Eulogy for Henry Brooke (1936-2018)

Henry Brooke died on 30 January 2018. His funeral was held at St Luke’s, Chelsea, on 20 February. This is the text of the address that was delivered on that occasion by his son Christopher and subsequently published in the Inner Temple Yearbook [pdf].

Henry “labour[ed] night and day”, as we’ve just been singing. He didn’t work hard because he had to–and we know that because he went on working for more a decade after he “retired” (with “retired” in inverted commas). He didn’t work to get away from his family, because he liked them, and they liked him–more on this a little later. I don’t think he was motivated primarily by guilt, either, relating to the privileged life that he led. And he wasn’t really working as a way of distracting himself from the anxieties we all have from time to time about whether anything means anything at all. Karl Marx–who once lived a few minutes’ walk from here, on Anderson Street–says that when we work on our own projects (these are his words), “the result is the self-realization and objectification of the subject, therefore real freedom, whose activity is precisely labour”. Continue reading “Eulogy for Henry Brooke (1936-2018)”