Obituary: J. M. Thomson

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The Independent Culture
AS J. M. Thomson's assistant editor on Early Music at the time, writes Richard Abram, may I clear up a confusion in Jim Collinge's obituary [24 September]?

John did not resign the journal's editorship for health reasons, but because of the indeed "unsympathetic attitudes" of OUP; his successful heart surgery went before, in 1982 (not 1983). With breathtaking insensitivity and cynicism, the press saw his absence abroad for a life-and-death operation as an opportunity to cut costs: they suspended his editor's fee, while at the same time refusing to pay for any cover or substitute.

Thus it was that John, in an ironic crux to his career, returned now fighting fit but to a situation irrecoverable through loss of trust and lack of good faith. Only the following year, in 1983, did Nicholas Kenyon edit his first issue, with (characteristically) John's benediction. That year also John settled back in New Zealand, to our loss and his native country's gain.