Henry Gifford

Additional notice on the critic and literary scholar
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Henry Gifford, as a classicist teaching English literature within a department of English, not only showed a remarkable breadth of knowledge of other literatures, but was also able to translate such passions into practical realities, writes Professor Richard Peace [further to the obituary by Professor Christopher Ricks, 29 November].

Both the departments of Italian and Russian at Bristol University owe their existence to the early initiatives and the championship of Henry Gifford. It was he who, in 1963, was responsible for introducing Russian as a sub-department within the Department of English, much as earlier he had championed the cause of Italian. Both subjects went on to flourish as independent departments within the School of Modern Languages, and in the case of Russian, with consistently top research-rating scores, to become, unquestionably, one of the leading Russian departments in the country.