Wednesday, 27 November 2013

family history

...Uncle Alan should have been Astronomer Royal, you know. I can remember meeting Bishop Martineau at a garden party and he said "Why didn't he take it? Why? He should have had it". He was brilliant, absolutely brilliant, Bishop Martineau said so, but he stayed at Liverpool. Uncle Alan was a gentle soul and it probably suited him but he took the top prize when he was at Cambridge even though Maynard Keynes was there. His name is on the board at King's, in gold writing, you can see it as you go in. My dear, he used to lecture all over - Oxford, Yale, Brown - but that is why Liverpool has such a good reputation for Maths, because he stayed. He tried to teach me fractions once but we only had about a minute, I was never very good at maths. I expect he worked on Enigma during the war but he never said anything. I know he taught himself Serbo Croat, he really was very brilliant. Of course she had agoraphobia, I've always said that, so she wouldn't let him move...


  1. Brilliant and a gentle soul what a wonderful combination. cath

  2. My only real contribution to this is that I received great-uncle Alan's dinner suit that he had made for a lecture tour in the US. Very natty double-breasted job with wide 1940s lapels etc - I used to be able to fit into it quite snugly but alas not for a while.

    1. What a shame MrM, especially as vintage is all the rage these days.


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