Joan Bakewell: the pleasures and pains of ageing

Edward Marriott / 21 January 2014

‘There’s a frontier between the land of the mainstream and the land of the old’ Joan Bakewell’s thoughtful observations of the experience of ageing will resonate with many readers. Now 80, here she weighs the pleasures and the pains of her generation. Read an excerpt from our in-depth interview published in the February 2014 issue.

So what does she really miss in old age, living alone? Sex, certainly – ‘but it’s not crucial. What I miss is having someone for whom I am the love of their life. That’s the essence of being on your own. I come home to an empty house, an empty bed. There are people for whom I’m a little bit special, but not centrally special. That is the nature of marriage, good or bad. Even in a bad marriage you’re still the focus of your partner’s rage or jealousy or whatever it happens to be.’ What she does have, instead – and in this she is the first to admit her good fortune – is a large and devoted following, as evidenced by her healthy Twitter fanbase. To say nothing of a rather nice palace to go to three times a week.

Read Joan Bakewell's Wikipedia here 

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Edward Marriott is an author and psychotherapist in private practice in London.
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