Alan Milward

Sadly, Alan Milward, one of my favourite European historians and author of the brilliantly counter-intuitive The European Rescue of the Nation State, passed away yesterday. I first met him at the European University Institute, where he was a brilliant professor with a twinkling eye and I was a penniless student who made a bit of pocket money by compiling an index for a book he had edited. He was a master of archival material as, I suppose, any good historian must be, but he brought his material to life with his wit and command of language and his characteristically interdisciplinary approach. He was an incisive speaker at any conference where, wearing his great learning with equally great modesty, he would invariably draw out the essential of any discussion. He was also excellent company and I have fond memories of post-conference and -seminar evenings. He ended his career as a professor emeritus at the EUI and as the United Kingdom government’s official historian. He had completed the first volume of UK Accession to the European Communities when illness struck, and we will forever be denied the majestic three-volumed sweep he intended. ‘Robbed’ is the cliché, but we really were; he had so much more to offer. Sad, sad, sad.


  1. Alan Pedley

    Lovely tribute Martin to my old friend Alan Milward. I knew him for 66 years, having been at both primary & grammar school with him!

  2. Martin

    He was great fun. Martin

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