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“The most egregious little modernism”: The best historical accounts of using passports

From DH Lawrence to Diana Cooper, extracts from memoirs

By Ian Irvine   September 2017

Diana Cooper, snapped in 1920 as herself, but in her passport posed as Cleopatra. Photo: APIC/GETTY IMAGES

In 1641, John Evelyn recorded his arrival at the fort of Lillo, near Antwerp: 

“The Governor… demanded my pass, to which he set his hand and asked for two rix-dollars for a fee, which methought appeared very unhandsome in a soldier of his quality. I told him that I had purchased my pass at the Commissaries at Rotterdam, at which, in a great fury snatching the the paper out of my hand,…

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