Friday, October 22, 2010

A queen of light reading

I was sorry to see just now that Eva Ibbotson has died; I really love her books, especially her earlier historical romances. Michelle Pauli had recently interviewed her for the Guardian; their conversation included this exchange, which made me laugh:
A degree and postgraduate study in physiology at Cambridge University, inspired by a mistaken desire to follow in her father's footsteps, proved to be a "complete disaster" – except for a meeting with the man she would spend the next 49 years of her life with, an ecologist called Alan Ibbotson.

"You've no idea what it was like in the labs those days! Blood spurting everywhere! I had these enormous rabbits and I had to take their temperature and they didn't like it. Who would? I spent my whole year at Cambridge with my hair stuck up with blood and scratch marks on my wrists," exclaims Ibbotson. "Then, fortunately, in a very unmodern and unfeminist way, Alan said he thought he'd better marry me and take me away from science. I have to say I was incredibly relieved."

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