I made the mistake of checking my email first thing this morning, breaking rule #2 of Tim Ferriss’ list of 9 things Not To Do. However, thanks to this temporary transgression, I learned about a remarkable fellow Brit I had never heard of.  In my iGoogle was a new entry by James Atherton at Recent Reflections “On Yorick”, referring to an article about a Shakespearean theatre company which had been using a real skull for its productions of Hamlet, until it recently decided to stop doing so. Atherton’s blog entry is prompted by the fact that the skull in question belonged to a pianist, Andre Tchaikovsky (no, not THE Tchaikovsky) with whom he crossed paths many years ago, and leads to a reminiscence of his brief visit to Finchden Manor and meeting the charismatic founder,  George Lyward. I have printed out some of the articles at that site, and plan to read them at my leisure, when I have any. Here’s Atherton’s impression of Lyward. It made me want to know more:

Mr Lyward was indeed charismatic (in the Weberian sense). But his charismatic quality was one I had never before (or since) encountered. He made me feel that he was privileged to meet me. I was a callow 28! An upstart tutor on a social work course who had never done any social work in his life. A fraud, basically (although not deliberately so; I was so naive then that I did even know that there were some things a degree in European Studies did not equip you for). And Mr Lyward was honoured to meet me. It was not an act.