Monday, 14 September 2020

Patricia Joyce Wilson (1929-2020)

We were sorry to hear of the death of the Galt scholar Joyce Wilson and attach the following obituary written by her colleague David Jago:

Patricia Joyce Wilson (1929-2020)

Patricia Joyce Wilson, or Joyce, as she was always known, was on the staff of the Scottish College of Commerce, when it merged with the Royal College of Science and Technology to form the new University of Strathclyde in 1964, in which she became one of the founder-members of the Department of English Studies, under the chairmanship of Professor I.F. Clarke. Over the next four years, the new Department developed a four-year course leading to Honours, which covered the received canon and included the major figures in English literature. At the same time, the appointment of Douglas Gifford in 1967 helped to ensure that Scottish literature would always occupy a significant place on the undergraduate syllabus, with the result that several colleagues, including not only Joyce but Kenneth Simpson (The Protean Scot: The Crisis of Identity in Eighteenth Century Sottish Literature, 1988), Andrew Noble, John Redmond, and Michael Bath (Emblems in Scotland: Motifs and Meanings, 2018), developed teaching and research interests in the field. In 1968 the University awarded her the degree of Master of Letters for her thesis on The Fiction of Leonard Merrick, 1864-1939. In the following years, up to her retirement in 1994, she taught on a wide range of undergraduate classes, particularly on the 19th century Scottish novel, and in 1979 her chapter, “Ringan Gilhaize–a Neglected Masterpiece” appeared in Christopher Whatley’s John Galt 1779-1979. In 1984 her finely researched edition of Ringan Gilhaize appeared from Scottish Academic Press (Edinburgh). Joyce Wilson’s important contribution to Galt Studies, then, was to draw considerable renewed attention to Galt’s historical novel.

David Jago (Emeritus, Department of English Studies, University of Strathclyde)