literary critic, born in Douglas, Isle of Man, studied at the University of Liverpool. He held academic posts at the universities of Newcastle, Reading, Manchester, Bristol, London, and Cambridge. His critical studies alternated between the English Renaissance and 20th‐cent. literature, in which he championed the works of W. Stevens and F. M. Ford. His most influential early books are Romantic Image (1957), which demonstrates continuities between late Romantic and early Modernist uses of enigmatic symbols, and The Sense of an Ending (1967), which explores the ways in which narrative fiction makes sense of linear time. Through his editorship of the Fontana Modern Masters series and his seminars on literary theory at University College London, he helped to inject fresh currents of European thought into literary studies in Britain. His later books include The Classic (1975), The Genesis of Secrecy (1979), Essays on Fiction (1983), An Appetite for Poetry (1989), Shakespeare's Language (2000), and a memoir, Not Entitled (1995). He was knighted in 1991.