Shakespearian Scholar Isaac Shapiro, Dead, Aged 99

Article excerpt

A Birmingham scholar, whose work on Elizabethan and Jacobean literature earned him a legendary reputation among academics, has died at the age of 99.

Isaac Avi Shapiro, a member of the University of Birmingham for more than 80 years, was known for his interest in Shakespeare and the poet John Donne.

Ship, as he was affectionately known, published comparatively little. What would have been a significant edition of the letters of John Donne was never completed, and his output was largely confined to editorial work and contributions to various journals. But his influence on the university went far beyond any appearance in print.

With Allardyce Nicoll he was closely involved in the foundation of the Shakespeare Institute in 1951 and as a teacher and scholar he became a legend in his lifetime.

Mr Shapiro was born in Birmingham on November 7, 1904, and educated at King Edward's Grammar School, Camp Hill, and the university, then in the former Mason College building in Edmund Street. He graduated in 1925 and was lured back to Birmingham in 1935 by the Professor of English, Ernest de Selincourt. …