[»»] Main Site Homepage     [»»] Links to documents   [»»] Links to photos   OFFSITE: [»»] My Journal at

The Index

by J.G. Ballard

This piece was written in 1977 and published in The Paris Review, vol 118, (Northern) Spring, 1991. It is copyright © the Estate of the Late J.G. Ballard, 1977, 1991.

EDITOR’S NOTE. From abundant internal evidence it seems clear that the text printed below is the index to the unpublished and perhaps suppressed autobiography of a man who may well have been one of the most remarkable figures of the twentieth century. Yet of his existence nothing is publicly known, although his life and work appear to have exerted a profound influence on the events of the past fifty years. Physician and philosopher, man of action and patron of the arts, sometime claimant to the English throne and founder of a new religion, Henry Rhodes Hamilton was evidently the intimate of the greatest men and women of our age. After World War II he founded a new movement of spiritual regener­ation, but private scandal and public concern at his grow­ing megalomania, culminating in his proclamation of himself as a new divinity, seem to have led to his down­fall. Incarcerated within an unspecified government insti­tution, he presumably spent his last years writing his autobiography of which this index is the only surviving fragment.

A substantial mystery still remains. Is it conceivable that all traces of his activities could be erased from our records of the period? Is the suppressed autobiography itself a disguised roman à clef, in which the fictional hero exposes the secret identities of his historical contempo­raries? And what is the true role of the indexer himself, clearly a close friend of the writer, who first suggested that he embark on his autobiography? This ambiguous and shadowy figure has taken the unusual step of index­ing himself into his own index. Perhaps the entire compi­lation is nothing more than a figment of the over­wrought imagination of some deranged lexicographer. Alternatively, the index may be wholly genuine, and the only glimpse we have into a world hidden from us by a gigantic conspiracy, of which Henry Rhodes Hamilton is the greatest victim.


Acapulco, 143

Acton, Harold, 142–7, 213

Alcazar, Siege of, 221–5

Alimony, HRH pays, 172, 247, 367, 453

Anaxagoras, 35, 67, 69–78, 481

Apollinaire, 98

Arden, Elizabeth, 189, 194, 376–84

Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, The (Stein), 112

Avignon, birthplace of HRH, 9–13; childhood holidays, 27; research at Pasteur Institute of Ophthalmology, 101; attempts to restore anti-Papacy, 420–35


Bal Musette, Paris, 98

Balliol College, Oxford, 69–75, 231

Beach, Sylvia, 94–7

Berenson, Bernard, conversations with HRH, 134; offer of adoption, 145; loan of Dürer etching, 146; law-suits against HRH, 173–85

Bergman, Ingrid, 197, 134, 267

Biarritz, 123

Blixen, Karen von (Isak Dinesen), letters to HRH, declines marriage proposal, 197

Byron, Lord, 28, 76, 98, 543


Cambodia, HRH plans journey to, 188; crashes aircraft, 196; writes book about, 235; meetings with Malraux, 239; capture by insurgents, 253; escape, 261; writes second book about, 283

Cap d’Antibes, 218

Charing Cross Hospital Medical School, 78–93

Charterhouse, HRH enters, 31; academic distinction, 38; sexual crisis, 43; school captain, 44

Chiang Kai-shek, interviewed by HRH, 153; HRH and American arms embargo, 162; HRH pilots to Chungking, 176; implements land- reform proposals by HRH, 178; employs HRH as intermediary with Chou En-lai, 192

Churchill, Winston, conversations with HRH, 221; at Chequers with HRH, 235; spinal tap performed by HRH, 247; at Yalta with HRH, 298, ‘iron curtain’ speech, Fulton, Missouri, suggested by HRH, 312; attacks HRH in Commons debate, 367

Cocteau, Jean, 187

Cunard, Nancy, 204


D-Day, HRH ashore on Juno Beach, 223; decorated, 242

Dalai Lama, grants audience to HRH, 321; supports HRH’s initiatives with Mao Tse-tung, 325; refuses to receive HRH, 381

Darwin, Charles, influence on HRH, 103; repudiated by HRH, 478

de Beauvoir, Simone, 176

de Gaulle, Charles, conversations with HRH, 319–47, 356–79, 401

Dealey Plaza (Dallas, Texas), rumored presence of HRH, 435

Dietrich, Marlene, 234, 371, 435


Ecclesiastes, Book of, 87

Eckhart, Meister, 265

Einstein, Albert, first Princeton visit by HRH, 203; joint signatory with HRH and R. Niebuhr of Roosevelt petition, 276; second and third Princeton visits, 284; death-bed confession to HRH, 292

