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Harold Acton Timeline
4 months ago
born at Villa La Pietra in Florence, Italy.
his brother William is born in Chicago
resident, with his brother William, in London at 108 Lancaster Gate
arrives in China. Harold Acton is invited by Zhang Xinhai (张歆海) to teach English Literature at Peking University and he meets Wen Yuanning (温源宁), the director of the School of Foreign Languages at the University. He gets to know Chen Shixiang (陈世骧) who graduates from Peking University in 1932, and later becomes a teacher there.
follows Chen Shixiang’s suggestion that he continue teaching in Peking University. After Wen Yuanning’s resignation, Hu Shi, the Dean of the Department of Chinese Language and Literature, allows Acton to continue teaching once a week for half a semester. He is remembered as the first person who introduced T. S. Eliot to Chinese students.
Hu Shi invites Acton to teach Keats, Shakespeare, poetry from The Golden Treasury, and two English Writing courses for the first half of the semester
“T’ien Hsia Monthly” publishes Acton’s “The Creative Spirit in Modern Chinese Literature”
together with Chen Shixiang (who starts teaching at Peking University in this year) Acton publishes Modern Chinese Poetry. The book includes poetry by many important writers including Zhou Zuoren (周作人), Xu Zhimo (徐志摩), Guo Moruo (郭沫若), Bian Zhilin (卞之琳). This is the first time that the poems written in the new style - simplified Chinese within the “New Poetry” movement - are translated into English.
publishes his Famous Chinese Plays in Peking.
leaves China in June because of the Second Sino-Japanese War, never to return
in May joins the Royal Air Force (British) and sails to Egypt in 1942. He is then posted to New Delhi and Calcutta until May 1944.
death of his brother William in Italy
Peking’s name is changed to Beijing
returns to Villa La Pietra
publishes Memoirs of an Aesthete
death of his father, Arthur Acton
death of his mother, Hortense Mitchell Acton
awarded an honorary D.Litt by NYU
knighted by HM Queen Elizabeth II and so takes the title of ‘Sir Harold Acton’
publication of his festschrift Oxford, China and Italy on his 80th birthday
bestowed with Honorary Citizenship by the Mayor of Florence
the art collection of Villa La Pietra is listed by the Italian National Heritage
death at Villa La Pietra. He is buried beside his parents and brother in the Roman Catholic section of the Cimitero Evangelico degli Allori in the southern suburb of Florence, Galluzzo (Italy).
attends Wixenford Preparatory school, Wixenford, Berks, UK
attends Chateau Lancy school, Geneva, Switzerland
ttends Ashlawn school, Benenden, Kent, UK
undergraduate at Christ Church, Oxford (he takes his degree in October 1926)
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