Kenneth Hurlstone Jackson

1909-1991; b. Croyden; took Open Scholarship in Classics to St John's College, Cambridge; studied under H. M. and Nora Chadwick; became fluent in 6 Celtic languages; worked with Ifor Williams in Wales, and Osborn Bergin in Dublin; fellowship at St John's and university lectureship, 1934; appt. Professor of Celtic at Harvard, 1939; appt. chair of Celtic Literature, Edinburgh University, 1949; editor of A Celtic Miscellany (1951), translations; and other works on Irish, Manx and Welsh literature; gave John Rhys lecture on Common Gaelic: the evolution of the Goedelic languages [Proc. of Brit. Acad., XXXVII] (British Academy 1953) and 1964 Rede lecture as The Oldest Irish Tradition: A Window on the Iron Age (1964); also issued Historical Phonology of Breton (1967),The Gododdin (1969) and The Gaelic notes in the book of Deer (1972); served on Royal Commission for the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland; member of British Academy and non. member of the RIA; publised edn. of Aislinge Meic Con Clinne, a Middle Irish satirical extravaganza Middle Irish; awarded CBE and FPA; d. 22 Feb.; obit. 8 March 1991, The Times; survived by wife Janet and two children.

Studies in Early Celtic Nature Poetry (Cambridge UP 1935), xii, 204pp. [infra]; Ed. Cath Maighe Léna [Mediaeval & Modern Irish Ser. 9] (Dublin: Stationery Office 1938; rep. 1990), xxxv, 187pp. 8o.; A Celtic Miscellany (London: Routledge & Paul 1951; 1971), 359pp.; with others, Celt and Saxon: Studies in the Early British Border (Cambridge UP 1963), viii, 364pp., [4]pp. of pls.; The Oldest Irish Tradition: A Window on the Iron Age [Rede Lecture] (Cambridge UP 1964), 54pp.

Also, Testing the Wife's Affection [from Folk-Lore, 48] (1937), 2pp. [offprint]; ed. Peg Sayers, Scealta ón mBlascaod [...] do scríobh ó bhéal Pheig Sayers [Béalordeas, 8, 1] (Baile Átha Cliath: Cumann le Béalordeas Éireann 1939), 96pp.; Also, Further Note on Suibhne Geilt and Merlin (Dublin: UCD [n.d.]), [5]pp.

Studies in Early Celtic Nature Poetry (Cambridge UP 1935), xii, 204pp., Do. (Folcroft, Pa.: Folcroft Library Edns. 1974), xii, 204pp., and Do. [rep. edn.] (Philadelphia: Robert West 1977) [q.pp.]; another edn. (Felinfach: Llanerch 1995), xii, 204pp.

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Kay Muhr, ‘Kenneth Hurlstone Jackson, 1909-1991’, in Nomina, 15 (1991-92), pp.127-29. See also

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A Celtic Miscellany ‘The God in the Tree’: ‘Comparing these poems with the medieval European lyric is like comparing the emotions of an imaginative adolescent who has just grown to realise the beauty of nature, with those of an old man who has been familiar with it for a lifetime and no longer is able to think of it except in literary terms [...] The truth is that in its earliest period Celtic literature did not belong at all to the common culture of the rest of Europe; nor did it ever become more than partly influenced by it.’ (Quoted in Seamus Heaney, in Preoccupations, 1980, p.183; Note that Heaney continues with a full quotation from Jackson’s trans. of Oisin’s praise of Ben Bulben.)

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