John Gardner at Home

Memories from Ruth Chang

Dear John,

We’ve only met on a few occasions, but on those occasions we talked as if we were old friends. Your warmth, wit, mischievous sense of humour, and zest for life is deeply admirable. You strike me as sui generis.

I will never forget your generosity in helping me figure out whether I should take the Chair you gave up before crossing the street to All Souls. You unflinchingly gave me the lowdown on Oxford – its politics, its peculiarities, the particularity of its people. And what I’ve found during my time here so far is your voice ringing true over and again – it seems to me that you were right about everything and everyone! Your astute observations about the place – as well as your infectious enthusiasm for all things Oxford – was a decisive factor in my coming here.

My plan was to get to know you much better and to have great fun doing things together. Now I can only wonder: How will I – and Oxford Jurisprudence – get by without your cheerful, witty, wise, profoundly human, generous and brilliant self? You will be very much missed.

With love and sadness,