A.J.P. Taylor

I recently celebrated my 77th birthday. I don’t know why I should describe myself as celebrating it. Celebrations of my birthday seem long ago now. I have a photograph of myself on my 13th, wearing a new Eton jacket and a starched collar. I am looking pleased enough, but appearances are misleading I vaguely recollect that I did not like the Eton jacket and doubt whether I ever wore it again. My mother intended that I should go to juvenile balls. I never learnt to dance and therefore never accepted invitations. The Eton jacket languished unworn.

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