Raitt, A.W. 1930-2006

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Raitt, A.W. 1930-2006
(Alan William Raitt)


See index for CA sketch: Born September 21, 1930, in Morpeth, Northumberland, England; died September 2, 2006. Educator and author. Raitt was a longtime French professor at Magdalen College and a leading authority on nineteenth-century French literature. He studied at Magdalen College in Oxford, where he completed his doctorate as a fellow in 1957. Raitt then served as a French tutor at Exeter College from 1955 to 1966, before returning to Magdalen. He was made a reader in French literature in 1979 and a professor in 1992. Raitt retired in 1997. One of the few non-French scholars of that nation's literary tradition whose work was actually respected by the French, Raitt was particularly noted for his writings on Villiers de l'Isle-Adam, including his Villiers de l'Isle-Adam et le movement symboliste (1965) and The Life of Villiers de l'Isle-Adam (1981). He also frequently wrote scholarly works on Gustave Flaubert, Honoré de Balzac, and Stephane Mallarmé. The editor of French Studies from 1987 to 1997, Raitt remained a productive scholar and author even after retirement. Among his last books are Flaubert et le theatre (1998), The Originality of Madame Bovary (2002), and Gustavus Flaubertus Bourgeoisophobus (2005). Named a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1971 and of the British Academy in 1992, Raitt was also named an officer, and then commander, of l'Ordre des Palmes Academiques. He won the French Academy's 1987 Grand Prix du Rayonnement de la Langue Française. A final book concerning French prose style was scheduled to be published posthumously.



Times (London, England), September 21, 2006, p. 63.