No More Scissors and Paste

Mary Beard

  • History Man: The Life of R.G. Collingwood by Fred Inglis
    Princeton, 385 pp, £23.95, ISBN 0 691 13014 0

In February 1938, R. G. Collingwood, then Waynflete Professor of Metaphysical Philosophy at Oxford and aged only 48, suffered a small stroke. It was the first of a series, each one more serious than the last, that would kill him within five years. The usual treatment in the 1930s was less effective than modern medical intervention but rather more enjoyable. His doctors recommended a prolonged period of leave from his job, lengthy walks and sea cruises. He was also encouraged to continue writing: even if teaching was deemed bad for the blood vessels, research was supposed to be good for them.

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