Obituary: Jane Morgan

Jane Keeler, historian and criminologist, born Harrogate 21 October 1949, married 1973 Kenneth Morgan (one son, one daughter), died Aberystwyth 7 August 1992.

THE UNTIMELY death of Jane Morgan has cheated the academic world of a rare humanising influence. A historian by trade and criminologist by adoption, her intellectual qualities were surpassed only by her gifts of loyalty, humour and affection.

Born Jane Keeler, in Harrogate, of German and British parentage, she was taken by her widowed mother at an early age to live in Wrexham. In 1968 she began what was to be a long relationship with the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, reading history for a BA and Welsh history for her MA. In 1979 she gained an external Ph D from Leicester University. Her first book based on her Ph D thesis, a political biography of Lord Addison, was published in 1988 and was co-written with her husband Kenneth Morgan.

In 1987 Jane Morgan published Conflict and Order, a very fine study of the policing of labour disputes during the period 1900-39. This book is particularly impressive for the manner in which central-government involvement in operational policing is exposed, and years before it became an issue under Margaret Thatcher's government.

From 1985 to 1989 Morgan was a research fellow at the Centre for Criminological Research, Oxford University, and it was during this period that she began her research into child victims of crime. A book based upon this research and co-written by Lucia Zedner was published earlier this year to much acclaim. This groundbreaking study examines the manner in which incidental as well as direct victims of crime are treated by the criminal justice system, and should have an impact upon future public policy debates.

But no obituary should read like an edited curriculum vitae, least of all Jane Morgan's. A victim-support organiser and magistrate, she was devoted to her children, David and Katherine. Always involved in their lives, she dealt with the delicate balance between home and career, and coped with a rare grace. The chauvinism of both academe and the criminal justice system occasionally depressed, but never defeated her. It merely provoked an impish sense of humour which when combined with a finely tuned sense of the ridiculous gave her a rather more balanced view of the world than would normally be expected from an academic of her repute.

When Kenneth Morgan was appointed Principal of the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, in 1989, Jane launched herself wholeheartedly into her new role both as a lecturer and as a high-profile representative of the University.

She was blessed with a rare combination of compassion and style. Visiting academics were fed, watered and entertained and at least one itinerant academic family was offered the Morgans' attic as a temporary home. She cared about people, helped those of us new to the profession, offering advice and support when obscure codified academic rituals loomed.

Jane Morgan achieved all this with real style and panache. In a profession that is so often dull and worthy, she stood out as a beacon of vitality and good taste. How she managed to pack so much into her short life is a wonder.

(Photograph omitted)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, - 1 Year contract

£50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, Stock...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Human Resource Officer and Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...

Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events business) - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...

Recruitment Genius: Project Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This privately-owned company designs and manuf...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence