Elected: 2001
Discipline: Language, Literature and History
Professor Ronald Dyce Sadler Jack FRSE

Professor of Scottish and Medieval Literature, University of Edinburgh.

Ronald Dyce Sadler Jack, Professor of Scottish and Medieval Literature at the University of Edinburgh from 1987-2004, died on 14 December 2016 at the age of 75.

Ronnie was a native of Ayr, where he was born on 3 April 1941. He was educated at Ayr Academy and the Universities of Glasgow (where he first studied Law, then switched to English) and Edinburgh. As a schoolboy he met the legendary Samuil Marshak, translator of Burns into Russian for Stalin, visiting from the USSR to get a sense of the birthplace of the heroic Scottish peasant, and recited Burns to him so that Marshak could get the feel of Burns’s Scots. Ronnie remained an enthusiastic Burnsian all his life, and a welcome speaker at Burns events and suppers: he was a natural performer with a great sense of humour. As a student at Glasgow he remembered an early lecturer describing with great imprecision how Geoffrey Chaucer ‘was born between 1340 and 1342’. ‘Pair Mrs Chaucer !’ shouted out a Glasgow voice from the back row to an audience of 300, with that sense of egalitarian irreverence that Ronnie himself appreciated and was never to lose. Read full obituary