K. B. McFarlane
1903 – 1966
Who was K. B. McFarlane?
Kenneth Bruce McFarlane was one of the 20th century's most influential historians of late medieval England. He was born on 18 October 1903 and was the only child of A. McFarlane, OBE. His father was a civil servant in the Admiralty and the young McFarlane's childhood was an unhappy one. This may have led to the deep melancholy that seemed to pervade much of his adult life. His family sent him to public school at Dulwich College as a "day-boy." McFarlane did not particularly like the atmosphere of the public school. In 1922 he earned a scholarship to read history at Exeter College Oxford. His tutor during these years was C. T. Atkinson. McFarlane became a fellow of Magdalen College in 1927, where he remained for the rest of his life. Many of his colleagues and students found him difficult to approach, but for those who could break through the facade he became a great and true friend. McFarlane also found through the help of his great friend Dr. Helena Wright and her family a home and a family of sorts. In Wright's house he found that he could be himself, find refuge from the daily grind of the University, and a place of joy. McFarlane never married.
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- Oct 18, 1903
- United Kingdom
on July 23, 2013