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My mother the marvellous educator


Only trying to please
John Julius Norwich Writer
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Well, I was born by Caesarean section which is one reason why I'm called Julius and I'm told that when I was one or two days old in the nursing home and bawling my lungs out, that my mother said something about how maddening I was being or something, and the nurse said, 'Oh, poor old baby. He's only trying to please.' My mother always remembered that story and maintained that that's what I've been trying to do ever since. Well, I hope it is; I should like to please people.

John Julius Norwich (1929-2018) was an English popular historian, travel writer and television personality. He was educated at Upper Canada College, Toronto, at Eton, at the University of Strasbourg and on the lower deck of the Royal Navy before taking a degree in French and Russian at New College, Oxford. He then spent twelve years in H.M. Foreign Service, with posts at the Embassies in Belgrade and Beirut and at the Disarmament Conference in Geneva. In 1964 he resigned to become a writer. He is the author of histories of Norman Sicily, the Republic of Venice, the Byzantine Empire and, most recently, 'The Popes: A History'. He also wrote on architecture, music and the history plays of Shakespeare, and presented some thirty historical documentaries on BBC Television.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is an independent documentary producer who has made a number of films about science and scientists for BBC TV, Channel Four, and PBS.

Tags: Caesarean section, birth, baby, cry

Duration: 36 seconds

Date story recorded: 2017

Date story went live: 03 October 2018