Friday 01 September 1995
Oakley read history at Lincoln College, Oxford, graduating in 1952, and became a teacher at Highgate School. His passion for languages and history led, however, to his developing an interest in Swedish history and to the preparation of a PhD at the London School of Economics under the supervision of the distinguished European historian Ragnhild Hatton. This was followed by appointments at Exeter and Edinburgh Universities.
Although Oakley had already established his academic credentials, with his history of Sweden The Story of Sweden, before moving to the University of East Anglia in 1969 as a lecturer in history, it was during his years there in Norwich that he more fully developed an international reputation as a scholar. As well as numerous articles, appearing in a variety of languages, he published The Story of Denmark (1972). In 1987 there appeared a study of "William III and the Northern Crowns during the Nine Years' War 1689-1697" - substantial both in terms of its length and quality. War and Peace in the Baltic 1560-1790 was published in 1993. This book attracted critical acclaim because of the breadth of its author's knowledge - and the display of linguistic skills which very few could hope to emulate - and for his ability to analyse and clearly explain an extremely complicated series of historical events. It is the work of a professional historian at the height of his powers.
In recent years, while continuing to work on the political history of the Baltic region, Oakley had also engaged in pioneering research on the very different subject of the Scandinavian peasant, leading to the publication of a number of articles, and first among them, in 1981, a study of "The Geography of Peasant Eco-types in Pre-Industrial Scandinavia". We can only be dismayed that he did not have time to complete the two important books he was writing - a biography of Gustavus III, king of Sweden in the late 18th century, and a comparative study of the pre-industrial peasantry of Scandinavia.
Stewart Oakley shared with Kate Kalbag, his partner for the past five years, a love of music, of gardening and of good food. His work at UEA until his retirement as Reader in 1994 says a great deal about his conscientious approach to life, about his commitment to his students, and about his intellect and his zest for life. As a teacher he was highly effective, always knowledgeable and able to convey his great enthusiasm for history. The range of his teaching was exceptional. Above all, perhaps, both students and colleagues will remember his kindness and his willingness to devote time and energy to helping them.
Stewart Philip Oakley, historian: born Kenton, Middlesex 21 April 1931; Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader, Department of History, University of East Anglia 1969-84; Chairman, Nordic History Group 1977-95; married 1956 Helen Condon (three daughters; marriage dissolved); died Norwich 18 July 1995.
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered
- 3 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 4 Now we know whose fault it is if you end up being murdered in Thailand
- 5 35,000 walrus gather ashore on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
Car tax disc changes: Five facts you never knew about your (almost obsolete) tax disc
The Aral Sea: Nasa pictures show how what was once the fourth largest lake in the world has become almost completely dry
Brad Pitt, on the moment he completely lost his temper with Clint Eastwood's son
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
- < Previous
- Next >
£28, 700: Whiskey Whiskey Tango: Property Management Company is seeking a brig...
£80 - 100k + Bonus: Guru Careers: A COO / Chief Operating Officer is needed to...
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...