Pryor is a sad case, constantly harping on about his famous forbears; almost as though he can’t exist on his own, by and for himself. (Joe Alterego, in his Review of the Life of William Pryor). But what can I do? It is of some significance, positive and negative, to me and to you, my being born into this empire of the mind.

To quote from my own book The Survival of the Coolest:

[My mother’s] parents were Jacques and Gwen Raverat. Jacques was a French painter who died aged just 40 from MS. Gwen was a granddaughter of Charles Darwin and a woodcut artist of some repute. They were on the edge of the Bloomsbury phenomenon, counting Eric Gill, Rupert Brooke, Stanley Spencer, Virginia Woolf, cousin Ralph Vaughan Williams, as well as Andre Gide, among their friends. Towards the end of her life, long after Jacques’ death, Gwen wrote a memoir of her Cambridge childhood, Period Piece, first published in 1951 and still in print. Her grandfather, Charles Darwin, was already akin to a god: Of course, we always felt embarrassed if our grandfather were mentioned, just as we did if God were spoken of. In fact, he was obviously in the same category as God and Father Christmas.

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