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My sisters
Avrion Mitchison Scientist
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My older sister became a great friend of her grandmother's. She lived in the house in Oxford where my mother had been brought up, and she eventually sold the house to Wolfson College, and has a Haldane room still, and she- but she became- she became very close to my grandmother and took her side, in retrospect, in the quarrels with this daughter who was so uppish and didn't, well- both children were uppish and had their own opinions which didn't at all agree with hers. And I knew Maya quite well too, my grandmother. She was- she influenced me a lot. She was a real Victorian lady and she was, as I say, was quite an Imperialist, but she was so right about all the people she met, and she knew. She was terrific. I loved Maya. My younger sister- it's difficult to get a good word about her mother out of her I think of course she- basically she loves her mother deeply. But she did feel she was rather exploited and she was, actually, by Nou, particularly during the war when she was- I was being sent to an expensive school in England, but my little sister was being taught at the local village school and not really learning enough. Then she was being educated in Scotland in a very inadequate way. That was your mother's choice? That was my mother's choice. And my younger sister, who ended up as a very good cook, was either doing the cooking that was edible, or having to eat what Nou cooked, which was not.

Avrion Mitchison, the British zoologist, is currently Professor Emeritus at University College London and is best known for his work demonstrating the role of lymphocytes in tumour rejection and for the separate and cooperative roles of T- and B-lymphocytes in this and other processes.

Listeners: Martin Raff

Martin Raff is a Canadian-born neurologist and research biologist who has made important contributions to immunology and cell development. He has a special interest in apoptosis, the phenomenon of cell death.



Listen to Martin Raff at Web of Stories



Duration: 1 minute, 50 seconds

Date story recorded: June 2004

Date story went live: 24 January 2008