George Kirkpatrick Hunter, 87, died peacefully of Alzheimer’s disease at his home in the Highlands, Topsham, April 10 2008, with his family around him.
Born in 1920 in Glasgow, he was the only child of Samuel and Mary Hunter. He attended school in Glasgow and went to Glasgow University to pursue a degree in English Literature. He served in the British Navy, first on Arctic convoy protection duty, and then working in Sri Lanka as a code breaker. After the war, he took his Ph. D. in English literature at Balliol College, Oxford. He taught at Hull, Reading, and Liverpool universities before founding the English department at the new University of Warwick. In 1975 he moved to Yale University, where he was the Emily Sanford Professor of English, and Chairman of the Renaissance Studies program. He retired in 1991. A member of the British Academy and the American Academy, he was the author of many books and articles about Renaissance literature, including the Oxford History of English Literature volume on Shakespeare and Jacobean Drama.
He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Shelagh Hunter; three children: Mary, of Lewiston Maine, and her husband James Parakilas; Andrew, of Addlestone, Surrey, UK, and his wife Martina, and Ruth, of Coventry, UK; and seven grandchildren: Alexander and Jacob Parakilas, Neil, Caitlin, Niamh and Claire Hunter, and George Hunter.