The Dirac family – by a friendly neighbour in Cambridge

New insights into the extraordinary Dirac family emerge in a remarkable letter by Rosemary McGregor-Wood, who lived directly opposite them in Cavendish Avenue. The letter – made public for the first time here – gives us new insights into the home life of Dirac in the ’40s and ’50s, his step-daughter, his love of Mickey Mouse and his place in Cambridge life . ‘To some of the Cambridge dons’, Mrs McGregor-Wood writes, ‘Paul Dirac was a figure of fun’.

She wrote the letter around 2002 to the string theorist David Berman, who passed it to Graham last summer. Graham says: ‘This is delightful letter, rich in observations to delight everyone fascinated by Dirac and his family. I’m relieved that none of them oblige me to revise ‘The Strangest Man’, though I wish I’d had the note when I was writing it’.

Read the letter (PDF)

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Thanks to Mrs McGregor-Wood’s youngest son Simon, who kindly agreed to the publication of this letter.