Vale Dr Jean Talbot (1937-2022)

Dr Jean Talbot photographed in 1986 in the grounds of the University of Newcastle, holding a copy of her thesis
Dr Jean Talbot photographed in 1986 in the grounds of the University of Newcastle, holding a copy of her thesis “Dickens and the Excluded Feminine”. (Source: University News, Volume 12, Number 17, September 29 to October 13, 1986)

 

We wish to pay our respects to the late Dr Jean Talbot, who passed away recently, and to convey our sincere condolences to her family and friends.

Associate Professor Norman Talbot and Jean Talbot: the University of Newcastle, Australia
Associate Professor Norman Talbot and Dr Jean Talbot: the University of Newcastle, Australia (University News, Volume 13, Number 10, 29 June to 13 July, 1987.)

Dr Jean Talbot’s Long Standing Relationship with the UON

Dr Jean Talbot was a committed wife, mother, Quaker, poet, lecturer, educator, environmentalist and activist.

She was dedicated to the teaching of English literature, and had a long standing relationship to the University of Newcastle since 1975, when she took up a position with the University’s then Community Programmes, encouraging people, who, for whatever reason had not previously entered tertiary education, to do so.

Brian Smith, Jean Talbot, Sybil Smith and Norman Talbot broadcasting a reading of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland from 2NUR-FM, the University of Newcastle, Australia - 1979
Brian Smith, Jean Talbot, Sybil Smith and Norman Talbot broadcasting a reading of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland from 2NUR-FM, the University of Newcastle, Australia – 1979

 

Dr Jean Talbot’s Life

She was born in Hull, East Yorkshire, in 1937 and graduated from Durham University with Honours in English in 1959. She attained a teaching degree at Leeds University in 1960.

In 1960 she married Norman Talbot, and the couple emigrated to Australia in 1963.

She completed her PhD on “Dickens and the Excluded Feminine” in 1985.

Dr Jean Talbot, English Department, receiving her degree from Sir Bede Callaghan, the University of Newcastle, Australia - 1 May 1987
Dr Jean Talbot, English Department, receiving her degree from Sir Bede Callaghan, the University of Newcastle, Australia – 1 May 1987

As a poet and proud supporter of Newcastle literary scene, Jean’s poetry has appeared in several anthologies. In 1982 she edited Huntress, Woman Poets of the Hunter Valley, published by Nimrod Publications.

In 2012, she spoke at the event A Lyrical Afternoon in celebration of the life and work of Norman Talbot, Dorothy Hewett and Merv Lilley was held at Varuna. The first part of the afternoon was dedicated to honouring the life and work of Norman Talbot and included presenters Dr Jean Talbot, accompanied by her friends and colleagues Don Cohen, President of Catchfire Press, Dr Christopher Pollnitz, Jo Tregellis and Zeny Giles.

Her final anthology, The Inner Light: A Collection of Poems by Jean Talbot was launched at the Lovett gallery in May 2022.

William Morris’s Works A Donation “In Memory of Norman”

In 2004 she donated the personal library of editions of William Morris’s work owned her late husband Norman Talbot, in memory of him, to the University Archives, Rare Books & Special Collections (now Special Collections).

The gift was officially presented by Jean on the 24th March 2005 to mark the occasion of William Morris’s birthday. See: https://livinghistories.newcastle.edu.au/nodes/view/113082

Dr Jean Talbot at the Presentation March 24th 2005
Dr Jean Talbot at the Presentation of Norman Talbot’s collection of William Morris works, March 24th 2005

Vale Dr Jean Talbot

She will always remain a beautiful, quietly spoken, gentle and dignified woman whose insight and wisdom will be sorely missed by all that knew her and loved her. She will live on through her family, and in the words and experiences she left with everyone who knew her.

Gionni Di Gravio, OAM
University Archivist, & Chair Hunter Living Histories


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