wright, William Aldis (1831–1914). Literary editor. Friend and editor of Edward FitzGerald.
Wyatt, Woodrow Lyle (1918–1997). Baron Wyatt. Labour MP, author, journalist and broadcaster. After leaving the Labour party, moved so far to the right as to become a comically blimpish figure.
Wycherley, William (1641–1716). Author of four Restoration comedies, Love in a Wood, The Gentleman Dancing-master, The Plain Dealer and The Country Wife.
Wyndham, Francis Guy Percy (1924–2017) Writer. As stated in RH-D's letter of 14 February 1960, the son of Violet Lutetia Wyndham, née Leverson.
Wyndham, George (1863–1913). Politician and man of letters. His sister, Madeline Pamela Constance Blanche Wyndham was Pamela Lyttelton's mother.
Wyndham-Goldie, Grace Murrell, née Nisbet (1900–1986). Pioneering television producer.
Wyndham Lewis, Dominic Bevan (1891–1969). Author and journalist. The first writer of the Beachcomber column in The Daily Express. His books include biographies of François Villon, Louis XI, Charles V, Boswell, Ronsard, Molière, Goya and Cervantes. Collaborations include The Stuffed Owl (an anthology of bad verse) and The Terror of St Trinian's.
Wynyard, Diana: stage name of Dorothy Isobel Cox (1906–1964). For the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre company she played Gertrude, Portia, Hermione, Desdemona, Lady Macbeth, Beatrice, Helena and Katherine (the shrew). She also appeared in works by contemporary playwrights including Noel Coward, Lillian Hellman, Peter Ustinov, John Whiting and Tennessee Williams.