Archibald Colquhoun’s (1912–1964) major contribution to the English understanding of Italian literature was to write a biography of Alessandro Manzoni [Manzoni and his times, 1954] and translate Manzoni’s The Betrothed, the first modern Italian novel, though the translation is no longer the standard one. He translated works bij Italo Calvino, Giuseppe de Lampedusa and Alessandro Manzoni.
Colquhoun was educated at Ampleforth and Oxford (Christ Church) followed by the Royal College of Art. This was in the 1930s and afterwards, probably just a few years before World War II, he went to live in Ischia in Italy. The Times records [March 9th, 1938] an exhibition of his paintings, ‘Water-colours of Southern Italy’ at the Palser Gallery, King Street, St. James, London, SW1. After the war he was briefly Director of the British Institute at Seville and thereafter concentrated on his writing, editing and translating.