Checkland, (Edith) Olive 1920-2004

views updated

CHECKLAND, (Edith) Olive 1920-2004

OBITUARY NOTICE— See index for CA sketch: Born June 6, 1920, in Newcastle upon Tyne, England; died September 8, 2004. Historian and author. Checkland is best remembered for her social histories concerning Japanese-British relations during the Meiji period. The first in her family to attend university, she graduated with a degree in geology from Birmingham University. Marrying in 1942, she concentrated on raising her five children and did not publish a book until 1980, when Philanthropy in Victorian Scotland: Social Welfare and the Voluntary Principle was released; it earned her the Scottish Arts Council Book Award. Her other early works were also about Scotland, including Industry and Ethos Scotland, 1832-1914 (1984; second edition, 1989), which she wrote with her husband, Sydney Checkland. After her husband's death in 1986, Checkland found solace in doing research and writing. Interested in Japan—her husband had worked to create academic ties between Japan and England during the 1960s—she began doing research there and also taught as a visiting professor at Keio University. Among her publications about Japanese-British relations through history are Britain's Encounter with Meiji Japan, 1868-1977 (1989), Humanitarianism and the Emperor's Japan, 1877-1977 (1994), Japanese Whisky, Scotch Blend: Masataka Taketsuru, the Japanese Whisky King and Rita, His Scotch Wife (1998), and Building Cultural Bridges (2003), her last book. She also served as an associate editor for East Asia entries in Oxford University Press's Dictionary of National Biography.



Herald (Glasgow, Scotland), October 2, 2004, p. 18.

Times (London, England), September 14, 2004, p. 33.