Latest Issue

“I have a horror of brown envelopes”: Diana Athill (1917-2019) on her top ten fears

Diana Athill, who has died aged 101, told Prospect about her ten biggest fears

By Elena Lappin   June 2004

10 Being a coward. Some fears go back to childhood. My family greatly appreciated courage. I used to worry about some situation arising, like having to jump into a river to save a drowning child-would I be able to do it?

9 Thugs. Occasionally I have avoided people on the street or in the park. I had my bag snatched once walking down the road… I feel…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect