Memento Mori

The presence of Covid-19 is a reminder of our new proximity to the fragilities and perils of the past.

Sunday Afternoon, by Leopold von Kalckreuth, 1893 © Bridgeman Images.Sunday Afternoon, by Leopold von Kalckreuth, 1893 © Bridgeman Images.

The past and the present talk to each other continually. As a historian, I tend to obsess over this communication. Two weeks of broken central heating in winter a few years back was uncomfortable but, at least, an insight into how people lived historically. For me, then, lockdown evoked the past in several profound ways, connecting me to a shared humanity through time from which our society has tried to distance itself.

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