UCL Philosophy


Katherine Backhouse

Katherine Backhouse will be fondly remembered by former students, staff and visitors as our highly effective Departmental Administrator, and especially as loyal assistant to Richard Wollheim, and then to Johnny Watling.

Katherine had, in fact, set out to be a nun, but, she said, this ambition foundered when she found that she just could not get herself to believe some of what was required by the Roman Catholic Church. She then turned to Philosophy, attaining an outstanding First in Medieval Philosophy at Leeds University. With characteristic modesty, she thought herself unsuited to pursuing the career of a university teacher, and so opted instead for a role in university administration, which bought her to the Philosophy Department at UCL. During this time she continued to study, and alongside George, her beloved life-long companion and partner, she took an MA in history.

After her retirement Katherine lived quietly with George in their cottage in Tring, but from time to time would be spotted around UCL making trips to the library to continue her studies. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

Professor Jonathan Wolff