Esther Simpson: A Correspondence

Paul Broda

in In Defence of Learning

Published by British Academy

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780197264812
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754029 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Esther Simpson: A Correspondence

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Among the hundreds of Austrian refugees who arrived in Britain in 1938 after Hitler annexed Austria was the author's father, Engelbert Broda, who shortly afterwards was joined by his wife Hildegard. Engelbert Broda later made contact with the Society for the Protection of Science and Learning (SPSL), and it was through Esther Simpson, the long-time Secretary of the SPSL, that Charles Goodeve took him on to work on visual purple (rhodopsin), a vital component of the human retina. This chapter presents a selection of letters between Esther Simpson and Engelbert Broda. The extracts given here relate to the foundation of the Academic Assistance Council, Esther Simpson's beliefs, Engelbert Broda's memories much later of what her help had meant to him personally, and the state of the world. Other regular topics are their work, her musical activities, and the comings and goings of mutual friends including L. Kowarski, J. Guéron, and O. R. Frisch, all of whom they knew from Cambridge days. The emphasis in this selection is in representing Esther Simpson's own attitudes and achievements in her own words.

Keywords: Engelbert Broda; Austrian refugees; Esther Simpson; letters; Academic Assistance Council; SPSL

Chapter.  6870 words. 

Subjects: Migration Studies

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