Old English Newsletter


Back  |  Print


In Memoriam: Lynne Mary Grundy (1957-1997)


A Remembrance by Jane Roberts, King's College London

Lynne Grundy was a member of the University of London through and through. She had a distinguished undergraduate career at Westfield College, took an M.A. at University College and a Ph.D. at King's College. That she should have written her doctorate within the School of Theology seems appropriate for someone who took three years out of education during the early years after graduation to work for the charity Christian Aid. Her thesis, entitled "Þurh boclice lare getrymmed: The Augustinian Teaching of Ælfric of Eynsham," provided the springboard not just for her monograph Books and Grace: Ælfric's Theology (1991), but also for a group of highly original articles on Ælfric.

Lynne's most recent appointment was as Lecturer in Humanities Computing, a post to which she was appointed in 1995, when the School of Humanities of King's College London created the United Kingdom's first post of this kind. She was ideal for this role because, in addition to her wide range of computing skills, she never lost sight of the goal that computing should serve scholarship. In 1992-93 she had created, with Harold Short, hypertext stacks for The Battle of Maldon and The Dream of the Rood which the students of the English Department still use, and from that time she worked on a number of different sets of teaching materials. A medieval scholar first and foremost, Lynne continued to pursue her interests in all aspects of Anglo-Saxon thought and culture. She was, in addition, the most talented of teachers, with the gift of communicating her own enthusiasm for her subjects. She was a particularly sympathetic person, inspiring affection very readily – the sort of person in whom friends and casual acquaintances alike found themselves confiding.

I first met Lynne Grundy in 1980, when she attended intercollegiate classes on palaeography held weekly at Senate House for English postgraduates. She quickly became much sought-after as a teacher, juggling a succession of teaching appointments at Royal Holloway College, Queen Mary College, and University College. Lynne was a superb teacher, extending her love for medieval literature to many surprised converts, and she enjoyed teaching. Across the years 1989-93 Lynne held a half-time post as research assistant in the English Department at King's College. Her initial duties were to evaluate and work in detail on two lexical fields, from which she moved on to join in final checking procedures for the Thesaurus of Old English (1995). Her meticulous and painstaking work proved impressive, and Christian Kay and I were amazed by the ease with which Lynne added a grasp of complex computer programs to her many skills. It is for her personal qualities that Lynne will be most missed and always remembered. Her students, colleagues and friends knew her as someone with a wealth of interests, insights, and infectious enthusiasms. Lynne was buried in the parish churchyard at Eynsham, near Oxford. She grew up in the area, and it is particularly fitting that her grave is on the hillside where once stood the abbey in which Ælfric was abbot.

OEN 31.1 (1997): 10.