John Gardner at Home

Memories from Sue Mendus

Dear Jenny (if I may),

You won’t know me, but I am a retired political philosopher from the University of York. Many years ago I spent a period of research leave at ANU (Canberra) and John was visiting there at the same time as me. Because of our shared academic interests, we attended the same seminars and workshops, and sometimes met for a drink or for lunch or supper. We became quite close friends, in the way academics do. John was hugely good company: intelligent, amusing, life-affirming. He had encyclopaedic knowledge of almost everything from philosophy of law to cooking to contemporary fiction, and it was always a joy to be with him or to meet him at a conference. If John was there, you knew you would have great time! You just knew it. So, I wanted to write to you now just to say how desperately sorry I am to hear of his illness. It is unspeakably cruel both for him, and for you and the children. John was a great academic, a great colleague, and a great friend. I will never forget his kindness to me all those years ago and I send my sincere sympathy and warmest thoughts to you all.