St Clair, William, 1937-2021

by Professor Roderick Beaton FBA

24 May 2022
Number of pages
22 (pages 179-199)

Born in London to Scottish parents and brought up Falkirk, Stirlingshire, William St Clair embarked on his career as an independent scholar while working as a senior civil servant in Whitehall. After publishing a series of landmark biographical studies relating to Romanticism and the creation of modern Greece, he left the civil service to take up research positions successively at All Souls College, Oxford, Trinity College, Cambridge, and the University of London. His scholarly interests encompassed the history of publishing and reading practices in Britain since the invention of printing, women’s studies, the history of slavery, and the custodianship of cultural heritage, exemplified by the notorious case of the ‘Elgin Marbles’ or ‘Sculptures of the Parthenon’. He was an early champion of Open Access publishing and a co-founder and Director of Open Book Publishers.

Posted to Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the British Academy, 20

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