chapter  2
9 Pages

The duty to hope: A tribute to Barbara Ward Brian Johnson

The quiet musical voice was speaking of Carlos Romulo. ‘He saw’, she said, ‘that what makes our time unique in modem history is that the immediate questions and ultimate questions are again bound up together.’ She was walking in her garden at Lodsworth on a dappled summer’s day. Although I was there often, and in all seasons, I suppose that it was the gentleness of her wit, her archness in irony and the recurrent bubbling of her laughter that makes me remember this renowned thinker and moralist in a summer frock and in her garden. ‘When I am old and retired’, she would say gaily (she was never either, despite the awful depredations of her long illness), ‘I shall play the Edwardian lady in my shawl and bonnet, snip-snipping away dead-heading my roses, pruning my vines.’ Barbara Ward knew about gardening and loved her flowers.