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Tributes & MessagesJean Rogers and Roger Cornwell

Julia was uncomfortable with expressions on the lines of "after a long fight against cancer", and certainly to think of Julia is to think of someone working with, rather than against. For all the time we knew her, cancer was part of her life, not as something to be accepted meekly – her lively interest in treatment of all kinds is reflected in her weblog – but as something that she was living with, rather than dying from.

The tributes and memories that have flooded in to this website return again and again to the theme of her generosity. Specifically, she was generous with herself; everyone who knew her even slightly felt that there was a bit of Julia that was theirs – an evening, a poem, a workshop, a conversation – something that made her a special friend. She didn’t raise barriers, she opened herself to others.

This quality shaped her writing: it also fed other writers’ work. Again and again the other night, at the gathering that was to be her last launch and which became her wake, we heard the word "inspiration". At workshops, as a publisher, as a fellow-writer, she brought out the best in others.

The same applies to us, with her website. George Orwell said that "Good prose is like a windowpane"; so is a good website. When we receive compliments about Julia’s site – and, better still, when we don’t, when people comment that it’s very pink, very Julia – I know that we are among the artists and craft workers Julia has inspired to better, simpler, more creative work.

It has been a joy and a privilege to know her.

Jean Rogers and Roger Cornwell

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