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Stuart Major Sperry ’51

Published in Dec. 16, 1998, issue

Stu died Sept. 25, 1998, in London from prostate cancer. He was emeritus professor of English literature at Indiana U. and divided many years between Bloomington and London. He was an important figure in the revival of scholarly and popular interest in the British Romantic period (1780-1830). He published critical studies of Keats and Shelley. In 1973, PU Press published Keats the Poet, and Shelley's Major Verse was published by Harvard U. Press in 1988.

Also in 1988, Stu received the Distinguished Scholar Award of the Keats-Shelley Assn. of America. His Wordsworth essay in 1970 was selected for first prize in a national competition on the former Poet Laureate's bicentennial. Before his death, Stu was working on a study of the American poet Wallace Stevens.

Between college and graduate school--Harvard--he served in the Army in Korea. He was wounded in action and was awarded a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star medal with a "V."

Stu prepped at The Hill School. At Princeton, he majored in English, graduated summa cum laude, and was a member of Terrace and ROTC. He roomed with Jim Sage and Walter Ruch.

He is survived by his wife, Sophie, and his sister Suzanne. We have lost a major preserver of English literature.

The Class of 1951

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