Barnard joined the School of English in 1965, after undergraduate
and postgraduate study in Oxford, and a period working
in the States as research assistant to the noted bibliophile
James M. Osborn. He was promoted to a senior lectureship,
and then, in 1978, to the Chair in English Literature
which he held until his retirement.
Barnard's academic career has been marked by the range
of his scholarly expertise. He has published on literature
from the Restoration to the Romantics, with a special
interest in textual editing and the history of the book.
His editions of Etherege and of John Keats are model scholarly
reference works, and his book on Keats remains a standard
critical study. As a scrupulous and supportive General
Editor of the Longman's Annotated English Poets series,
John Barnard has also enabled the production of some of
the finest of modern editions. His bibliographical work
will be crowned by the publication of the co-edited volume
on the Seventeenth Century in The Cambridge History of
the Book in Britain later this year. John's high-standing
as a bibliographer was marked by his election as Vice-President
of the Bibliographical Society in 1998.
these days of increasing specialisation, the variety of
John Barnard's scholarly interests has been reflected
in his remarkable readiness to teach at undergraduate
level across an impressive range of subject areas; but
perhaps his most distinctive contribution to the School's
teaching has been in the MA in Bibliography, a scheme
which he was instrumental in establishing, and latterly
maintained single-handedly. All his teaching has been
marked by commitment to his students and kindly but firm
encouragement of the most rigorous standards in their
Barnard is not only a scholar held in high regard and
a teacher warmly remembered. He has unstintingly contributed
to the administration both of the School and of the University.
Chairman of the School on three occasions, a Chair of
the Board of the Faculty of Arts, and latterly of the
Applications Committee, John has brought to these and
many other administrative roles an unswerving clarity
of purpose and dispassionate integrity. It is these qualities
which led to his selection as Chair of the English Subject
Panel in the current RAE, and election as a founding fellow
of the English Association.
John's retirement the School of English is losing an individual
whose total devotion to its best interests has been sustained
over more than thirty years. He has guided the School
through many changes, while keeping its ideals intact.
He has filled various public roles with distinction, and
has furthered the humane and scholarly traditions of his
subject. In his care for students and support for his
colleagues as individuals he has always set an exacting
standard for others to follow.
moves to Oxford, where his wife, Hermione Lee, is Goldsmith's
Professor of English Literature. We wish both of them