"Most fortunately, Kendrew made a favorable impression on Luria: like Kalckar, he was civilized and in addition supported the Labor Party."

That is how James Watson introduces us to John Kendrew, toward the beginning of The Double Helix. Later in his highly individualistic memoir, Watson recounts how he accepted what looked like "an open invitation to tuberculosis" when he arrived in England in 1951. After having difficulty finding digs in Cambridge, he recalls how "John and Elizabeth Kendrew rescued me with the offer, at almost no rent, of a tiny room in their house in Tennis Court Road. It was unbelievably damp and heated only by an aged electric heater." In due course, the debt was more than repaid: "I gave John and Elizabeth Kendrew the scoop about DNA when I joined them for breakfast on Monday morning. Elizabeth appeared delighted that success was almost within our grasp, while John...

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