Obituary: Meredith Bragg Raymond, Professor Emerita of English

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Meredith Bragg Raymond, 99, of Amherst, professor emerita of English, died Feb. 26.

Born May 2, 1918, in Brockton, she graduated from Weymouth High School in 1935 and from the former Bridgewater Teachers College in 1939 where she majored in English and American history and literature.

Early teaching positions included public schools in North Reading, Weymouth and Hanover. She was also a teaching fellow at Boston University and enrolled in graduate courses at the Bread Loaf School of English in Middlebury, Vermont, receiving an M.A. in English literature in 1943.

She received her Ph.D. from Boston University in 1964 and joined UMass Amherst that year as a lecturer in the English department with a specialty in Victorian literature. She was named assistant professor in 1966, associate professor in 1970 and professor in 1986. She retired in 1991.

She was a visiting professor at the University of Hawaii in 1986. Her extensive travels incorporated pursuits of literature with visits to European libraries and records offices, especially in Florence, Italy, in 1973, and several trips to London in connection with her long interest in Elizabeth Barrett Browning. She and  Mary Rose Sullivan were early participants as co-editors in ongoing editions of  “The Browning’ Correspondence,” Philip Kelley editor, which is now at Vol. 24.

Raymond’s other publications include “Swinburne's Poetics: Theory and Practice” in 1971 and several articles on the poetry of Swinburne, Morris, Arnold, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. In 1983, with co-editor Sullivan, she published the three-volume “The Letters of Elizabeth Barrett Browning to Mary Russell Mitford, 1836-1854” followed by selected editions of these letters, “Women of Letters” in 1987 and “Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Selected Poetry and Prose” in 1993.

After her retirement, her research focused on a biography of John Kenyon, a prominent figure in Victorian literary and cultural circles and a friend and benefactor of both Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Her memberships in professional organizations have included the Modern Language Association, the Northeast Victorian Association, the American Association of University Professors, The Browning Institute, and the Massachusetts Center for Renaissance Studies. She had been a member and an occasional lecturer of the Boston Browning Society since 1964.

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