Alumni news

In memory of Michael Sutherland Jamieson

We are sad to share the news that Michael Sutherland Jamieson, a former Sussex Lecturer in the School of English and American Studies, has passed away. Born in 1931, Michael died in Brighton on 28 July 2020.

 

Below you can read a memorial from two of Michael's former students and close friends Julia Starr Keddle and Martyn Hobbs. We would like to invite friends and former colleagues and students of Michael to share their own memories and tributes: please email alumni@sussex.ac.uk and we'll add them below Julia and Martyn's tribute.

 


 

It is with great sadness that we learnt of the death of our dear friend Michael Jamieson at the age of 89. He was a lecturer at Sussex from the early 60s at the School of English and American Studies. In those pioneering days, along with Tony Inglis, Patricia Thompson, David Daiches and Angus Ross, Michael was one of a small band of Scottish lecturers in English. He had studied at the universities of Aberdeen, Princeton and King’s College, Cambridge, and he also spent some time teaching at the University of Rome and the University of California at Sant Cruz.

We met Michael in our first tutorial in 1977. That was also the first time that we met each other – little did we know how important that course would be to us. We are still together after all those years! Soon after university, we formed a close friendship with Michael and he would often come to visit us during our ten years in Florence. Later he would stay in our home in Oxford, or we would regularly meet up in London or Brighton.

Michael was an erudite, eloquent, entertaining and loyal friend. An Elizabethan and Jacobean specialist, he had a passion for theatre, making frequent visits to London. His phenomenal memory for performances and actors was astounding. He seemed to know everybody and had a bizarre talent for bumping into people wherever he roamed, coincidences he would later recount with delight! Always smartly dressed, we will never forget his stylish shirts, waistcoats, bow ties and jackets.

He was a great correspondent, a week would rarely pass without him sending us one of his doctored freebie postcards. Beautifully crafted, his witty and allusive messages were embellished with keywords in red ink, underlining or caps, cartoon self-portraits, and elaborate forms of address: Fraulein Julia, Herr Martyn; Doña Julia y Don Martyno; Miss Julie/Master Martyn; Jules & Mart; Julia & Martyn (COOKS OF GENIUS); The Fabric Lady & The Punster; Mr HOBBS (cook) Ms KEDDLE (gardener); Dramaturgo Hobbs. It kept the postman amused!

We will miss Michael sitting in our old library chair from the Ashmolean, with a whisky and a small water jug of on the side, telling us tales before dinner. And we shall miss his postcards, but at least we have kept the ones he sent over the years.

– Julia Starr Keddle (EngAm 1997) and Martyn Hobbs (EngAm 1997)

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By: Ruby Moore
Last updated: Wednesday, 23 September 2020

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