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Biography of Philip Trower

 

 

I was born on 16th May 1923 in London and, with an elder brother and two sisters grew up in Hertfordshire 20 miles to the north. After infant schooling, education was at a preparatory school in Dorset, followed by 6 months learning French in Touraine, and then four years at Eton. In Jan 1941 I went to New College Oxford where I did a shortened war time degree course receiving at the end a BA in modern history.

After joining the army in the summer of 1942, I was commissioned a year later in the Rifle Brigade and in the autumn of 1943 shipped to the Mediterranean to take part in the Italian campaign. Five months later I was back in England after being wounded while serving at the Anzio bridgehead. When the war ended I still had two more years of service to go. These (1945-47) I spent in Egypt attached to an intelligence unit based in Cairo.

I had been destined for the law, but after demobilisation I chose a literary career instead. I began by writing books and articles for the Times Literary Suppplement and The Spectator, working at the same time on the first of my two novels, Tillotson which was published in 1951 by Collins being 'recommended by the Book Society' at the instigation of the historian Veronica Wedgewood and novelist Rose Macaulay.

In 1953 I became a Catholic, greatly helped by the American poet and writer
Dunstan Thompson (1918-1975), with whom I was by this time sharing a house on the North Norfolk coast where until recently I have spent most of my life.


After I became a Catholic in 1953 I embarked on a long historical novel.
A Danger to the State (Ignatius Press) about a Spanish family involved in the intrigues leading up to the suppression of the Jesuits in 1773 and the destruction of the Guarani mission stations in Paraguay.


Then came a long period of Catholic journalism for English, American and Canadian journals, which included covering the episcopal Synods in Rome during the 1980s for the US Catholic paper
The Wanderer, and representing it to officials of the Holy See. These experiences contributed greatly to my understanding of the Second Vatican Council, the events coming after it and their historical origins. The outcome was my two books on the subject, Turmoil and Truth (Ignatius Press,1998) and The Church and the Counterfaith, (Family Publications). Now 91, I still write the occasional article and have just finished editing diaries I kept of conversations I had with Thompson in the four years before his death.
      

Copyright © Philip Trower 2014  

Version: 18th September 2014


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