Eisenhower, Gen. Dwight D., 218, 227, 232

Eliot, T.S., conversations with HRH, 209; suppresses dedication of Four Quartets to HRH, 213

Ellis, Havelock, 342

Everest, Mt., 521


Fairbanks, Douglas, 281

Faulkner, William, 375

Fermi, Enrico, reveals first controlled fission reaction to HRH, 299; terminal cancer diagnosed by HRH, 388; funeral eulogy read by HRH, 401

Fleming, Sir Alexander, credits HRH, 211

Ford, Henry, 198

Fortune (magazine), 349

Freud, Sigmund, receives HRH in London, 198; conducts analysis of HRH, 205; begins Civilization and its Discontents, 230; admits despair to HRH, 279


Ghandi, Mahatma, visited in prison by HRH, 251; discusses Bhagavadgita with HRH, 253; has dhoti washed by HRH, 254; denounces HRH, 256

Garbo, Greta, 381

George V, secret visits to Chatsworth, 3, 4–6; rumoured liaison with Mrs. Alexander Hamilton, 7; suppresses court circular, 9; denies existence of collateral Battenburg line to Lloyd George, 45

Goldwyn, Samuel, 397

Grenadier Guards, 215–218

Gstaad, 359


Hadrian IV, Pope, 28, 57, 84, 119, 345–76, 411, 598

Hamilton, Alexander, British Consul, Marseilles, 1, 3, 7; interest in topiary, 2; unexpected marriage, 3; depression after birth of HRH, 6; surprise recall to London, 12; first nervous breakdown, 16; transfer to Tsingtao, 43

Hamilton, Alice Rosalind (later Lady Underwood), private education, 2; natural gaiety, 3; first marriage annulled, 4; enters London society, 5; beats George V at billiards, 5, 7, 9, 23; second marriage to Alexander Hamilton, 3; dislike of Marseilles, 7; premature birth of HRH, 8; divorce, 47; third marriage to Sir Richard Underwood, 48

Hamilton, Henry Rhodes, accident-proneness, 118; age, sensitiveness about, 476; belief in telepathy, 399; childhood memories, 501; common man, identification with, 211; courage: moral, 308; physical, 201; generosity, 99; Goethe, alleged resemblance to, 322; hobbies, dislike of, 87; illnesses: concussion, 196; hypertension, 346; prostate inflammation, 522; venereal disease, 77; integrity, 89; languages, mastery of, 176; Orient, love of, 188; patriotism, renunciation of, 276; public speaking, aptitude for, 345; self-analysis, 234–67; underdog, compassion for, 176; will-power, 87

Hamilton, Indira, meets HRH in Calcutta, 239; translates at Gandhi interviews, 253; imprisoned with HRH by British, 276; marries HRH, 287; on abortive Everest expedition, 299; divorces HRH, 301

Hamilton, Marcelline (formerly Marcelline Renault), abandons industrialist husband, 177; accompanies HRH to Angkor, 189; marries HRH, 191; amuses Ho Chi Minh, 195; divorces HRH, 201

Hamilton, Ursula (later Mrs Mickey Rooney), 302–7; divorces HRH, 308

Hamilton, Zelda, rescued from orphanage by HRH, 325; visit to Cape Kennedy with HRH, 327; declines astronaut training, 328; leads International Virgin Bride campaign, 331; arrested with HRH by Miami police, 344; Frankfurt police, 359; divorces HRH, 371; wins Miss Alabama contest, 382; go-go dancer, 511; applies for writ of habeas corpus, 728

Harriman, Averell, 432

Harry’s Bar, Venice, 256

Hayworth, Rita, 311

Hemingway, Ernest, first African safari with HRH, 234; at Battle of the Ebro with HRH, 244; introduces HRH to James Joyce, 256; portrays HRH in The Old Man and the Sea, 453

Hiroshima, HRH observes atomic cloud, 258

Hitler, Adolf, invites HRH to Berchtesgaden, 166; divulges Russia invasion plans, 172; impresses HRH, 179; disappoints HRH, 181

Hydrogen Bomb, HRH calls for world moratorium on manufacture, 388


Impostors, HRH troubled by, 157, 198, 345, 439

Inchon, Korea, HRH observes landings with Gen. MacArthur, 348

Interlaken, Bruno Walter lends villa to HRH, 401

International Congress of Psychoanalysis, HRH stages anti-psychiatry demonstration, 357

Ives, Burl, 328


Jerusalem, HRH establishes collegium of Perfect Light Movement, 453; attempted intercession by HRH in Arab-Israeli war, 444; HRH designs tomb, 478

