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The Life and Times of J. Neville Keynes

A Beacon in the Tempest

Phyllis Deane

This fascinating biography of an economist who was also a logician and administrator, is based mainly upon his virtually continuous diary. The diary provides an intimate commentary on the academic developments and conflicts in which he was closely involved as well as on his life as undergraduate, bachelor and family man.
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Chapter 4: Bachelor don at large

Phyllis Deane


1 THE BOND FAMILY AT 3 BROOKSIDE Neville was almost 24 when he was elected to a fellowship at Pembroke and he remained a double oddity in the college for being both a dissenter and a moralist. It is interesting to note that he made only one close friend at Pembroke – R.A. Neil, a young Senior Classic also elected in the summer vacation of 1876. Nor did he teach any of the Pembroke undergraduates, for he alone among them had been maverick enough to read moral sciences in the 1870s or early 1880s. Fortunately for Neville, the nonconformist connection admitted him to a more open and attractive meeting place for young people. That was 3 Brookside – a Cambridge shopkeeper’s family home – roughly half a mile from Pembroke College. The head of the household was William Bond, a friend of Neville’s father, and a leading member of the Cambridge congregationalist community. His only son Henry was a contemporary and close companion of Neville’s at Amersham Hall and at London’s University Hall who had matriculated at Cambridge a few months later than Neville, after entering Trinity Hall in March 1873. There were two daughters at home – Annie, who was five years older than their brother’s friend, and Minnie, who was four years younger. The whole family regularly attended congregational chapel and constantly invited visiting preachers or student worshippers currently resident in colleges or lodging hostels, to Sunday tea or supper at their home in Brookside. Neville was introduced to this mixedgender social...

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