Dr. Ann Ridler

Dr. Ann Ridler, the chairman of the George Borrow Society, died suddenly on 28 November 2018.  The news came as a shock to us all, because as well as being such a leading Borrovian, Ann was a beloved friend of many in the Society and an inspiration to us all.

Dr. Ann Ridler of the George Borrow Society

Back in 2012, Ann suggested that contributors to the George Borrow Bulletin write a short biography of themselves, and provided the following on herself:

Dr Ann Ridler graduated from Oxford as a modern linguist in 1956. Now retired, she was professionally involved in course validation and the accreditation of institutions in further and higher education (1969–1999). Her PhD (CNAA, 1983) was on the subject of ‘George Borrow as a Linguist’ and her thesis was subsequently printed for private circulation in an edition of 100 copies (1996). She has been engaged in research on Borrow since 1975. A founder member of the George Borrow Society, she has been Chairman since 1997 and has edited the George Borrow Bulletin since 1991.

Always understating her own contribution, she was a world-class Borrovian scholar, and in conjunction with Dr. Clive Wilkins-Jones in April 2014 launched Lavengro Press and edited a series of scholarly books on George Borrow.

Not confining her scholarly expertise to George Borrow, Ann also produced (with Mary Clapinson) the register for St. Hugh’s College, 1886–1959.  The college has voiced their own appreciation of Ann.

As I’m sure anyone who contributed to the Bulletin knows, Ann was a very helpful and exacting editor.  Colm Kerrigan once remarked that writing under Ann was like writing a book on Christianity and having God as the editor.  Ann would tactfully make suggestions rather than put people down, but it was always wise to think very carefully about what she casually mentioned.

The George Borrow Society will no doubt arrange a fitting tribute to Ann over the coming months.  She will be greatly missed.