JB: I wrote a book called the Identity of Man. I never saw the cover of the English edition until the book reached me in print. And yet the artist had understood exactly what was in my mind, by putting on the cover a drawing of the brain and the Mona Lisa, one on top of the other

A Letter to Adrian Malone
from Jacob Bronowski

Dear Adrian,

I cannot take leave of "The Ascent of Man" without turning my mind back to the walk across Paris exactly three years ago when we first determined to make the series. What a bold or foolhardy but splendid decision ! It has been a fierce and breathless time, and wonderfully worthwhile. The team you brought together has done us both proud, and your constant devotion, energy and invention have been (wait for it) crucial !

Thank you for persuading me in the first place, and sustaining me through the rigours and the ecstasies. To have all that excitement, and a marvellous series too - what luck !

With warmest thanks and friendship,


Adrian Malone (1937-2015) was series editor and Chief Director for the Ascent of Man series.

Source: personal communication.

The Ascent of Jacob Bronowski

Copyright © 2000 by Stephen Moss. All rights reserved.