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Anthony Rhodes papers

Collection MS-2006-051: Anthony Rhodes papers


  • Creation: 1910-2004, undated
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1939 - 1967

Scope and Contents

The personal and professional activities of British Catholic author Anthony Rhodes are documented through articles, clippings, correspondence, diaries, manuscripts, notes, and photographs. Also included are materials related to Rhodes's interest in dictatorship and worldly power.

Highlights include: correspondence between Rhodes and his friends Frank Campos and Joseph Boyle; drafts of novels, essays, poems, short stories, translations, and research notes, including: D’Annunzio: The Poet as Superman; Flanders 1940 and Other Poems; and The King’s Cardinals, The Power of Rome in the Twentieth Century; and thirty-seven diaries covering Rhodes's World War II military service, notably the retreat at Dunkirk; his travels throughout Europe; and his time in London. Also of note is a scrapbook about the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, which Rhodes witnessed.


Restrictions on Access

Collection is open for research.

Restrictions on use

These materials are made available for use in research, teaching and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. The original authors may retain copyright to the materials.

Biographical Note

Anthony Rhodes was born in Plymouth, England on September 24, 1916, to Colonel George E. and Dorothy Rhodes. He spent his early years at Lucknow and Delhi, India where his father was stationed. Rhodes attended Rugby School (1930-1935) and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst (1935-1937) before moving on to Trinity College, Cambridge in 1939, where he obtained a degree in Mechanical Sciences.

During World War II, Rhodes joined the Royal Engineers and was sent to France with the 3rd Division of the British Expeditionary Force under the command of General Bernard Montgomery. He chronicled his experiences from the war, including the retreat to Dunkirk in his first book, Sword of Bone (1943).

After his service in France, Rhodes was promoted to Captain and sent to Canada as a camouflage officer. There, he met his first wife, Lisel Ashkenazi. They married in 1944 and divorced in 1952. In 1945, he was discharged from the army and became a lecturer on English Literature at Geneva University where he earned a licence ès-lettres in 1952. He also spent much of his time traveling the continent; among his travels were France, Italy, and Yugoslavia. In 1956, when the Hungarian revolution broke out, Rhodes went to Budapest.

In 1952, Rhodes taught French, Italian, and German at Eton for two years. In 1953, he met Rosaleen (Rosie) Forbes. They married in 1956 and became well known for their literary parties.

Rhodes is best known for his three-volume history The Power of Rome in the Twentieth Century, which he spent five years researching at the Vatican. His work, The Vatican in the Age of Dictators 1922-1945 (1973), was the first major defense written in English of Pope Pius XII, earning Rhodes a papal knighthood from Pope Paul VI.

Rhodes translated the memoirs of King Hassan II of Morocco from French to English, establishing a close friendship and becoming the king's cultural adviser on English matters for seventeen years.

Rhodes converted to Roman Catholicism in 1992. He spent the last years of his life in a residential nursing home, cared for by the Daughters of the Cross. Rhodes died on August 23, 2004 in London, England at the age of 87.


"Anthony Rhodes," The Times (London), September 2004.

"Anthony Rhodes," News.telegraph, September 2004.


12.75 Linear Feet (36 containers)

Language of Materials



These papers document the personal and professional activities of British Catholic author Anthony Rhodes, whose writing ranged from travelogues, to poetry, to history. Included are articles, clippings, correspondence, diaries, manuscripts, notes, and photographs. Many of the diaries focus on Rhodes's experience during World War II.


Arranged into six series: I. Correspondence; II. Diaries; III. Personal materials; IV. Photographs; V. Scrapbooks; and VI. Writings; Series VI is divided into two subseries: A. Drafts and B. Notes.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Gift of Frank Campos (2006, 2007). Campos was Anthony Rhodes's literary executor and received the papers from Rhodes's estate.

Anthony Rhodes Papers
1910-2004 (bulk 1939-1967)
Kelli Bogan (2006) and David Tennant (2007), updated by Annalisa Moretti
2019 April
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the John J. Burns Library Repository

John J. Burns Library
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill MA 02467 United States