Punjab Research Group

Victor Gordon Kiernan, historian, born 4 September 1913; died 17 February 2009

Posted in News/Information by Pippa on February 18, 2009

It is with regret that the PRG has learned of the recent death of an outstanding scholar, Victor Kiernan.  Some members of PRG had contact with Victor and his work as an accomplished translator of Urdu poetry through the Journal of Punjab Studies.


The Guardian has published an obituary: 


Historian with a global vision of empires, Marxism, politics and poetry by Eric Hobsbawm The Guardian, Wednesday 18 February 2009


Victor Kiernan, who has died aged 95, was a man of unselfconscious charm and staggeringly wide range of learning. He was also one of the last survivors of the generation of British Marxist historians of the 1930s and 1940s. If this generation has been seen by the leading German scholar HU Wehler as the main factor behind “the global impact of English historiography since the 1960s”, it was largely due to Victor’s influence. He brought to the debates of the Communist party historians’ group between 1946 and 1956 a persistent, if always courteous, determination to think out problems of class culture and tradition for himself, whatever the orthodox position. He continued to remain loyal to the flexible, open-minded Marxism of the group to which he had contributed so much.

To read full article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009/feb/18/victor-kiernan-obituary

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