Anne passed mildly away July 7th, of esophageal cancer and its sequelae. She faced death with quiet composure.
Born in Chester, England, January 4, 1943, Anne grew up in North Wales. A formative influence was her grammar school English teacher, who “taught her how to read poetry,” which led to a lifetime devoted to literature. At nineteen, she entered St. Hilda’s College, Oxford, in the PPE program, transferring to English, her true intellectual home, after a term.
After obtaining her B.A. (and her pro forma M.A.), and a year of teacher training, she came to Canada in 1966, to teach junior high school in Prince George. A year later she moved to Vancouver, completing an M.A. (1970) and a Ph.D. (1976) at UBC. In 1974, she took a job as a sessional lecturer at the University of Alberta where she met her future husband, Dennis, whom she married in 1976. They settled in Saskatoon, holding various temporary positions in the English Department at the University of Saskatchewan. Their daughter Mary was born in 1978. Subsequently, they spent a year in Ottawa before moving to Montreal, where Dennis (having changed disciplines) was to join the law faculty at McGill. While in the academic wilderness Anne completed her scholarly edition and study The Old English Elegies, published by McGill-Queens. She also gave birth to our second daughter, Jennifer, in 1986. In 1990 Anne took a job in the English Department at UNB, specializing in Old English and History of the English Language. She moved with the two girls to Fredericton, while Dennis spent many years commuting to Montreal. After retiring from UNB, she was named professor emerita in 2009. In 2010, Dennis joined her in retirement in their much-loved Island View home. Even after retiring, Anne continued her scholarship, publishing her last book, The Voices of Medieval English Lyric, in 2019.
Perhaps Anne’s most notable quality, apart from her staying power, was her integrity, evident in many ways. She was a person of independent mind, chary of ephemeral intellectual fashions. She always spoke her mind forthrightly, without regard to being popular. Sometimes her candour caused her regret. But her criticisms were without rancour. Her scholarship and teaching were motivated by love of the materials and the challenge of mastering them. When an assessment committee commended her for doing an M.A. in Greek “because it enhanced her qualifications,” she reacted: “I didn’t do it to pad my c.v.; I did it because the poetry is wonderful and the language is hard.” In her scholarship, she eschewed using translations: if she wanted to read German literature, she learned German, if Latin literature, Latin, if Greek literature, Greek, if Occitan literature, Occitan, and so on. This was part of her great respect, as an editor and a reader, for the text.
Anne was a loving spouse, mother and grandmother, and a tenaciously loyal friend. Anyone who allowed themselves know her well will feel a terrible loss. She is survived by her husband of almost 47 years, by her daughters Mary (Dave Bancroft) and Jen (Debbie Friesen) and by her grandchildren Elisabeth, Raymond, Arthur, and Judith, and Debbie’s daughter Charlotte—and by her beloved dog, Sally.
A funeral service will be held at St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Fredericton, NB on Saturday, July 15th, 2023, at 11 am. For those who were unable to attend the service, a recording is available at the following link: https://vimeo.com/event/3569500.
For those who wish, remembrances may be made in her name to Fredericton SPCA, or Hospice Fredericton.