2018 has been a personally difficult year with the passing of my mum, Jean Manco, earlier in March. She was hugely inspirational to me and naturally I held her at the centre of my life, forever influencing my values and outlook on life.
I was immensely proud of what she achieved, academically and in way she was passionate about sharing her knowledge with others. I’ve always known that my mum was special and my hero, and as the years past she only became more remarkable and heroic in my eyes. As time passes, she remains ever strong in all my thoughts.
This October brings another proud moment in which to celebrate her life, with the posthumous release of her third book with publishers Thames and Hudson. The Origins of The Anglo Saxons – Decoding the Ancestry of the English is a beautiful book and a topic close to Jean. Up to the very last she was determined to complete it and it gave her great satisfaction in her last months, knowing that it was indeed finished to perfection.
A couple of quotes that I think are apt at this moment – one which features on the back cover of the new book from David Miles, former Chief Archaeologist of English Heritage, who thought Jean was ‘a phenomenon’, who could ‘sieve the swirling murk of academic specialisms to extract the gold.’
Finally in the words of Terry Pratchett: Do you not know that a person is not dead while their name is still spoken? Sir Terry Pratchett, 1948-2015