Lessons in modesty

It’s true that optimism and modesty are fine qualities. But could it be that the parents of the first chunk of the twentieth century rather overdid things?

I imagine Einstein emerging from his bedroom: “Mother, good news, I have just unified space and time in one theory. I’m calling it my Special Theory of Relativity.”
“Albert, Albert, don’t be a show-off. No one likes a bragger. If the theory is so special, you should let other people say so.”

Or Sir Edmund Hillary, back from Everest:
“I made it, Dad.”
“Well,that’s good, son, but it’s no reason to tramp snow into the living room.”

Richard Glover in Flesh Wounds, the story of his unusual upbringing by a mother who was a fantasist who ended up living in what Glover calls “an enchanted nudist hobbit hole”, and a gifted, charismatic, alcoholic father. It’s a very enjoyable read, not only for the parental eccentricities but also for the richly engaging story of Glover’s own happy relationship with his wife, the screenwriter and playwright Debra Oswald, and his two sons.

Richard Glover, Flesh Wounds (ABC Books 2015).

9 thoughts on “Lessons in modesty

    1. Richard Glover’s mother ran off with a man who was a Tolkien enthusiast and also a nudist, and they built a Tolkien-inspired house occupied by a lot of toy bears . It’s an idea that hadn’t occurred to us and now, sadly, it has been used.

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