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Dan Davin looms large in New Zealand literary & military history. He was born in Invercargill in 1913, graduated from Otago University with honours in English and Latin, and won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University in 1936. In the Second World War he fought with the 2nd New Zealand Division, later writing the acclaimed Crete volume of the Official History of New Zealand in the Second World War. Much of his post-war life was devoted to the Oxford University Press where he became deputy secretary and academic publisher, that is to say in charge of academic publishing under the renowned Clarendon Press imprint. He wrote seven novels, several collections of short stories & a highly regarded volume of memoirs of his writer-friends, CLOSING TIMES. For more than thirty years, he was an informal ambassador for New Zealand letters in Britain, and his friendships, connections and reviews in the TLS did much to bring New Zealand writers to a larger public. He died in Oxford in 1990.

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