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Neil McKendrick

Neil McKendrick is a lecturer in Economic History at the University of Cambridge. His book, Josiah Wedgwood and the Industrial Revolution, will be published next year.

Into Apathy

Neil McKendrick, 21 August 1980

Among the modest consolations available to the unbeliever is the thought that one’s genes, at least, can outlive one, and that through them one can achieve a certain Lilliput immortality as they persist or recur in one’s children and one’s children’s children. Among the manifold pleasures of parenthood is that of observing this process made visible – watching for, and observing with delight, the features of those one loves emerging in a new generation of one’s family. The besotted grandparent staring into the mirror image of his own eyes, made miniature in those of his grandchild, glows with the warming thought that as long as they exist, and can recur, he will never be entirely dead. In family histories such simple pleasures can easily turn to self-congratulation – the kind, for instance, that led to the male Stracheys’ smug sense that ‘the Stracheys are most strongly the children of their fathers, not their mothers … it does not matter whom they marry, the type continues and has been much the same for three hundred years.’

In Praise of Lolly

Linda Colley, 3 February 1983

The American historian J. H. Hexter once complained that the myth of an assertive and ascendant middle class had distorted accounts of almost every century of English history. Yet for the 18th...

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