Saturday, March 19, 2016

Saturday, March 19, 2016 7:40 pm by M. in    2 comments
The Guardian and other news outlets publish the sad news of the death of Lord Briggs, née Asa Briggs (1921-2016). A well-known English social historian and educationist, his life is full of different and very diverse (and sometimes contradictory) achievements: from his days in Bletchley Park, to his work as History Professor and social historian.

Born in Keighley, he was proud of his Yorkshire background. He served as president of the Brontë Society from 1987 to 1996.  He was the president of the Society's centenary celebrations in 1993 and the Brontë Parsonage Museum diamond jubilee in 1988 and his is the afterword in the commemorative publication, Sixty Treasures.

His favourite Brontë novel was Shirley and in May 17th, 1958 he gave a lecture at the Annual Meeting of the Brontë Society at Haworth: Private and Social Themes in Shirley (Brontë Society Transactions, Volume 13, Issue 3, 1958, pages 203-219). In his own words:
Before I knew anything about nineteenth-century Haworth I knew twentieth-century Haworth. Before I had heard of the Keighley Mechanics' Institute in the days of the Brontës, I was sitting at a desk in the present Mechanics' Institute. Before I had heard of Wuthering Heights I knew the moors. Before I read Shirley, I had read Frank Peel's fascinating little book The Risings of the Luddites, Charting and Plugdrawers in the Philip Snowden Collection in the Keighley Public Library.' In a sense I grew up with the Brontës and accepted them naturally as a part of my own background, an exciting and provocative part. I feel today that I am making my own humble homage to the Brontës as a native of this neighbourhood rather than attempting as a mere historian to evaluate a fragment of their work.


  1. I'm sorry! I'm reading his books of history, I love Victorian age.

  2. May he rest in peace