Author Philip Mason Dies at 92
Jan. 29, 1999
LONDON (AP) _ Philip Mason, a former British civil servant in India who wrote a history of the country under British rule, has died at age 92, his family reported Friday.
Mason died at his home in Cambridge on Monday, according to a death notice published by his family. The cause of death was not announced.
A graduate of Oxford University, Mason was first posted to India by the British government in 1928, the Daily Telegraph said. He served in numerous civil service positions there before his retirement in 1947, the year India gained independence.
But it was his two-volume work, ``The Men Who Ruled India,'' in 1953-54, first published under the pen name Philip Woodruff, that distinguished him as a leading British-Indian historian. He also published many other books, both fiction and nonfiction, including an autobiography in 1978.
His civil service career in India included a posting as deputy-secretary to the government of India in the newly established Defense Coordination Department at the outset of World War II. When Lord Mountbatten arrived in India as supreme allied commander for southeast Asia, Mason joined his staff, and eventually moved with him to Ceylon.
He returned to Delhi in the summer of 1944 as joint secretary to the government of India in the defense department. In 1946, he represented the defense department in the Central Legislative Assembly.
Mason's writing career flourished after his return to Britain, and he brought out a book almost every year until 1962. His later books included ``A Matter of Honor,'' in 1974, a much-applauded history of the Indian Army, and a biography of Rudyard Kipling in 1975. In 1985, he produced a condensed version of ``The Founders'' and ``The Guardians,'' the two volumes that made up ``The Men Who Ruled India.''
Mason is survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters. A funeral service was scheduled for Tuesday at St. Philip Howard Church in Cambridge.