Anthony Goodman

By Keleny, Anne | The Scotsman, October 27, 2016 | Go to article overview

Anthony Goodman


Keleny, Anne, The Scotsman


Anthony Goodman, historian. Born: London, 21 July, 1936. Died, Edinburgh, October 3, 2016, aged 80.

S cotland's capital has always been a great vantage point from which to keep an eye on the English, and it certainly proved so for Edinburgh University'sProfessorTonyGoodman, the historian.

His works on England's Wars of the Roses, its prince John of Gaunt, and its history from Richard II to James I, all writtenintheshadowofEdinburgh's Castle Rock, are now standard texts.

An internationally acclaimed scholar, with expertise also on medieval Spain and its relations with England, Goodman might be considered, as well, the equal of Sir Walter Scott in his fascination with and scholarship of the culture of the Borders.

In a 41-year academic career at Edinburgh from 1961, retiring as Professor of Medieval History, the London-born Goodman brought to life the careers of several women of the late Middle Ages.

He continued,inretirement, from 2002, to teach PhD students, and went on writing. His final book, finished not long before his death, is to be published early next year and shines light on Joan, the Fair MaidofKent,wifeofEngland's 14th-century Black Prince, who is seen as the first English Princess of Wales.

Goodman's students, many of whom have gone on to hold senior positions at universities, remember their studies being inspired by the many expeditions he took them on tochurches,castles,andother sites where controversies had raged five centuries before.

The citizens of Edinburgh also took pleasure from his work expounding the secrets of the city's medieval chapels including St Triduana's Aisle, Restalrig; St Anthony's Chapel in Holyrood Park, and the Magdalen Chapel, Cowgate. After one such tour, which he led to raise funds for charity, the gathered enthusiasts declared:"Tony'steamwalked the walk."

The researchthatwonGoodman his first lectureship at Edinburgh was into medieval parliamentary representation, and he did it after completing a degree in history from Magdalen College, Oxford, taught by the noted medievalist Kenneth Bruce McFarlane.

It was in Edinburgh that Goodmanmethisfuturewife, Jacqueline Hawkes, always known as Jackie, and they married in 1964. They were to have a daughter, Emma. She, with his wife, survives him.

Few were aware that Goodman's painstaking studies of books and difficult-to-read half-thousand-year-old manuscripts were undertaken against a handicap that arose from an operation done in his childhood to try to correct a "lazyeye",andthatmighthave daunted lesser spirits: permanent double vision. This he mastered with the help of glasses, and determination.

A man known for his gentle humour, Goodman never waveredinhisenthusiasmfor hissubject,andalwayscarried with him a small notebook and a pencil-stub to jot down ideas. …

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