"Strange Diplomat", The Spectator, 1939
Rowland Kenney (1882-1961) was the seventh son of Horatio Nelson Kenney and Ann Woolf. Rowland started work in the cotton mills, like his sisters; work which he loathed. Influenced by Robert Blatchford’s writing in the Clarion, the famous socialist newspaper published weekly between 1891 and 1934, he moved to London and achieved success as a journalist. He got involved with the emerging Independent Labour Party and in 1910 managed the Publications Department of the Socialist Review. In 1912, he became the first editor of the Daily Herald. He joined the British Department of Information during WWI, which sent him to the British Legation in Norway as a press officer. During WWII, he returned to Norway as Press Attaché and Intelligence Officer.
This is a Review of Rowland’s autobiography Wrestling, published in The Spectator. The reviewer, H. W. H., emphasises Rowland’s far from traditional rise through the ranks and praises his work as an “engrossing story”. The text of the review references a section of the memoir entitled “Bondage”, which refers to Rowland’s civil service career and emphasises his socialist commitments. “Rebel though he may be at heart,” H. W. H. writes, “Mr Kenney keeps the heart well controlled by the head, and his political judgements are sincere and sound.”