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.
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.
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.
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
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