• Personal Portraits by Penelope J. Corfield

7.4 Personal Portraits

These personal portraits of close family members were produced either as memorial eulogies, later turned into written form, or as short obituary notices for newspapers. They are posted here as living memories.

7.4.1 Irene Corfield, née Hill (1919-2013): Memories, written 2014 – Pdf. PJC’s memories of her mother, a ‘gentle lion’.

7.4.2 Tony Corfield (1919-2011): Brief Life (2011) – Pdf18
PJC’s appreciation of her father Tony Corfield, who was a trade unionist, socialist, educationalist and ever-buoyant spirit.

7.4.3 Adrian Corfield (1946-90): Memories written 2014 – Pdf
PJC’s memories of her zestful brother Adrian Corfield, an early protagonist of Green politics, who died from lymphoma at the age of 44.

7.4.4 Bridget Hill, née Sutton (1922-2002): Expanded (2019) from Brief Life – published in The Independent (14 August 2002, p.18) – Pdf
PJC’s appreciation of the admirable, productive and (chiefly) very happy life of her fellow historian Bridget Hill, who was PJCs aunt by marriage and (in their adult lives) a warm personal friend.

7.4.5 Christopher Hill (1912-2003): The Marxist Historian as I Knew Him (2003; 2018), Pdf47
This essay draws upon family and personal memories to remember the Marxist historian Christopher Hill, who was the older brother of PJC’s mother Irene Corfield, née Hill. As is apparent, the approach is one of deep personal affection, without necessarily agreeing on all intellectual and political points.

7.4.6 Christopher Hill: Marxist History & Balliol College (2009) – Pdf49
This short account reviews from a family perspective the Marxist historian Christopher Hill’s role as Master of Balliol College (1965-78). The election of a declared Marxist was initially considered controversial; but Hill proved to be a diligent and liberal Master, steering the College through the turbulence of the 1968/9 student protests. A joke among family and close friends, which originated in a verbal misunderstanding, named him as ‘SuperGod’. Yet Hill, who became increasingly irked by the slow pace of moderate reforms in Balliol, complained wryly that his authority was too far short of divine.

7.4.7 Remembering Fanny Stein, née Hill (1944-84), written from talk (2014; updated 2019) – Pdf
PJC’s memories of her exuberant cousin Fanny Stein, who died at the age of 40.

7.4.8 Plus a personal meditation on the meanings of Being Penelope (2021). – Pdf63