Roger Scruton Has Cancer
We at TAC have known about this terribly sad news for short time, but now Sir Roger Scruton has announced it in his newsletter, which I saw via @amicablefogey:
Please — please! — join me in praying for Sir Roger, whose work means the world to us conservatives.
If you don’t know Sir Roger’s work, please do yourself a favor and watch this Peter Robinson interview with him from a couple of years ago:
UPDATE: Here’s the full text of Sir Roger’s newsletter announcing his illness. The full thing gives you a sense of the wit and cheer with which our man is meeting this challenge:
Much has happened since our last newsletter, including a fascinating visit to Brazil, where Sir Roger addressed the assembled thousands on the meaning of life, afterwards signing books, posing for selfies, and generally leaving his mark in a country where literature is taken seriously and political correctness ignored. This visit was followed by a victorious media campaign in Britain, leading to the vindication of Sir Roger against all the charges implied in the New Statesman ‘interview’. Total whitewash has been achieved, together with reinstatement as co-chair of the Building Better Building Beautiful Commission. Sir Roger must now be addressed by his critics as a fully woke participant in the national culture, cleared of all the isms and phobias, not yet transitioning but nevertheless a loyal servant of the post-modern Crown.
All this is good news. Other news is not so good, however. Returning from Brazil Sir Roger finally confessed to being unwell and, after a visit to a rheumatologist, was diagnosed with cancer. A near-death experience followed, from which he was rescued by chemotherapy. He is now undergoing a course of treatment and determined to secure the reprieve that is possible. Friends, family and supporters have all offered their prayers, Catholics, Jews and Muslims working overtime and even sceptical Protestants joining in. As has been promised to us, prayers are always heard, even if not in the terms that we, in our ignorance, choose to express them. Roger is now back on his feet and facing the new challenges, confident in all the good will that has been poured out on him, his own faith renewed. Above all, he is grateful for the seventy-five years of joy that have been given to him, and eager if possible to smile on what remains.
One result of his illness has been Sir Roger’s absence from the Scrutopia summer school. Although recovering at home he was unable to take the classes. The students were informed and some of them understandably withdrew on the assumption that the full horror-show of Scrutopia requires the presence of the monster himself. We are enormously grateful to Alicja Gescinska, the Belgian-Polish philosopher whose film of life at Scrutopia had such an impact in Flanders when shown there three years ago. Alicja, who is a close friend and former doctoral student of Sir Roger’s, nobly stepped in as soon as she heard of his illness. The students were delighted by her classes, in which a certain ironical perspective on the Scrutopian worldview accompanied all the other benefits. Samuel Hughes provided the architectural content, and it can fairly be said that this third summer school was every bit as successful as its predecessors, setting a pattern for future years.
We will post an extract from the concert in due course, made possible by our local film producer, Charlie Graley, together with other material of interest, including a photocopy of Arkell’s astonishing final bill for the wine, which is surely prime archive material. All in all the contribution of our summer school to the local economy has fully justified our presence here, and we are now building on our link with the incipient Brinkworth film industry to find ways of broadcasting Scrutopia to the wider world. Those interested should consult our You Tube channel.
Sir Roger’s illness has led to the need to reorganise the London Philosophy MA through Buckingham University, but we have every confidence that this will proceed as planned through ten congenial dinners at the Reform Club, with star lecturers under the general direction of Sir Roger. We will post detailed information on this site, as soon as the programme has been settled. The Ph D programme will also continue, and we shall use this year to establish the Buckingham graduate school as a London based alternative to the orthodox fare on offer elsewhere in the capital. Meanwhile the alumni meeting (Thurs 29 Aug – Sun 1 Sept) here in Scrutopia will go ahead as planned. Alicja will provide continuity, but the monster himself will be wheeled in from time to time to scatter familiar reproaches across the heads of the crowd.
And here is a glorious drone shot of Sunday Hill Farm, where Sir Roger and his family live. I visited him there this summer, and was received with warm hospitality. Sir Roger and Sophie have built a wonderful life for themselves. May they continue on together for many more years.