Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the British Academy Xi (2012)
PHILIPPA RUTH FOOT was born on 3 October 1920, the second daughter of William Bosanquet, who had done mathematics at Cambridge and became the manager of a steelworks in Yorkshire, and Esther Cleveland, daughter of President Grover Cleveland. She was educated mainly at home in the country by governesses, and not well. She said, many years later, that, ‘unsurprisingly’, she had been left ‘extremely ignorant’, and when the last one, ‘who actually had a degree’, suggested to her that she should go to Oxford, she had to work for it. She spent a year with an established Oxford entrance coach and took a correspondence course to acquire the necessary entrance Latin; the result was a place at Somerville College, where she went to read Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) in 1939.