Founding Fellows › Dorothy Bednarowska

Dorothy Bednarowska (1915-2003) was herself a Home Student, graduating with a First in English in 1937. Her graduate studies in Herbert and Donne were interrupted by the War. After a temporary teaching post at St Hilda’s she became Lecturer in English at St Anne’s in 1946 and a Fellow in 1954. A type of professional academic not uncommon in her day but hard to imagine now, she published nothing but poured all her energies into devoted and inspiring teaching of undergraduates, graduates, mature students, and (innovatively) summer school students from all over the world. She taught the whole canon from Chaucer onwards and had astonishing knowledge and recall of texts from the whole range, with particular interests in the 19th century and the early American novel. Her students remember her as rigorous but painstakingly supportive, with an outstanding ability to communicate her own deep love of literary texts.