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Obituary: Peter Mann

Members will be very sorry to learn of the death of Mr Peter Mann, former Senior Lecturer in the School of English, on 12 June 2003.

Born in 1926, Mr Mann attended Glasgow High School and King Edward VII School, Sheffield. Following service in the RNVR and RAF from 1943 to 1948, he read English at the University of Sheffield, graduating with First Class Honours and two University Prizes in 1951. He went on to pursue research as the Hastings Senior Scholar at The Queens College, Oxford, before being appointed, in 1953, as Assistant Lecturer in the then Department of English Literature at Leeds. Promotion to Lecturer followed in 1956, and to Senior Lecturer in 1970.

A distinguished scholar, Peter Manns research was concentrated on Coleridge and the literature of the 1790s. His most significant publication is Coleridges Lectures 1795: On Politics and Religion (1971). Co-edited with Professor Lewis Patton, this work, one of the first volumes in the distinguished Bollingen-Routledge edition of Coleridges Collected Works, attracted high critical praise. Mr Mann also published articles on Coleridges involvement in the anti-slave trade movement, as well as a range of other articles, notes and reviews.

Mr Manns very wide intellectual range was reflected in the breadth of his teaching, covering as it did the Renaissance to contemporary literature, as well as the history of ideas in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, in particular those of Darwin, Marx, Nietzsche and Freud. An exceptionally gifted teacher, he was greatly liked and admired by his students, several of whom went on to academic posts themselves. Mr Manns administrative skills, allied to his sound and sensitive judgement, were also much valued in the School. He served on a wide range of committees, chairing the higher degrees committee. In later years, he took responsibility for the Schools JYA and overseas students, bringing tact and sympathy to the resolution of any problems. At faculty level, Mr Mann was a long-standing member of the Masterships Committee of the Board of Arts, Economic and Social Studies and Law.

Peter Mann retired from the University in September 1991, after thirty-eight years service. Throughout that time, the rich blend of his professional and personal qualities, the latter including a distinctively wry and often self-deprecating wit, made him a very warmly regarded and respected colleague. In his retirement appreciation for the University Review, Professor John Barnard wrote that Mr Manns loyalty to the School has been steadfast and his contributions to its work have been unflagging, wise and substantial.Peter Manns scholarship is notable for its accuracy, intelligence, and its wide knowledge of the historical context of Romanticism. These qualities, together with his wit and intellectual integrity, mark his teaching of undergraduates and postgraduates as much as they do his writing and his everyday dealings in the School.

The funeral is to be held at Lawnswood Crematorium, Otley Road, Adel, Leeds 16, at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, 24 June 2003. The family have asked that no flowers be sent but donations may be made to Save the Children.

Mr Mann is survived by his wife, Sheila, and his son, Michael.

The flag on the Parkinson Tower will be flown at half-mast on the day of the funeral, as a mark of respect.

J R Gair

Published: 18 June 2003