Eva Colorni

To teach economics was only one facet of Eva Colorni's many-sided life. She left an immediate mark on everyone who met her in her all too short life. She had great vitality and freshness. She not only loved new ideas but also had a deep curiosity and concern about people.

She had charm, generosity, great mental strength and independence, enormous practical competence, and a very Italianate, energetic beauty: star quality, you could say. She liked laughter, and disliked ceremony and convention. She loved her family, and was always at the centre of an interlocking group of friends. She was so devoted to her students that she courageously continued teaching at the City of London Polytechnic (as it then was) for a term and a half during her final illness, until the cancer that killed her at the age of 44 made this physically impossible.

She moved into new worlds all her life. As her husband, Amartya Sen, notes in his essay, she was born in wartime Italy, in 1941, into the Italian-German connection of the Colornis, Hirschmanns and Spinellis. It was a network held together by the various bonds of anti-Fascism, Jewishness, intellectuality, good looks and kinship. Politically, it was on the left. Her father was the Italian socialist philosopher Eugenio Colorni, who was killed taking part in the Resistance when she was three. Her mother, Ursula Hirschmann, was an economist, born in Berlin, who moved to Italy--then relatively non-racist--when Hitler rose to power. ( Albert Hirschman is Ursula's brother.) After Eugenio's death, Ursula married his friend Altiero Spinelli, who became a leading politician. Ursula's evocative memoirs of her early life have been published under the title Noi senzapatria, roughly, 'Those of us who have no country'.

Eva was proud of this background, and she too moved from

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