Denis Crispin Twitchett 1925–2006

David Mcmullen

in Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 166, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows, IX

Published by British Academy

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780197264751
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734229 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Denis Crispin Twitchett 1925–2006

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Denis Crispin Twitchett was always at the forefront in exploiting the great changes that took place. He had every reason for confidence. Twitchett knew the European languages from his schooldays and, by virtue of his command of East Asian written languages, was well qualified to provide intellectual and scholarly leadership. His reading of academic Japanese was effortless and this gave him ready access to the best body of secondary scholarship on medieval Chinese economic history of the middle decades of the 20th century. Twitchett once said of himself that he ‘began life as a physical geographer, graduated in the high tradition of European Sinology, worked in the field of economic history, and administer[ed] a department of languages and literature’. All these very different fields exerted profound influence on his scholarship, interacting to make him the rounded humanist scholar that he became.

Keywords: Japanese; East Asia; Chinese economic history; biography; obituary

Chapter.  9707 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Methods and Historiography

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