Brewer, Derek 1923-2008 (D.S. Brewer, Derek Stanley Brewer)

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Brewer, Derek 1923-2008 (D.S. Brewer, Derek Stanley Brewer)


See index for CA sketch: Born July 13, 1923, in Cardiff, Wales; died October 23, 2008. Medievalist, educator, publisher, editor, and author. Brewer was an admirer of fourteenth-century poet and author Geoffrey Chaucer; he became a respected expert on Chaucer and the late-medieval times in which he lived. His appreciation of medieval literature led to a variety of satellite interests, in all of which he reportedly excelled. Brewer taught for nearly fifteen years at the University of Birmingham and two years at the International Christian University of Tokyo, Japan. In 1965 he began a twenty-five-year affiliation with Cambridge University, which culminated in 1990 with his retirement from teaching and his appointment as a life fellow of Emmanuel College. During that career Brewer acquired several honorary doctorates as tokens of respect from other institutions, including Keio University in Japan, Williams College in the United States, and the Sorbonne, University of Paris. Brewer wrote more than a dozen books and edited an even greater number. He experienced personally the difficulty of publishing academic volumes on esoteric subjects in an increasingly commercial world. In 1972 he and his wife established the scholarly publishing firm of D.S. Brewer, and many scholars benefited from his willingness to make their work accessible to the reading public, albeit in appropriately limited editions. The company flourished and eventually became a part of the publishing empire known as Boydell and Brewer. As a publisher, teacher, and mentor, Brewer was respected for his business skills, his passion for medieval literature, and his intellectual generosity to students, colleagues, and the university he served. Brewer's writings include Chaucer and His World (1978) and English Gothic Literature (1983). His many edited works include Studies in Medieval English Romances: Some New Approaches (1988), Geoffrey Chaucer: The Writer and His Background (1990), and Medieval Comic Tales (1996).



Morse, Ruth, and Barry Windeatt, editors, Chaucer Traditions: Studies in Honour of Derek Brewer, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1990.


Times (London, England), November 18, 2008, p. 59.

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Brewer, Derek 1923-2008 (D.S. Brewer, Derek Stanley Brewer)

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