As a financial historian, I was quite isolated in Oxford – British historians are supposed to write about kings – so the quality of intellectual life in my field is much higher at Harvard. The students work harder there.
‘War and Peas’ by Michael Foreman, one of the great British children’s illustrators. His watercolours are so lovely you could almost eat them, just as members of the target audience have been trying to do for decades.
However, I began to submit poems to British magazines, and some were accepted. It was a great moment to see my first poems published. It felt like entering a tradition.
To cure the British disease with socialism was like trying to cure leukaemia with leeches.
No more distressing moment can ever face a British government than that which requires it to come to a hard, fast and specific decision.
We know no spectacle so ridiculous as the British public in one of its periodical fits of morality.
It is a standing source of astonishment and amusement to visitors that the British Museum has so few British things in it: that it is a museum about the world as seen from Britain rather than a history focused on these islands.
In the Fall of 1774 & Winter of 1775, I was one of upwards of thirty, chiefly mechanics, who formed ourselves into a committee for the purpose of watching the movements of the British soldiers, and gaining every intelligence of the movements of the Tories.
I would want the British reader to feel that religion in America isn’t an absurd thing – a sign of a pin head athwart a gigantic body.
When I read that the British army had landed thirty-two thousand troops – and I had realized, not very long before, that Philadelphia only had thirty thousand people in it – it practically lifted me out of my chair.