Works of fiction containing characters based on IB

May Sarton, The Single Hound (London, 1938: Cresset Press; New York, 1938: Houghton Mifflin). IB makes a very brief cameo  appearance (on pp. 110–15) in the guise of Carl, a friend of Georgia (based on Elizabeth Bowen):   

In the chair sat a little dark man, leaning forward, bouncing up and down, rushing along like a paper boat on the stream of his own conversation. (p. 111)

Here he chortled, swallowed, and spluttered for a minute until Mark realized that the end of the sentence had arrived. (ibid.)

Carl bounced in again, shot off again, spluttering like a firecracker. (ibid.)

With short, abrupt movements Carl reached the door. Mark thought, he is a Jew. He is nice. (p. 113)

Lord Berners, Far From the Madding War (London, 1941: Constable): ‘I am distressed to observe I form at least a part of a character referred to as Mr Jericho’ (letter to his parents, 12 December 1941)

Chaim Raphael (1908–94) wrote seven crime novels under the pseudonym Jocelyn Davey in which the character Ambrose Usher is based on IB. The books were all published in London by Chatto & Windus, except for A Dangerous Liaison, which was issued in New York by Walker; Chatto titles published separately in the USA (by various firms) are asterisked.

*The Undoubted Deed (1956; published in New York in the same year by Knopf as A Capitol Offense: An Entertainment)

‘I have an idea that you shy away from solutions. You prefer the joys of uncertainty.’ Thérèse Marot to Ambrose Usher, p. 59)

‘Tell me some country whose citizens don’t feel that their peculiar history and talents and situation have entitled them to some special place in the sun – that somebody else is trying to take away.’  (Usher to Walter Scott, p. 61)

*The Naked Villainy (1958)

A Touch of Stagefright (1960; repr. by Penguin in UK and USA 1963) 

A Killing in Hats (1965) 

‘You just bumble along in some intellectual underworld or other, with all your Russian antennae clicking away, and things emerge. They’re never the things that we asked for, but it works occasionally. I don’t know how.’  (Detective-Inspector Halibut to Usher, p. 10)

‘Do you know, you’re not really very helpful. You seem to like everybody too much. Isn’t there just a little too much milk of human kindness in you for this sort of game?’ (Halibut to Usher, p. 131)

‘Everything successful has to be slightly crazy.’ (Princess Melanie Vyazensky to Usher, p. 223)

*A Treasury Alarm (1976)

*Murder in Paradise (1982)

A Dangerous Liaison (1988)

Clive Sinclair, in ‘The Incredible Case of the Stack o’ Wheats Murders’, in Bedbugs (London, 1982: Allison and Busby), portrays IB ‘listen[ing] quietly as a Jewish private eye recounts the baffling facts. The story ends, “Joshua Smolinsky fell silent. He awaited Sir Isaiah Berlin’s response.” ’ Thomas Sutcliffe, The Times Literary Supplement, 28 May 1982, 579

Terence Ball’s Rousseau’s Ghost: A Novel (New York, 1998: State University of New York Press): one of the characters, Sir Jeremiah Altmann, is a Russian-Jewish émigré, ‘short, stout, balding, with a countenance that seemed both fierce and friendly’; the flow of his conversation is based on the principle of association; he was a diplomat in the US during the Second World War; he is concerned with the history of ideas, especially how the ideas of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries gave rise to the horrors of the twentieth; note also a character called Leon Gauss (sc. Leo Strauss), a cultish and intolerant figure, a German émigré at the University of Chicago who advocates an ‘esoteric’ reading of the works of the great political philosophers – that is, trying to find hidden messages in the texts ...

Richard Titlebaum’s The Bessarabian Affair (copyrighted 1989 as Cracking Up at Harvard), available only on his website (since June 2000), : Sir Jeremiah, based on IB, is one of the main characters

Justin Cartwright’s The Song Before It Is Sung (London, 2007: Bloomsbury) is based on the relationship between IB and Adam von Trott, who appear in the novel as Elya Mendel and Axel von Gottberg

Caubré, Jaume, Jo confesso [I Confess] (Barcelona, 2011: Edicions Proa); trans. French as Confiteor (Paris, 2013: Actes Sud). One of the characters in this Catalan novel is a professor of the history of ideas, whose friend contacts Isaiah Berlin. A visit to Headington House follows, Aline Berlin features, and IB is quoted at length.