Neil McCaw, 1969-2020
Winchester University Press is sad to report the death of Professor Neil McCaw, our Commissioning Editor. We are the sadder because Neil was taken so early and taken when he was at the peak of his ability. He leaves a wife and children. Our deepest sympathies go to them. We are yet more sad because Neil had a long struggle with cancer in the 1990s and from that he recovered to become a major figure in the Faculty of Arts and in the University. He inspired everyone who knew him with his learning, wit, energy, scholarly judgement, moral integrity and social commitment.
Neil joined our Editorial Board as a Faculty Representative before being invited to become a General Editor. He was a force for development, boldness and innovation. He was already a person with the keenest critical capacity, and he made himself knowledgeable in every aspect of the Press’s work, able to do all that needs to be done to turn manuscript into print.
Early on, Neil got to grips with online-electronic-journal publication, seeing into production The Royal Studies Journal, The Journal of Information Rights, Policy & Practice, and The Journal of Perpetrator Research. These scholarly journals were the maturing of a self-education that Neil had undertaken to publish Vortex, an undergraduate journal of creative writing. Neil pioneered the Winchester University Press Preface Series, the first title of which was Tom Masters’s epic poem Silence and the most recent title Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Adventure of the Creeping Man, edited and annotated by Neil McCaw. A great deal of the best of the Winchester University Press has been Neil’s work.
Neil’s brilliant scholarly career was entirely conducted at the University of Winchester. He was successively undergraduate, postgraduate, faculty member, professor. The fresher became Professor of Victorian Literature and Culture. Neil was the first person at Winchester to receive a PhD in English Literature. His thesis was ‘Doubtful Realism: The Changing Dynamics of History in George Eliot’. Submitted in 1996, it was published in 2000 by Macmillan as George Eliot and Victorian Historiography.
Neil was an extraordinary student, a wonderful colleague, and an Olympic-class emailer. No matter how early in the morning you sent him a message, he would respond so fast you’d think it was an Out-of-Office reply. But no, it was a full, a solid answer.
Neil: We miss you today. Neil: We will continue to miss you. Neil: Ave atque vale.
Winchester University Press, April 2020