Eric John Ernest Hobsbawm, a tall, angular, dangly, ugly, fair-haired fellow of 18½, quick on the uptake, with a considerable if superficial stock of general knowledge and a lot of original ideas, general and theoretical. An incorrigible striker of attitudes, which is all the more dangerous and at times effective, as he talks himself into believing them himself . . . Has no sense of morality, thoroughly selfish. Some people find him extremely disagreeable, others likeable, yet others (the majority) just ridiculous . . . He is vain and conceited. He is a coward. He loves nature deeply. And he forgets the German language.
On 1 October 2012, Eric J Hobsbawm died in London. He had been born on 9 June 1917 in Alexandria into a Jewish family whose roots were lying in Eastern Europe. During World War I in Zurich, his father Percy married Nelly Grün, who originally came from Vienna.