John Maynard Keynes

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John Maynard Keynes

John Maynard Keynes, Baron Keynes of Tilton, CB FBA (1883–1946) was a British economist whose ideas have profoundly affected the theory and practice of modern macroeconomics, as well as the economic policies of governments. He greatly refined earlier work on the causes of business cycles, and advocated the use of fiscal and monetary measures to mitigate the adverse effects of economic recessions and depressions. His ideas are the basis for the school of thought known as Keynesian economics, as well as its various offshoots.

Keynes's early romantic and sexual relationships were almost exclusively with men. At Eton and at King's College, Cambridge, Keynes had been prolific in his homosexual activity; significant among these early partners were Dillwyn Knox and Daniel Macmillan. Keynes was open about his homosexual affairs, and between 1901 and 1915 kept separate diaries in which he tabulated his many sexual encounters. Keynes's relationship and later close friendship with Macmillan was to be fortuitous; through Dan, Macmillan & Co first published his Economic Consequences of the Peace. Attitudes in the Bloomsbury Group, in which Keynes was avidly involved, were relaxed about homosexuality. Keynes, together with writer Lytton Strachey, had reshaped the Victorian attitudes of the influential Cambridge Apostles; "since [their] time, homosexual relations among the members were for a time common", wrote Bertrand Russell. One of Keynes's greatest loves was the artist Duncan Grant, whom he met in 1908. Like Grant, Keynes was also involved with the writer Lytton Strachey, though they were for the most part love rivals, and not lovers. Keynes had won the affections of Arthur Hobhouse, as well as Grant, both times falling out with a jealous Strachey for it. Strachey had previously found himself put off by Keynes, not least because of his manner of "treat[ing] his love affairs statistically".

John Maynard Keynes and his wife Lydia Lopokova moved into Tilton House near the village of Firle, Sussex in 1925. He lived there for the remainder of his life. His ashes were scattered nearby on the Downs.