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Stephen Hawking in Mallorca

Three weeks ago, the popular scientist and theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking celebrated his 70th birthday. The author of A Brief History of Time was diagnosed with severe symptoms of a type of motor neurone disease from the age of 21. A survival for more than ten years after the diagnosis is unheard of for this illness. In fact, his doctors said at the time that Hawking would not survive more than two or three years.

In 1951, when Stephen Hawking was 8 years old and long before the disease had manifested itself, he came to visit Mallorca for a period of three months. His mother Isobel had just separated from Stephen’s father, Frank Hawking. She came to stay in Deià with her three children on recommendation of Beryl Pritchard, the wife of Robert Graves, the author. Isobel Hawking and Beryl Pritchard had both been studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics at St. Anne’s College in Oxford.

Several pages are dedicated to Hawking’s visit to Mallorca in the book Wild Olives, Life in Majorca with Robert Graves (ISBN 0-7126-7474-8) by William Graves, the oldest son of Robert Graves and Beryl Pritchard.

The photo shows Stephen Hawking (left) and William Graves in Cannelun, Robert Graves’ house in Deià, in 1951. The photo was borrowed from the Internet, courtesy of robertgraves.org.

Thank you very much.

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