Author, retired Dundee University professor and hip-hop enthusiast Kenneth Newton has died aged 80.
Emeritus Professor Newton was the author of more than a dozen books on literary theory and the work of George Eliot.
Professor’s Newton’s final book on the author, George Eliot for the Twenty-First Century, was published in 2018.
His wife Cate (Catriona) said her husband, as well as being an internationally renowned expert on the author, was well known for his eclectic musical tastes.
He loved jazz, classical music and followed the latest trends. He was as happy listening to hip-hop and punk as Wagner and Mahler.
Professor and Mrs Newton, later a director of the National Library of Scotland, were regular concert goers and were among the audience at Queen’s famous Caird Hall appearance in 1975.
Kenneth Newton was born in Glasgow and graduated MA (Hons) in English language and literature from Glasgow University.
His post-graduate studies were at Edinburgh University and his thesis was published as his first book, George Eliot: Romantic Humanist.
Mrs Newton said: “He said George Eliot was the greatest woman who ever lived. He was impressed by her extensive knowledge of almost every subject and thought her novels depicting everyday life were rich in ideas and philosophy.”
Mr Newton was appointed a researcher and lecturer at Dundee University in 1972.
He met his future wife Cate at Dundee University, where she was working in the library. The couple married in 1977.
Mrs Newton later worked at St Andrews University before her appointment as Director of Collections and Research at the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh.
Mr Newton was later appointed a senior lecturer at Dundee and then Professor in 1991.
After his retiral in 2008, Professor Newton was made Emeritus Professor.
Among Professor Newton’s other books on George Eliot were: George Eliot, Judaism and the Novels: Jewish Myth and Mysticism and Modernising George Eliot: The Writer as Artist, Intellectual, Proto-Modernist, Cultural Critic.
His final book considered the author two centuries after her birth and evaluated her continuing legacy as a radical thinker for the 21st century.
Professor Newton is survived by Cate and their children Carol, Claire and John and six grandchildren.
The family’s announcement can be read here.