Alan William Raitt 1930–2006

M. J. Freeman

in Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 161, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows, VIII

Published by British Academy

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780197264577
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734267 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Alan William Raitt 1930–2006

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Alan William Raitt (1930–2006), a Fellow of the British Academy, went up to Magdalen College at the University of Oxford from King Edward's Grammar School in Morpeth, in 1948. He progressed from being an undergraduate there to graduate student, Fellow by Examination, Fellow, Tutor, and Senior Tutor, as well as serving the college as a distinguished Vice-President from 1983 to 1985. Raitt had by then already been named in 1976 Special Lecturer in French Literature for the university and, three years later, University Reader. In 1992 he received the accolade of an ad hominem Chair. Raitt had a gift for friendship; one of his greatest friends was Pierre Castex. His reputation as an international authority on nineteenth-century French literature is second to none. Unlike some British and American scholars, Raitt is widely read and admired by the French themselves, and his name figures prominently in all bibliographies devoted to Villiers de l'Isle-Adam and Gustave Flaubert. Despite his many commitments, both in Oxford and in the sphere of French studies generally, he remained a consistently prolific scholar.

Keywords: Alan William Raitt; British Academy; Magdalen College; University of Oxford; Pierre Castex; French literature; Gustave Flaubert; Villiers de l'Isle-Adam

Chapter.  3505 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Theory, Methods, and Historiography

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