George Watson’s first appeared in the pages of the Sewanee Review in 1976, with a State of Letters piece titled “Quest for a Frenchman.” In this essay Watson tracks down the man to whom T. S. Eliot dedicated his first poetry chapbook, the 1917 Prufrock and Other Observations.
Watson studied in his native country of Australia at the University of Queensland and also at Trinity College, Oxford. In 1959 he moved to England to teach at St. John’s College, Cambridge. Watson published numerous books of criticism over the course of his career, which range in subject matter from Renaissance literature to modern poetry and its relation to World War II. His last book, the 2013 Heresies and Heretics: Memories of the Twentieth Century, deals with the heretical qualities in figures and ideas present in the twentieth century.
The Sewanee Review will miss his writing, and is thankful to have had George Watson’s work grace its pages.