Professor Sally Ledger

January 23, 2009 at 11:14 am (Uncategorized)

It is with enormous regret that we must announce the sudden and tragically early death of Professor Sally Ledger. Sally joined the Department of English in Autumn 2008 as Hildred Carlile Professor in English and Director of the Centre for Victorian Studies. Even in this short time she had established herself as an indispensable presence in the life of the Department. This was not only because of her outstanding scholarly distinction ─ exemplified in her recent book on Dickens and the Popular Radical Imagination as well as preceding studies of Ibsen, the New Woman, and the cultural politics of the late nineteenth century ─ but also, and at least as importantly, because of her vibrant personal qualities: her warmth, her infectious sense of humour, great good sense, and sheer intellectual energy. Under her leadership, the College had already taken important steps towards becoming the leading centre for Victorian Studies in the country. Before joining us here, Sally was Professor of Nineteenth-Century Literature at Birkbeck, University of London, where she had worked in the School of English and Humanities since 1995. As a PhD supervisor and mentor of junior colleagues, Sally was second to none. A rising generation of scholars will be for ever indebted to her for showing how exemplary interdisciplinary scholarship, collegiality and sense of the value of sociability and family life could be combined. Her colleagues past and present, and indeed the world-wide community of nineteenth-century scholars, will be as shocked and saddened as we are by this news, and will join us in sending our most heartfelt condolences to her husband, Jim Porteous, and son, Richard. There will be a further announcement in respect of the funeral arrangements and a memorial service for her.



  1. Valerie King MA said,

    Thank you so much for your tribute to Sally. As a member of her family, her sudden death came as a huge shock to me. A loss like this is so hard to accept. It was she who encouraged me to do my MA in Victorian Art and Architecture with the college 10 years ago. She was an inspiration to me.
    We were all so proud of her achievements. Thank you.
    I would be grateful if you could keep me informed as to when you are holding Sally’s memorial service as I would like to attend if possible.
    Valerie King

  2. Nicola Lawrence said,

    I was a close friend of Sally’s when she lived in Bristol. Our sons were best friends and we spent some happy times together. I am shocked and saddened to hear of her sudden death. Could you please let me know the date of her memorial service as my husband and I would like to attend. I can also pass this on to other Bristol friends without having to bother her husband Jim. Thankyou very much

    Nikki Lawrence

  3. Vicky Greenaway said,

    Dear Valerie and Nikki,

    Thanks both of you for sharing your thoughts and memories – it is wonderful to hear proof yet again of the way Sally touched and inspired the lives of others. I include myself in that number and consider myself very fortunate indeed to have known her – I learned from her not only professionally but personally too.

    I’ll make sure to pass on details of the memorial service to you both as soon as the date is fixed.

    Best wishes,

    Vicky (Lecturer in 19th Century Literature, Royal Holloway, University of London)

Leave a Reply to Vicky Greenaway Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: