John Gardner at Home

Memories from Alan Bogg

Dear John

I am so very sorry to hear this. This is cruel. It is unfair.

It gives me an opportunity to describe what you have meant to me. When I started the BCL, it was with some trepidation that I chose the Jurisprudence and Political Theory paper. I remember very vividly your seminars with Tony Honoré on Fridays 5-7 in the Law Board Room. They were the absolute highlight of a very special year. We knew that we were in the presence of two of the greatest thinkers in the world that we were likely to encounter. There was also a wonderful warmth, generosity and humour that pervaded the serious business of being a better thinker.

We were so excited to welcome you to the Illegality workshop. We knew that you would raise the intellectual bar by being there. And you did. Yet you always did it in such a way that put the rest of us at our ease. You were never ever condescending - even though it would have been within your intellectual power to have been so. Every time I have marvelled at you in action at these things, it was always done with grace, kindness and humour.

For me, John, you have always represented the ideal of what a scholar should be. Your writing and your way of being in the world is beautiful. You have always made me want to be better at what I do, more like the way you do it.

Thank you for that, John. I understand that there will be many people ahead of me in the queue to see you, but I would like to say thank you in person.

With much love, John, and you and your family will be in my prayers. It goes without saying, if there is anything I can do, please just say.

Lots of love