Rhubarb 2019

ST EDWARD’S r h u b a r b


Edward Hector Burn was born in Oxford in 1922, the son of Edward Burn, a civil servant, and his wife, Bertha (née Hector). He was educated at St Edward’s School and read classical mods in one year at Wadham College under the Warden Maurice Bowra, who later became a good friend and the source of wise counsel. On one occasion he assured Burn that the best time to make love was in the afternoon because it aided digestion and meant that the evening was free. It was not advice that Burn followed exclusively. In 1942 he joined the 1st Buckinghamshire Battalion and on D-Day landed in Normandy at 7.40am. He had been assigned to a different landing craft but had swapped at the last minute to form a bridge-playing quartet with some comrades; his original craft was sunk during the crossing. Having an aversion to fighting in wet socks and boots, he arrived on French soil by wrapping himself around the gun barrel of a tank as it was off-loaded. Invited to remain in the post- war army as a career officer, Burn sought advice from Bowra, whose gift of a Homer volume he had carried throughout the conflict. ‘Don’t be a fool, dear boy,’ replied his former tutor. ‘Come home. I have a room for you.’ Burn returned to Wadham College in 1946 and turned to law. He taught there and at New College before accepting a fellowship at Christ Church. It suited him well and in the 1950s he made enduring friendships there and in other colleges with Hugh TrevorRoper, Isaiah Berlin and their like. In 1948 he married Helen McConnel, and they nurtured generations of undergraduates. Helen died in 2000, and in 2001 Burn married Marilyn Kennedy- McGregor, a barrister, who survives him. Each year they held a summer party on the lawn of

expectations. Then there are others – the minority – whose personalities and qualities are so unusual that they seem to create a space of their own. Of these, Pendleton Campbell was surely one. For Pen there was no compromise with the second- rate. There are few people of whom one can say that their integrity is absolute, but he was one. A faithful friend, thoughtful, fastidiously conscientious, and with his own meticulous intelligence. I remember thinking that his refined features and physique were those of his mother: a tiny, delicate woman from an old settler family in Virginia and Bluegrass, Kentucky. But then I saw a photograph of his father, a Chief Chemist to the Forestry Commission who died young and realized that all three resembled one another. Pen and his mother both loved and exasperated one another. I remember Pen driving along the lanes of Buckinghamshire while his mother complained about his steering. ‘Now, Pendleton,’ she exclaimed. ‘You never know what’s ahead. You remember when we came round a corner in the rain and you nearly hit a duck swimming in the road.’ ‘Yes, mother’, Pen answered in his voice of weary toleration, and being a stickler for facts added: ‘It was a moorhen.’ Pen, an only child, was educated at the Dragon School and St Edward’s, then, after National Service, at Jesus College, Oxford, from which he emerged with an MA in English. In 1960 he enrolled in a two- year apprenticeship course with the publisher Hutchinson, where I first met him, and where his friendship was like that of a cultivated elder brother, who shared with me interests as

churches of Rome. He went on to work as an editorial assistant for Weidenfeld & Nicolson and the University of London Press, before in 1974 becoming a commissioning editor for Phaidon. During these years I remember scrupulously- choreographed weekends at his mother’s little house in Princes Risborough and memorable dinners in Frederick Street and Ennismore Gardens. To the small confines of his flat he brought a sense of civilized standards, with carefully chosen guests, fine wines and his own talented and inventive cooking. After 1984 he worked mainly as a freelance editor, attending to a wide range of non-fiction books for publishers including Longman, Jonathan Cape, Faber, Hutchinson and Penguin. In his later years he could occasionally be peremptory and irascible. He would tolerate nothing shoddy. The things he owned were few and rare. His love went especially to the theatre, to ballet, to art, and to choice wines. His friends were various and affectionately chosen, as were his godchildren. He was quite without snobbery. Pen was, of course, an assiduous and discriminating reader. His knowledge was extensive and his memory very fine. As for his dress sense, he was incapable of scruffiness. I will never forget his appearance at the down-at-heel offices of Hutchinson’s before leaving for the wedding of a publishing colleague: Pen was in his morning coat, sporting a grey silk cravat, spats and a silver- topped cane, oblivious of the astonished gaze of secretaries. And that is how I like to remember him: immaculate, unswerving in his own standards, whether aesthetic or moral, and ever a fast and loyal friend.


Edward Hector (Teddy) Burn

their glorious Regency home, which John Betjeman once said was the prettiest house in Oxfordshire. On one occasion an American tourist wandered up the drive, admiring the two- acre garden, which he took to be public. Assuming Burn to be the gardener, he engaged him in conversation about the plants, asked for a couple of cuttings and then pressed £1 into his hand as a tip. Burn was called to the Bar by Lincoln’s Inn in 1951 and was made an Honorary Master of the Bench in 1980. From 1965 he also lectured at the Inns of Court School of Law, later transferring to City University, where one class attended their final lecture wearing T-shirts adorned with his photograph. He built up a magnificent college law library, now the Burn Law Library, in which sits a fine bronze head of him by the sculptor David Wynne, presented on his retirement. CAMPBELL – On 2nd September 2018, (William) Pendleton Campbell (D, 1947- 1952). These words are taken from the eulogy given at his funeral by travel author and novelist, Colin Thubron: There are those of us who fill a conventional place in the world, who are suited to its demands or adjust to its

various as the late films of Eisenstein and the baroque

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