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Michael Renshaw: A Society Figure in War and Peace

Michael St John-McAlister (notes)


For someone who was far from the public eye, Michael Renshaw had a remarkable circle of friends, from the aristocracy, politics, and the arts.  The letters he received, donated to the British Library in 2008, not only cast light on the lives of their famous writers and some of the major events they lived through, but also help to flesh out the details of Renshaw’s own fascinating life.  Born into a privileged family, the grandson of an earl, Renshaw served in north west Europe following the Normandy landings, was instrumental in the success of the Sunday Times Magazine, and witnessed first hand the immediate aftermath of the Turkish invasion of northern Cyprus.  He was both a generous host and a sought-after guest at society parties and functions, yet he was a complex character and not always easy to like.  Renshaw’s collection of correspondence, his wartime papers, and references to him in secondary sources come together to give the life story of a highly interesting individual.

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