We are deeply saddened to announce that Professor Roy Eriksen died last Monday, April 22. He had been a powerful supporter and a loyal contributor to the Kingston Shakespeare Seminar from its beginning, and the masterly lecture he gave in 2017 – on Marlowe’s Ovid – is remembered as one of the high points of the entire series. His presentation at our ‘Marlowe and Shakespeare’ conference was the definitive statement of a lifetime’s work on the authorship question, and the enthusiasm with which this was now received was a striking vindication of his pioneering research. Roy’s gift for conciliation was also in demand when he serenely chaired one of the most contentious debates of this conference, and it made him an ideal ambassador, as its international secretary, of the UK Marlowe Society.
Roy’s border-defying role was to be a courier, for a generation of scholars, between Britain and Norway, architecture and literature, the verbal and the visual, and ‘early modern’ and ‘Renaissance’ concepts of the Shakespearean world. This made him a true godfather to the Nordic Shakespeare Society, NORSS, which was launched in 2015 at the ‘Shakespeare and Scandinavia’ conference we hosted under his benign guidance and inspiration. Both the event and the new association grew out of the decade of peerless conferences he organised himself at Kristiansand, on ‘Toleration and the City’: another instance of how far his light shone into the future.
Late last autumn Roy Eriksen hosted one farewell symposium in Rome on crossing generic borders, where the wine flowed as generously as the conversation, and it is as a messenger bearing gifts from a better and brighter world that KiSS will celebrate and remember him.