William Hosking Oliver was born in 1925 to a Cornish Wesleyan family which had immigrated to New Zealand in 1910 and settled in Feilding in the Manawatu District. In 1938, the family moved to another small town in the area, Dannevirke. Given this provincial background, as well as the left-leaning values that he acquired from his father, it is remarkable that Oliver completed five years of secondary education and went to Victoria University College in 1943. He became part of a small literary elite, as well as developing a taste for academic history from its eminent Wellington practitioners, J. C. Beaglehole, Fred Wood, and Peter Munz. Oliver completed a thesis on a topic in seventeenth-century English history and gained a scholarship to Oxford in 1951, having married Dorothy Nielsen just…

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Citation: Lineham, Peter. "W. H. Oliver". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 June 2009; last revised 15 August 2022. [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=12426, accessed 13 April 2024.]

12426 W. H. Oliver 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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