In Memoriam: Lawrence Rainey

Posted on 18 December 2020, University of York

We are deeply sorry to share news of the passing of Professor Lawrence Rainey, a giant of Modernist studies.

Rainey York

Lawrence was a Professor in the Department of English and Related Literature from 1998 until his retirement last year. We remember Lawrence as an inimitable figure: a brilliant and devoted researcher, an inspiring and sometimes demanding teacher, and a copiously knowledgeable raconteur. Common Room and corridor chats with Lawrence were always passionate, sparkling and informative, and he had a fierce interest in all aspects of contemporary politics, culture and life. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

A founding editor of Modernism/modernity, Lawrence wrote extensively on the classic works of Anglo-American modernism, including monographs on Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot. In 2005 he published two books on Eliot, Revisiting "The Waste Land" and The Annotated Waste Land with Eliot's Contemporary Prose. Both were jointly awarded the Robert Motherwell Book Prize for 2006 for an outstanding publication in the criticism of modernism in the arts. At the time of his death, Lawrence was continuing to pursue a longstanding and important project on a cultural history of the typist, secretary, or stenographer as depicted in film and fiction from 1890 to 1940.

The Department offers our sincere condolences to Lawrence's family and loved ones, and to all who knew him and shared in his passion for literature, learning and life. Lawrence's funeral will take place at 12 noon on Tuesday 22nd December at Heslington Church. We will commemorate Lawrence in a fuller tribute early in the new year: if you have memories of Lawrence that you would like to share, please email our Head of Department, Professor Helen Smith, directly.