Kinder Sculpture

 

Jan 2007 Journal

previous article:German guilt and Günter Grass
next article:No quotas for faith schools - but, better still, no faith schools

A sad loss

Many of us who were children in the 1950s will remember cowering behind the sofa when BBC TV broadcast the Quatermass series. At last, here was adult science fiction, not the usual old American hokum. Sadly, the creator of Quatermass, Nigel Kneale, died recently. Kneale worked on Quatermass with the refugee producer-director Rudolph Cartier (Katscher), one of a small number of refugees to establish themselves in the new medium. The refugee intellectual elite - Martin Esslin, Hans Keller, Stephen Hearst - preferred the more cerebral medium of radio.

Kneale's principal refugee connection was through his wife, the writer Judith Kerr, daughter of Alfred Kerr, the great pre-Hitler drama critic, and sister of the late Sir Michael Kerr, the distinguished lawyer. Judith Kerr is famous for her children's stories and for the delightful semi-autobiographical trilogy that begins with When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, the story of the family's flight from the Nazis, continues with The Other Way Round, and concludes with A Small Person Far Away, where the heroine, by now the wife of a gifted and oh-so-British BBC scriptwriter, becomes a mother.

Judith Kerr has two children, one of them the prize-winning novelist Matthew Kneale. Her many readers will offer her their condolences on her loss, while wishing the Kerr-Kneale dynasty every success in the future.
Anthony Grenville

previous article:German guilt and Günter Grass
next article:No quotas for faith schools - but, better still, no faith schools