On November 5th, 2012, Bertram Wyatt-Brown succumbed to a long illness at the age of eighty after living a full life of literary greatness. Born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 1932, he was the son of an Episcopal bishop, and so it was fitting that he received his B.A. in English from Sewanee: The University of the South in 1953. He served in the U.S. Navy for two years and then entered the Naval Reserve so that he might take a second B.A., this one in History from King's College, Cambridge University in 1957.
At Cambridge Wyatt-Brown became friends with several important writers including Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, among others, and he would later write his own pieces about them. Reviews of Wyatt-Brown's works have appeared in the Sewanee Review several times, including summer 1997 and spring 2006. Wyatt-Brown's book entitled Southern Honor—Ethics & Behavior in the Old South earned the high praise of SR editor George Core, who lauded it as "probably the best book on the Southern psyche since W. J. Cash's The Mind of the South." The book was a finalist for both the American Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in history.
Wyatt-Brown devoted his life and work to the concepts of honor and shame and how those principles affected different cultures and times, especially the time of slavery and the antebellum South. He published eleven books and was working on a twelfth at the time of his death. We thank him for his contribution to the republic of letters and send our condolences to his wife and two daughters.