Second Part

0:09:07 I met Raymond Williams in the Labour Club; clubs then were really quite serious; after the war and with returning national service men they had become so; when I had to arrange talks or lectures I could write to the House of Commons and get absolutely anybody; I remember an unbelievably drunk George Brown, and that is when I met Shirley Williams and various other people; Raymond would come and help us; David Hare writes about never seeing Raymond at Jesus, but if you were in politics you did see him; 'Culture and Society' came out in 1958 and its political sequel, 'The Long Revolution', came out in 1961; it was about inequality in culture, we were looking for change, and ways of theorizing the sort of social change we wanted; Raymond's is a very attractive formulation; a theory of how you can use the analysis of culture, both to understand your own relationship to class and to critique the status quo and move beyond it; people asked why I changed to English; Ruth Cohen had wanted me to change to economics, but the people in the Labour Club who were attuned to Raymond were doing English; I edited an issue of a Labour magazine, 'Cambridge Forward', and we did an interview of Raymond for that; on the Tanner lecture, it is a while since I sat down an produced absolutely theoretical work which still retains its politics; I loved doing it and was happy with the way it came out

5:21:15 I wanted to do a PhD in what would now be called intellectual history; English was in flux; I had taken papers on the English moralists, which was philosophy, on tragedy, again theoretical and very heavily shaped by Raymond Williams, a paper on Jonathan Swift, which was entirely political, and then practical criticism; I wanted to do an intellectual PhD and was told by Newnham that I could not as I had only done one year of English; so I went to Essex to do a Masters for a year; I am amazed I was so obedient; looking at it now, they had no right as I had perfectly good credentials to go on; Essex was just starting and was in its most radical days; I did a Masters with Denis Donoghue in literary translation; that was a fabulous year, with troubles, sit-ins etc.; I had always wanted to go back to Cambridge despite Essex being an amazing place; I came back after a year and started a PhD on the King James translation of the bible with Derek Brewer; he was great but at a certain point he suggested that it was not a very good topic; I shifted to Francis Bacon which allowed me to use my history of science and I did a dissertation with Robert Bolgar of King's; he was fabulous - an amazing scholar but accessible; he was a good left wing man as well; I think there was something very grounded about my Cambridge time; when I come here I do feel startled by its distance from the hurly-burly of everyday life; I think that is quite good for some undergraduates; I needed to be grounded and it kept me grounded; I had the most fantastic time here and it was an apprenticeship in all kinds of things; some of them I am using now, such as the ability confidently to take an adversarial position; to argue coherently so that you are not hated  after, which ever of you wins; a really important lesson that a lot of politicians, like Tony Blair, never learn; the confidence that if the argument is being scrupulously conducted and the people are genuinely committed to their cause, then you can shake hands at the end of it; I learnt that as a graduate student at Cambridge; sometimes I suspect that I could have been a good litigation lawyer; now I am chairing a public body where people hate what we are doing on human fertilization and embryology in assisted reproduction; I have no problem listening to their arguments, knowing that they will not make me change my mind, or me, their minds; I was not really challenged by teachers, except for one in my third year; that was John Casey of Caius who taught me for the philosophy morals paper, and those were the most inspiring supervisions that anybody could have

14:05:24 I married a King's man but it is always a mistake for achieving women to marry men who are in the same line of business; my first husband was Professor Nick Jardine who is now in History and Philosophy of Science, who was then a numerical taxonomist; we married soon after meeting and were exact contemporaries in our status, yet from the day I entered King's I was treated like the wife; it came between us eventually; I got a job in London at the Warburg Institute; then his fellowship came to an end and I got a teaching fellowship in King's; in its wisdom King's ruled that he could never dine in college because he was the spouse of a fellow; he was rightly furious, but that was how my association with King's began; there were lots of people there whom I was friendly with; I played table tennis with Ken Moody; Frank Kermode came just about the time that I did and I hugely admired him; being a fellow in my own right was amazing although I was only here for one year; I had been off to Cornell and held a fellowship there; I came back in 1976, got a University lectureship, was pregnant with my daughter, and was teaching at King's; King's was a little sluggish at offering me a fellowship and Jesus, my father's college, wanted to admit its first woman fellow; they offered me the fellowship; by a miscalculation on my part I thought I was nine and a half months pregnant; ironically, Jesus College had been closed down as a nunnery because the last nun was pregnant; I was admitted on 3rd October 1976, in Chapel, hoping that I would not start to give birth; my daughter was actually born on 6th October

19:07:19 I stayed at Jesus for fifteen years; they were very good to me; it was complicated being the first woman fellow as it was a huge responsibility; people were very nice to me but they wanted me to look after the women; I was made tutor for women so that they could come to me with problems that they couldn't go to the male tutors about, but the first four students who came were men; it was a good bit of my career; my marriage broke down in the middle of it in the wonderful way in Cambridge colleges where everybody behaves as though nothing had happened; that was helpful; I had a steady job, children, wonderful students, warring colleagues to sort out, but a nice period of my life; I am now an Honorary Fellow of both Jesus and King's; there was a problem in the middle of it when I became politically involved in the redevelopment of part of Cambridge known as the Kite, which unfortunately Jesus College had a stake in; that was where my adversarial skills and lack of fear of permanent damage came into their own; I opposed the college; I sat on the bursarial committee and the college council; the City council kept asking the college to exclude me from decisions, but the college supported my right to know and would be bound by confidentiality; I had to stand in court on two occasions and hear the City solicitor perjure himself; there will be some fellows of Jesus who would characterize me as a thorn in their side; it is not an accident that I was only made an honorary fellow there a couple of years ago where I had been so at King's for many years

22:41:01 My most important book, without a doubt, is 'Erasmus, Man of Letters' which is an academic book on Latin texts, but gained the respect of the Erasmus of Rotterdam scholarly community; there is nothing a young scholar could be prouder of than to write a really controversial book on difficult material, which makes claims about a great figure manipulating his own writings to create a particular image of himself, and have the grand men of the field welcome you in; I wish I could do it again; beyond that I have come to feel that I can make ideas accessible to other people; that has become a burning desire for me; as academics we have long careers doing fundamental research and I could start another piece tomorrow; given that life is short, the urgent thing for me is to disseminate knowledge as widely as possible; I do believe that were knowledge distributed evenly, more so than wealth, there would be less conflict; that is why I have always been in education; I have governed state schools since my children were born, and I know that if you could give children a sense of their own worth through knowledge and education, they could move confidently into the world; in my second Tanner lecture I was talking about how we had to be courageous about the Internet; I talked about the history of the book and how books shared all those features of rapid dissemination, increasing access, of being subversive and polemical, and uncontrollable like the Internet; anybody who had tried to control the book had failed; Raymond Williams said that the process of communicating is the process of community, and I believe that; the Internet is reshaping the processes of communicating; my plea was that we look at and try to get some sense of the changing shape of communities, trying to think through where that might take us; I am an optimist, and the democratizing power of the net is so enormous, that without romanticising it in any way, I don't see that we can wish to clamp it down; Frank Kelly from the maths department, as one of the respondents, said we won't know because these things are led by people's desires; if people lost interest in the Internet tomorrow it would just die; we don't know whether this is a permanent change, but that was exactly what they said about the book; I had major breast cancer in 2004, sufficiently severe that I might have died; it is really good to be seriously ill if you are lucky enough to survive it; it made me understand a lot more about what I wanted to do; the commitment to educate and disseminate knowledge, and to build new ways to disseminate it easily, are all part of a group project that I am involved with