In memory of Timothy McFarland

Term ending has somehow not decreased the number of things that are urgent-for-tomorrow as much as I’d hoped and hence the blog still languishes, sorry. I have a post-that-may-really-be-a-paper nearly ready and many many seminars to write up but first, alas, must come this, which is already delayed more than its subject deserved. Timothy MacFarland was a specialist in medieval German literature, especially I believe Wolfram von Eschenbach, and had retired as a Senior Lecturer of University College London. I didn’t know him from his work but because he was a regular at the Institute of Historical Research’s Earlier Middle Ages seminar, which makes for so much of this blog’s contents. He was always interested in what was being said, and generous in his comments. This was all despite the fact that the seminar never came very near his own subject; he was just interested in many things and was consequently himself interesting. I had noticed he hadn’t been around for a while but was still shocked and dismayed when his death and funeral were one of the announcements at the seminar three weeks ago. Almost ineluctably, I was within days of submitting a piece of work on which he’d actually given me useful advice some years before… I can’t add anything much of use about his life and work: I haven’t been able to search up more of an obituary than this and don’t want to besmirch his memory with half-remembered anecdotes, but if anyone would like to add memories in comments please do do so, I would love to read them and this post should be around a bit longer than that site’s ephemeral guestbook. Regularly-irregular programming will resume shortly but, even this late, I wanted to put his death on record somehow. I liked Tim and I’m sorry he’s gone.

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3 responses to “In memory of Timothy McFarland

  1. Dear Jonathan,
    Many thanks for celebrating Tim’s life.
    There is now a Guardian obituary

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2013/apr/01/timothy-mcfarland-obituary

    It would be good to learn that UCL was commemorating him.

    • Thankyou for the link, David, that was most informative, including lots I didn’t know as well as stuff I only half-recalled. I did look for such information on UCL’s news webpages, but found nothing. I suppose that someone would have to write a press release and so on. We can but hope!

  2. Gosh – I am sorry to read this. I liked Tim, or Tum as I used to call him. RIP.

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