Maurice Christopher Hollis, known as Christopher Hollis (2 December 1902 – 5 May 1977), was a British schoolmaster, university teacher, author and Conservative politician.
Hollis was born at Wells, Somerset, in 1902, one of the four sons of George Arthur Hollis (1868–1944), vice-principal of the Wells Theological College and later Bishop of Taunton. He was educated at Eton and Balliol College, Oxford, where he was president of the Oxford Union Society and member of the Hypocrites' Club. He travelled as a member of the Union's debating team to the United States, New Zealand and Australia.At Oxford he met his lifelong friend Douglas Woodruff. He was a friend of Ronald Knox and Evelyn Waugh and in 1924 converted to Roman Catholicism, as Knox had already done and as Waugh did later.
For ten years from 1925 he taught history at Stonyhurst College, then from 1935 to 1939 was a visiting professor of the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, where he carried out economic research.
At the beginning of the Second World War, Hollis returned home and served throughout the war as a Royal Air Force intelligence officer.
Immediately after the war, he was elected as Member of Parliament for Devizes in Wiltshire and held the seat until he retired undefeated in 1955. While in the House of Commons, he showed an independent spirit, for example by supporting the abolition of capital punishment while that was not his party's general view, and was popular on all sides. When he left the Commons (to be succeeded by another Conservative, Percivall Pott) he became a parliamentary commentator for Punch and retired to Mells, near Frome in Somerset, where he spent his time in writing books and journalism and in supporting Somerset County Cricket Club and other local interests. He was also a member of the publishing firm Hollis and Carter, a subsidiary of Burns and Oates.In 1957 he briefly revisited Australia, in association with the Congress for Cultural Freedom.
Hollis wrote books and articles on a variety of historical and political subjects. His last book, Oxford in the Twenties (1976) is about his wide circle of friends, including Evelyn Waugh, Maurice Bowra, Harold Acton, Leslie Hore-Belisha, and the cricketer R. C. Robertson-Glasgow.
In 1929, Hollis married Madeleine King, daughter of the Rev. Richard King, Rector of Cholderton, and herself also a Roman Catholic convert, and they had one daughter and three sons, including Crispian Hollis, Bishop of Portsmouth.
He was the brother of Sir Roger Hollis, sometime Director General of MI5,and the uncle of the academic Adrian Hollis.
Gilbert Keith Chesterton was an English writer, philosopher, Christian apologist, and literary and art critic. He has been referred to as the "prince of paradox". Of his writing style, Time observed: "Whenever possible, Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories—first carefully turning them inside out."
Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh was an English writer of novels, biographies, and travel books; he was also a prolific journalist and book reviewer. His most famous works include the early satires Decline and Fall (1928) and A Handful of Dust (1934), the novel Brideshead Revisited (1945), and the Second World War trilogy Sword of Honour (1952–1961). He is recognised as one of the great prose stylists of the English language in the 20th century.
Ronald Arbuthnott Knox was an English Catholic priest, theologian, author, and radio broadcaster. Educated at Eton and Balliol College, Oxford, where he earned a high reputation as a classicist, Knox was ordained as a priest of the Church of England in 1912. He was a fellow and chaplain of Trinity College, Oxford until he resigned from those positions following his conversion to Catholicism in 1917. Knox became a Catholic priest in 1918, continuing in that capacity his scholarly and literary work.
Sir Harold Mario Mitchell Acton was a British writer, scholar, and aesthete who was a prominent member of the Bright Young Things. He wrote fiction, biography, history and autobiography. During his stay in China, he studied the Chinese language, traditional drama, and poetry, some of which he translated.
Robert Byron was a British travel writer, best known for his travelogue The Road to Oxiana. He was also a noted writer, art critic and historian.
Colonel The Honourable Aubrey Nigel Henry Molyneux Herbert, of Pixton Park in Somerset and of Teversal, in Nottinghamshire, was a British soldier, diplomat, traveller, and intelligence officer associated with Albanian independence. He was twice offered the throne of Albania. From 1911 until his death he was a Conservative Member of Parliament. His eldest half-brother was George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon (1866–1923), who discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun.
Sir Arnold Henry Moore Lunn was a skier, mountaineer and writer. He was knighted for "services to British Skiing and Anglo-Swiss relations" in 1952. His father was a lay Methodist minister, but Lunn was an agnostic and wrote critically about Catholicism before he converted to that religion at the age of 45 and became an apologist.
The Newman Society: Oxford University Catholic Society is Oxford University's oldest Roman Catholic organization. It is a student society named as a tribute to Cardinal Newman, who agreed to lend his name to a group formed seventeen years before the English hierarchy formally permitted Catholics to attend the university. The society acquired its current form and title following the merger in 2012 of the pre-existing Newman Society and Oxford University's Catholic Society. It exists, according to its constitution, to 'work in conjunction with the Chaplains to support and encourage Catholic students in their Christian vocation by promoting their personal, intellectual and spiritual development, social interaction, and apostolic witness within the broader context of their university experience', and has served as the model for Catholic student societies throughout the English-speaking world.
Auberon Mark Yvo Henry Molyneux Herbert (1922–1974) was a British landowner and advocate of Eastern European causes after World War II.
William Cecil James Philip John Paul Howard, 8th Earl of Wicklow, styled Lord Clonmore until 1946, was an Anglo-Irish peer.
Roger Francis Crispian Hollis is the Bishop Emeritus of Portsmouth for the Roman Catholic Church.
Adrian Swayne Hollis was an English classical scholar and correspondence chess grandmaster, the title having been awarded in 1976.
Edward Arthur Henry Pakenham, 6th Earl of Longford was an Irish peer, politician, and littérateur. Also known as Eamon de Longphort, he was a member of the fifth Seanad Éireann, the upper house of the Irish Parliament, in the 1940s.
Hubert John Duggan was a British Army officer and politician, who was Conservative Party Member of Parliament for Acton from 1931 until his death. He was an opponent of appeasement and broke the whip on several important occasions, voting to bring down Neville Chamberlain in 1940.
George Arthur Hollis was a British Anglican bishop. He was bishop of Taunton from 1931 to 1944.
Hollis is both a surname and a given name. Notable people with the name include:
The Catholic literary revival is a term that has been applied to a movement towards explicitly Catholic allegiance and themes among leading literary figures in France and England, roughly in the century from 1860 to 1960. This often involved conversion to Catholicism or a conversion-like return to the Catholic Church. The phenomenon is sometimes extended to the United States.
John Douglas Woodruff (1897–1978) was the editor of the Tablet and later chairman of the Catholic publishers Burns & Oates.
The Hypocrites' Club was one of the student clubs at Oxford University in England. Its motto in Greek, from an Olympian Ode by Pindar, was Water is best. This led to the members being called Hypocrites, due to the fact that beer, wine and spirits were the chosen drinks.
Katharine Frances Asquith was an English landowner and patron of the arts. During the First World War, she served as a Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse. She was the wife of Raymond Asquith and the daughter-in-law of wartime prime minister H. H. Asquith.