Jesus Christ, HRH compared to by Malraux, 476

Jodrell Bank Radio-Telescope, 501

Joyce, James, 256

Juan-les-Pins, 347

Jupiter, planet, HRH suggests existence of extra-terrestrial observers, 331; urges re-direction of space programme to, 342


Kennedy, Cape, HRH leads Perfect Light Movement demonstration, 411

Kennedy, John F., President, declines to receive HRH, 420; ignores danger warnings, 425; mourned by HRH, 444

Kierkegaard, Søren, 231

Koran, 118


Lancaster, Mrs Burt, 411

Lawrence, T. E., HRH compared to by Koestler, 334

Levi-Strauss, C, 422

Life (magazine), 199, 243, 331, 357, 432

Limited Editions Club, 345

Louis XIV, 501


Malraux, André, 239, 345, 399, 476

Mann Act, HRH charged under, 345

McCall’s (magazine), 201, 234, 329, 333

Menninger Clinic, HRH confined, 477; receives treatment, 479–85; discharged, 491; re-admitted, 495

Menuhin, Yehudi, lends Palm Springs villa to HRH, 503

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, offer to HRH, 511

Miranda, Carmen, 377


NATO, 331, 356, 571

Nice, 45

Niebuhr, R., conversations with HRH, 270–5; admiration for HRH, 216; lends villa to HRH, 288; expresses reservations about HRH, 291

Nietzsche, 99

Nobel Prize, HRH nominated for, 220, 267, 342, 375, 459, 611


Oberammergau, 117

Oedipus Complex, 42–9, 87, 451

Old Bailey, first trial of HRH, 531; prosecution case, 533–7; hung jury, 541; second trial, 555; surprise intervention of Attorney-General, 561; acquittal of HRH, 564

Oswald, Lee Harvey, befriended by HRH, 350; inspired by HRH, 354; discusses failure of the Presidency with HRH, 357–61; invites HRH to Dallas, 372

Oxford Book of Religious Verse, 98, 116


Pasternak, Boris, conversations with HRH, 341–4

Paul VI, Pope, praises Perfect Light Movement, 462; receives HRH, 464; attacked by HRH, 471; deplores messianic pretensions of HRH, 487; criticises Avignon counter-papacy established by HRH, 498; excommunicates HRH, 533

Perfect Light Movement, conceived by HRH, 398; launched, 401; charitable activities praised by Nehru, Lyndon B. Johnson, Pierre Trudeau, 423; medical mission to Biafra, 456; criticised by International Red Cross, 477; denounced by World Council of Churches, 499; criminal prosecution of, 544; disbandment, 566; reconstituted, 588; designated a religion by HRH, 604; first crusade against Rome, 618; infiltrated by CIA, 622

Pill, the, denounced by HRH, 611


Quai d’Orsay, expresses alarm at HRH initiatives in Third World, 651; concludes secret accords with Britain, United States and USSR, 666

Quixote, Don, HRH compared to by Harold Macmillan, 421


Rapallo, HRH convalesces in, 321

Readers’ Digest (magazine), 176

Rockefeller Foundation, dissociates itself from HRH, 555

Rubinstein, Helena, 221, 234, 242


Schweitzer, Albert, receives HRH, 199; performs organ solo for HRH, 201; discusses quest for the historical Jesus with HRH, 203–11; HRH compared to by Leonard Bernstein, 245; expels HRH, 246

Sex-change, rumoured operation on HRH, 655

Stanwyck, Barbara, 248

Stork Club, 231


Tangier, secret visit by HRH, 653–5

Technology, HRH renunciation of, 409

Telepathy, HRH interest in, 241; conducts experiments, 349–57; claims powers of, 666; Tenth Convocation of Perfect Light Movement, 672; proclamation of HRH’s divinity, 685

Time (magazine), cover stories on HRH, 267, 359, 492, 578, 691

Tynan, Kenneth, 451


United Nations Assembly, seized by Perfect Light Movement, 695–9; HRH addresses, 696; HRH calls for world war against United States and USSR, 698


Versailles, Perfect Light Movement attempts to purchase, 621

Vogue (magazine), 356


Westminster Abbey, arrest of HRH by Special Branch, 704

Wight, Isle of, incarceration of HRH, 712–69

Windsor, House of, HRH challenges legitimacy of, 588


Yale Club, 234

Younghusband, Lord Chancellor, denies star chamber trial of HRH, 722; denies knowledge of whereabouts of HRH, 724; refuses habeas corpus appeal by Zelda Hamilton, 728; refers to unestablished identity of HRH, 731


Zanuck, Darryl F, 388

Zielinski, Bronislaw, suggests autobiography to HRH, 742; commissioned to prepare index, 748; warns of suppression threats, 752; disappears, 761