Bonham-Carter, Victor 1913-2007

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Bonham-Carter, Victor 1913-2007

OBITUARY NOTICE—

See index for CA sketch: Born December 13, 1913, in Bearstead, Kent, England; died March 13, 2007. Journalist, farmer, and author. Bonham-Carter was a former secretary of the Society of Authors and the Royal Literary Fund. The son of a general who was governor of Malta, he studied at Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he earned a master's degree in 1935. After a failed attempt to be hired as a British Broadcasting Corporation announcer, he found work as headmaster of Shrewsbury in 1936. The appointment was short-lived, however, but Bonham-Carter managed to work for the magazine Countryman. He left after a year and a half, unable to stand the tyrannical editor Robertson Scott, and joined the Country Scene and Topic magazine staff, which ended its run after only three issues. He then worked in the photo reproduction business until the onset of World War II. Joining the British Army, he earned the Belgian Order of Leopold and several war service medals. Afterwards, he found some stability as a farmer, but also tried again to enter broadcasting. He made a radio documentary for the BBC that led to his being hired by the Elmhirst family to write a history of Dartington Hall. This work was unpublished, but he drew on it to write Dartington Hall: The History of an Experiment (1958), which was a collaborative effort with William Burnless Curry. Bonham-Carter had developed an interest in writing about English farming and life in the countryside, composing such titles as The Village Has a Future (1948), Farming the Land (1959), and The Survival of the English Countryside (1971). He was hired, initially as a part-time staffer, by the Society of Authors in 1963, and from 1971 until 1978 served as joint secretary. The author wrote about the society in the two-volume Authors by Profession (1978, 1984). From 1966 until 1982, he was also secretary for the Royal Literary Fund. Bonham-Carter penned the biography Soldier True: The Life and Times of Field-Marshall Sir William Robertson, 1860-1933 (1963), which was released in the United States as The Strategy of Victory: The Lifeand Times of the Master Strategist of World War I: Field-Marshal Sir William Robertson (1964), which led to his being hired as a researcher for the BBC series The Great War. More recently he released his autobiography, What Countryman, Sir? (1996), as well as the titles The Essence of Exmoor (1991) and A Filthy Barren Ground (1998).

OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:

BOOKS

Bonham-Carter, Victor, What Countryman, Sir?, privately printed, 1996.

PERIODICALS

Times (London, England), March 21, 2007, p. 64.