The Armchair Strategists

We are very pleased to hear from Donald Scott in USA. Don is an aficionado of author George R. Stewart who wrote 28 books including the classic Earth Abides. Stewart lived in Berkeley near Forester’s home. He and Forester were friends, and during WW II both were key members of The Armchair Strategists. The Strategists, many of them professors at Berkeley, met regularly in their various homes to consider how the war was shaping up and to suggest strategy. GRS and his wife Ted (Theodosia) spent time with C.S. Forester and his wife outside the Strategists meetings.

You can you can visit Don’s site at He has written this fascinating article – which includes an excellent review of The Good Shepherd -about the two men’s friendship and association and has supplied us with an illustration from the George R.  Stewart Family Photo Collection ; used with permission of Anna Evenson.


Ted Stewart is on the right.  GRS, seated in the back next to Mrs. Forester, is wearing sunglasses.  C.S. Forester is laying on his back in the middle foreground, apparently wearing jodphur riding pants and large hiking boots.  They’re all smiling for the camera; but those smiles are certainly honest ones.  It looks like a good time – and no picnic of Ted’s was ever anything but wonderful. (I speak from  personal observations of a few at Thornton State Beach, and a sharing in one with the classic Ted Stewart lunch of cold chicken, good sourdough bread, and a nice white wine.)

Since GRS and Ted lived on into the 1980s, their friendship would likely have continued  until Forester’s death in 1966.  After GRS retired in 1964, there would have been more time for picnics.  I hope there were many, and many cheerful conversations about books and writing.

Read Forester, if you’re a Stewart fan.  The Good Shepherd is a fine place to start.  So is The African Queen, or any of the Hornblower novels.  As you read, think about the friendship between these two fine writers, and their families, and the influence it may have had on their work.

Don Scott, 2016

Click here to download the PDF file

Download the complete article of “The Armchair Strategists” as a PDF file

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.