Bruce Tolley (1932-2021)

St Catherine’s College is saddened to share the news that Dr Bruce Tolley, Emeritus Fellow of St Catherine’s, passed away on Friday 15 January 2021, aged 88.

Dr Tolley received his first degree at the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, before reading Modern Languages at Trinity College, Oxford, graduating with a First in French and Spanish.

Although his early research interest had been in Romance philology, he soon established himself as an authority on nineteenth-century prose fiction and history of ideas. He completed a DPhil thesis on the 19th-century reformer the Comte de Saint-Simon, with his principal publications thereafter being on Balzac.

Dr Tolley was elected to a Founding Fellowship and Tutorship in French at St Catherine’s in 1962, becoming a committed tutor. He was an active participant in College affairs, holding the posts of Tutor for Graduates, President of the SCR and Vice-Master.

He retired in 1999, becoming an Emeritus Fellow.

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