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Mr William Douglas Home

Early Life and Family Background: William Douglas-Home was born on June 3, 1912, into a prominent British family with a rich legacy in politics, law, and the arts. His full name was William Alexander Douglas-Home, and he belonged to the distinguished Douglas-Home family. His father, Charles Douglas-Home, was a Conservative politician and the 13th Earl of Home. The family's aristocratic and political connections provided William with a privileged upbringing and access to influential circles.

Educational Journey: William Douglas-Home received his education at Eton College, a renowned British independent school known for producing many notable alumni. His academic journey continued at New College, Oxford, where he studied history and graduated with honors. The intellectual environment of Oxford likely influenced his later career in writing and the arts.

Military Service and World War II: During World War II, William Douglas-Home served in the British Army, contributing to the war effort. His experiences during the conflict would later influence his work, providing him with a unique perspective on the challenges and human stories of wartime. He refused to obey orders during World War 2 and was imprisoned as a result.

Early Writing Career: After the war, Douglas-Home embarked on a career as a playwright and author. He gained recognition for his ability to capture the nuances of human relationships and societal issues. One of his early successes was the play "The Chiltern Hundreds," which premiered in 1947. This marked the beginning of a prolific period in his writing career, with several successful plays to follow.

Notable Works: One of Douglas-Home's most celebrated works is the play "The Reluctant Debutante," which premiered in 1955. This comedy, exploring the intricacies of high society and the clash between tradition and modernity, achieved considerable success in London's West End and later on Broadway.

In addition to his contributions to the theater, Douglas-Home also penned novels and screenplays. His versatility as a writer allowed him to explore different mediums, showcasing his literary talent across various genres.

Later Life: As the years went by, Douglas-Home continued to make significant contributions to the arts. His plays often reflected the changing social dynamics and cultural shifts in post-war Britain. In the 1970s, he turned his attention to television, adapting some of his successful stage plays for a broader audience.

Legacy: William Douglas-Home's legacy is that of a versatile and insightful writer who skillfully captured the complexities of human relationships and societal changes. His works continue to be studied, performed, and appreciated for their wit, humor, and social commentary.


  1. "William Douglas-Home." The Oxford Companion to Theatre and Performance, edited by Dennis Kennedy, Oxford University Press, 2010.
  2. "Douglas-Home, William (Alexander)." Who's Who 2022, A & C Black, 2022.
  3. "The Reluctant Debutante." Internet Broadway Database,

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