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Archive of Shiela Grant Duff, with Grant Duff and Lubbock family papers


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The archive comprises professional papers and writings of Shiela Grant Duff along with her personal and family correspondence; papers of and relating to the Grant Duff family, especially Sir Mountstuart Elphinstone Grant Duff; and papers of and relating to the Lubbock family.


  • Creation: 1769-2008


17.0 Linear metres (103 physical shelfmarks)

Language of Materials

  • English

Conditions Governing Access

Some personal correspondence and papers are closed, along with currently inaccessible audio-visual material.

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries, [followed by shelfmark, e.g. MS. Grant Duff 1]

Please see our help page for further guidance on citing archives and manuscripts.

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Grant Duff 1-100; MSS. Grant Duff photogr. 1-3

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 12149, 10889


Archive of Shiela Grant Duff, author and journalist, with Grant Duff and Lubbock family papers, 1769-2008

Biographical / Historical

Shiela Grant Duff (1913-2004) was the daughter of Adrian Grant Duff and Ursula, née Lubbock. She was educated at St Paul's Girls' School and Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, where her contemporaries included Isaiah Berlin, Douglas Jay, Goronwy Rees and the German Rhodes Scholar Adam von Trott.

After university Shiela travelled in Germany and learnt journalism under Edgar Ansel Mowrer, the Paris-based correspondent of the Chicago Daily News. She covered the plebiscite in the Saarland in early 1935 for The Observer before returning to London to work briefly for the Labour Party, Krishna Menon and Jarwarhalal Nehru. In 1936 she moved to Prague from where she reported for The Observer and other newspapers for two years, becoming deeply involved in the Czechoslovak cause. She put the Czech journalist Hubert Ripka in touch with Winston Churchill in an attempt to reverse the appeasement policy of the Chamberlain government. Her book about the Nazi threat to Czechoslovakia, Europe and the Czechs, was published In September 1938 as the Munich Agreement was signed and Shiela returned to London.

Shiela became editor of the Czech section of the BBC European Service and in 1942 married Noel Newsome, Director of the BBC European Service. Her book, A German Protectorate: The Czechs under Nazi Rule, appeared in 1942 and in the 1980s she published her memoirs, The Parting of Ways, and her correspondence with von Trott, A Noble Conflict. Following divorce in 1952 Shiela married Micheal Sokolov Grant, a White Russian who had been an officer in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve. They farmed in England and Ireland until Micheal's death in 1998. Shiela was survived by two daughters and three sons.

Shiela's paternal grandfather, Sir Mountstuart Elphinstone Grant Duff (1829-1906) was a Liberal MP and Governor of Madras. Her maternal grandfather, Sir John Lubbock, 1st Baron Avebury, (1834-1913) was a banker, politician and polymath. For further details on both see the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.


The archive has been arranged into papers and correspondence of Shiela Grant Duff, incorporating professional papers and writings, papers concerning Adam von Trott, personal and family correspondence and personal papers; papers relating to Sir Mountstuart Elphinstone Grant Duff and other members of the Grant Duff family; and papers relating to the Lubbock family. The Grant Duff and Lubbock family papers series include Shiela's research papers and draft biographical writings on members of the family.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated to the Bodleian Library by the family of Shiela Grant Duff, 2008.

Related Materials

Further papers of Sir Mountstuart Elphinstone Grant Duff and Sir John Lubbock, 1st Baron Avebury, are held in the British Library.


  • German and Czech: a threat to European peace by Shiela Grant Duff (London: Gollancz; New Fabian Research Bureau, [1937])
  • Europe and the Czechs by Shiela Grant Duff (Harmandsworth; Penguin Books, 1938)
  • A German protectorate: the Czechs under Nazi rule by Shiela Grant Duff (London: Macmillan and Co. Ltd., 1942)
  • Czechoslovakia: six studies in reconstruction by Shiela Grant Duff (London: Fabian Society [1947])
  • A parting of ways: a personal account of the thirties by Shiela Grant Duff (London: Peter Owen, 1982)
  • Fünf Jahre bis zum Krieg (1934-1939): eine Engländerin im Widerstand gegen Hitler by Shiela Grant Duff (München: C.H. Beck, 1978)
  • A noble combat: the letters of Shiela Grant Duff and Adam von Trott zu Solz 1932-1939 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988)
Catalogue of the Archive of Shiela Grant Duff, with Grant Duff and Lubbock family papers, 1769-2008
Finding aid prepared by Michael Hughes; edited by Lucy McCann.
Language of description
Script of description
Finding aid note
Cataloguing support provided by Emily Boseley.

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom