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elizabeth williams

Miss Elizabeth G Williams, MA

We are very sorry to report that Miss Elizabeth Williams, former Lecturer in the School of English, died on 18 May 2012. 

Miss Williams enjoyed a distinguished undergraduate career at Bedford College, University of London, where she read English; she was awarded three out of four Department prizes, a First, and a University postgraduate studentship to complete an edition of the 14th-century romance Chevelere Assigne.  She received her MA in 1964.

Following a year as an Editorial Assistant in the Children’s Book Department at the Bodley Head, Elizabeth Williams left the world of publishing in 1965 in order to take up a temporary appointment as Assistant Lecturer in English Language and Medieval English Literature in the School of English.  Her appointment was made permanent in 1967.  Teaching in both the School and the Centre for Medieval Studies, Elizabeth was devoted to the progress and welfare of her students.  As an example of this, her annotations on student essays were often almost as long as the essays themselves.  Perhaps her most innovative contribution to the curriculum was the highly successful second-year option course, Literature for Children, which, in collaboration with Professor Peter Meredith, she developed during the 1980s.  The course was consistently over-subscribed.  Elizabeth also produced a number of articles on her research interests, including the interconnection of English and French medieval literature, and, together with a colleague, Lesley Johnson, was responsible for the best-selling Leeds Studies in English volume, Sir Orfeo and Sir Launfal.  As the School’s adviser to students with disabilities for a number of years, she fulfilled the associated responsibilities with exceptional care and thoughtfulness.

Elizabeth was a witty versifier and an inventive artist, and her acting skills found spirited expression in a number of performances of medieval plays and farces put on by the Centre for Medieval Studies. 

Elizabeth Williams retired in 1991 but kept an association with the School of English as Honorary Lecturer until 1994.

Miss Williams is survived by her sister, Wendy.

The Funeral Service was held on 30 May 2012, at St Anne’s Church, Bewdley, Worcestershire.