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This report is taken from PN Review 123, Volume 25 Number 1, September - October 1998.

Boris Ford Nicolas Tredell

The death of Boris Ford on 19 May at the age of 80 marks the loss of another member of that dwindling band of editors, writers and critics who were profoundly influenced by F.R. Leavis and who sought to carry the Scrutiny project into areas which Leavis himself shunned. Born on 1 July 1917, the son of an Indian Army officer and a Russian mother, Ford was educated in England, going first to King's College School in Cambridge, and then to Gresham's School, Holt, where Denys Thomspon, co-writer with Leavis of Culture and Environment (1933) and co-editor with L.C. Knights of Scrutiny, was his English sixth form teacher. In 1935, Ford went to Downing College, Cambridge, where he found Leavis's tutorials 'compelling and inspiring' and enjoyed the unusual distinction of having his undergraduate essay on Wuthering Heights published in Scrutiny. Graduating with a First in English in 1939, he joined the Army, and was Officer Commanding the Middle East school of Artistic Studies from 1940 to 1946. He then became, in the years 1946 to 1949, chief editor, deputy director, and finally director of the Army Bureau of Current Affairs.

In the 1950s, Ford held a number of editorial, media and publishing jobs: for instance, he was editor of the Journal of Education and Universities Quarterly; Head of Independent Television Schools Broadcasting - a post from which he resigned in less than a year in protest at the pressure of advertising - and Education Secretary of Cambridge ...

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