Letter: Peter Davison obituary

Richard Else writes: Peter was a hugely inspirational teacher and mentor to his students

DJ Taylor’s obituary of Peter Davison (22 September) rightly highlights his work on George Orwell, but Peter was also a hugely inspirational teacher and mentor to his students.

Lectures, whether on aspects of Shakespeare or Picture Post, were a “must see” event. Within a year of his arrival at St David’s University College, Lampeter, in the 1970s, he enlarged the study of English to include James Agee’s and Walter Evans’s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, propaganda and literature, and Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49.

Most importantly to students such as myself coming from families with no experience of higher education, he showed by example what we might aspire to. His work ethic was unmatched. In 1974, just before Christmas, he told me that he planned a break, adding, “I’ve just a few pieces to write for Encyclopaedia Britannica …”

Richard Else

The GuardianTramp

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