Simon Deefholts and Louisa Long, grand-daughter of Inez Pearn, talk about her time in Madrid before the Civil War as a source of inspiration for her novels. Dr Alan Forey, reader emeritus at the University of Durham, recalls his studentship in the 1950s. Simon Deefholts, editor and translator, and his niece Louisa Long, grand-daughter of Inez Pearn, talk about her humble origins in Wales, Somerville College, and her time in Madrid before the Civil War as a source of inspiration for her novels. In her semi-autobiographical book Spanish Portrait she recounts her first visit to the Instituto in 1936: ‘Besides being a library, it was a museum. The building and everything in it had been left to an Institute for Research by the founder, a well-known scholar and collector. Letters of recommendation had preceded her from England and everything was prepared for her arrival. She was received with great ceremony.’
Dr Alan Forey, reader emeritus in history at the University of Durham, and author of several books on military orders in the Middle Ages, recalls his studentship in the 1950s. As Osma scholars are often connected, Forey mentions that the idea of studying the Templars for his doctorate was suggested to him by Anthony Luttrell, a previous de Osma Studentship holder who had been working on the Hospitallers in fourteenth-century Aragon.
As Forey himself acknowledged, the time spent in Madrid on the de Osma Studentship ‘set the pattern for the rest of my academic career.’ In fact, in his opening remarks at the de Osma Centenary, Bodley’s Librarian, Richard Ovenden, paid a special tribute to Forey, one of his former tutors at Durham, and admitted to having ‘a special reason to thank the de Osma Studentship because his [Forey’s] influence on me as a young student was transformative and really made it possible for me to envisage the career that I have been so fortunate to enjoy.’