Main content

Henry Hector Bolitho papers


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Henry Hector Bolitho was born in 1897, in Auckland, New Zealand. At the age of fifteen, he began work as a reporter for the New Zealand Herald; and in 1915, he started at the Auckland Star as a shipping reporter, before moving to Australia in 1921 where he served as editor of the Shakespearean Quarterly and literary editor and drama critic of the Sydney Evening News.

In 1923, Bolitho moved to London, but traveled throughout Europe, Africa, North America, and Australia, working on newspapers and writing books. Bolitho wrote widely on historical subjects, most notably on the royal family, including Albert the Good and the Victorian Reign (1932), The Reign of Queen Victoria (1948), and Albert, Prince Consort (1964). His book, Jinnah, Creator of Pakistan (1954) was the only internationally acknowledged work on Mohammad Ali Jinnah for thirty years.

Bolitho served in both World War I and II. During the last two years of World War I, Bolitho was a corporal in the New Zealand army, and from 1939 to 1945, he served as a squadron leader with the RAF and was the editor of the RAF journal. In addition to his writing career, Bolitho raised money for polio research as chairman of the Committee for Writing and Reading Aids for the Paralyzed. In 1962, Bolitho's autobiography, My Restless Years, was published. Henry Bolitho died in England on September 12, 1974.

Source: Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

This collection mostly contains research materials and correspondence between Bolitho, Aga Khan III, M.A. Jinnah and others, including Mountbatten and W.S. Maugham, on the subject of the newly formed country of Pakistan. The collection is broken into three series. The first (1943, 1956) is books and scrapbooks on these subjects. The second (1952-54) is correspondence between Bolitho and others on specific subjects such as the Aga Khan's autobiography and a chapter in Bolitho's book "Jinnah." Lastly, the third series (1940-1953) is composed of materials (correspondence, notes, and other research materials) relating to Jinnah, likely in relation to Bolitho's publication.

The materials contained within present a glance at the work done by Bolitho while preparing for one of his most important publications, as well as the relationship he maintained with his subject and other leaders of Pakistan at that time.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Clémence Scouten
Finding Aid Date
2015 May 20
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Collection Inventory

Request to View Materials

Materials can be requested by first logging in to Aeon. Then, click on the ADD button next to any containers you wish to request. When complete, click the Request button.

Request item to view

"Jinnah Faces An Assassin," by Husain Beg Mohamad (bound typescript), 1943.
Box 1 Folder 1
"Aga Khan Notes & Cuttings," scrapbook containing letters, newspaper clippings, chronologies, essays, etc. , 1956.
Box 1 Folder 2
"Notes on Pakistan", 1956.
Box 1 Folder 3

15 letters between Aga Khan, Bolitho and W.S. Maugham, 1952-1953.
Box 1 Folder 4
28 letters between Bolitho, Mountbatten and others, 1954.
Box 1 Folder 5

Copies of correspondence between M.A. Jinnah and Begum Liaquat, 1940-1947.
Box 1 Folder 6
Correspondence, others, 1952-1953.
Box 1 Folder 7
Notes, 1952-1953.
Box 1 Folder 8
Miscellaneous research materials, undated.
Box 1 Folder 9
Reproductions of press articles, 1914-1952.
Box 1 Folder 10
Obituaries of M.A. Jinnah, 1948.
Box 1 Folder 11

Print, Suggest