Historian of ideas and long-time Cambridge author Quentin Skinner gave a long interview last year about the many aspects of his research, academic culture, and Cambridge over the last 40 years. One of my colleagues just pointed it out. How he got his start was is a pretty amazing story in and of itself:
‘My own story is that Christ’s College in the summer of 1962 lost one of its principal teaching Fellows, John Kenyon, in just the way I’ve described. He went off at very short notice to a Professorship, and the College was left looking for a Fellow to teach the freshmen, who were due to arrive in a matter of weeks. I had taken my B.A. in June 1962, and by October I was installed as a Fellow of Christ’s, a position I have occupied ever since. I was twenty-one years old, and I not only didn’t have a PhD, but I didn’t have any University teaching experience at all. I was marked out simply because I had done well in my Final examinations. That was, in those days, felt to be enough.’
Skinner’s latest book is Hobbes and Republican Liberty.