Wednesday, February 21, 2024

R.I.P. Richard Mathews (1944-2024)

I just googled to see if my old friend Richard Mathews was still the Director of the University of Tampa Press, only to find out that he died last month.

I met him at the 1987 Mythcon in Milwaukee, where we both appeared on a panel on David Lindsay. We found we had many common interests. Richard had published, with Borgo Press, a short book on Tolkien, Lightning from a Clear Sky (1978), and other short books on William Morris and Brian Aldiss. His most notable work was the Twayne volume Fantasy: The Liberation of Imagination (1997; reissued in 2012), which was filled with insights despite the somewhat odd structure of the book (presumably imposed upon him as part of the series it was in). Richard also contributed introductions to some of the William Morris reprints for the Newcastle fantasy series in the 1970s. 

He was devoted to his work at the University of Tampa Press, from which I see he retired in 2020. I worked on one long term project that would have excited him very much, and I was looking forward to showing it to him. But that cannot happen now, alas.  

Read more about Richard here:

In Memoriam, from the University of Tampa Press 

Local obituary

and a 2011 interview.

Condolences to his family and many friends.

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