Sally Ledger Remembered (In Memoriam)
Dickens Quarterly 2009, June, 26, 2
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I began teaching at the University of Illinois in the autumn of 1963, now nearly 46 years ago. In all that time I can't remember ever being as shaken as I was on waking up one morning in Sydney this January to the appalling news of the death of Sally Ledger, who had been just one year old when my career began. At the time of her death, she was at the absolute height of her powers as a leading Victorianist. After many triumphant years at Birkbeck she had just taken up a new appointment as Hildred Carlile Chair in English and Director of the Centre for Victorian Studies at Royal Holloway College. There she succeeded Elleke Boehmer, herself by chance in Sydney that day, and as stunned as I by the news. Sally was in demand everywhere and by everyone at the time of her death. She had just been to MLA in San Francisco, contributing to the panels on Victorians and the Sea organized by Ann Colley. Over several recent summers she had established herself as an indispensable pillar of the Dickens Universe at Santa Cruz: she and her family loved going there and had made it a part of their annual work and holiday routine, and she gave to California as good as she got from it. She was expected in Dunedin, New Zealand on February 3rd at the invitation of Wendy Parkin to deliver the keynote address at the annual Australasian Victorian Studies Association conference. There we were to have had the privilege of hearing a presentation of her new research project, "The Nineteenth-Century Man of Feeling," which was to have traced the changing manifestations of the "Man of Feeling'" figure from the eighteenth century through his democratization in the nineteenth, in Wordsworth, Gaskell, and the suffering male subjects in the Peterloo massacre. It was to have developed further Sally's major reflections on the role of Dickens in nineteenth-century culture begun with the publication of Dickens and the Popular Radical Imagination in 2007. Additional engagements for this year included an agreement to give one of the plenary lectures in June at the "Dickens and the Voices of Victorian Culture" in Verona and her participation in the Dickens Society Symposium in Providence, Rhode Island, taking her place as the Vice-President of the Society.
- Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
- Published: Jun 01, 2009
- Publisher: Dickens Society of America
- Seller: The Gale Group, Inc.
- Print Length: 5 Pages
- Language: English