Bruce Dickins

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Bruce Dickins, FBA (26 October 1889 – 4 January 1978), a graduate of Magdalene College, Cambridge, was Professor of English Language at the University of Leeds from 1931 to 1946 (where he succeeded E. V. Gordon), teaching medieval English and Old Norse.[1]

He became Elrington and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon, University of Cambridge, from January 1946 until September 1957, afterwards Emeritus Professor; and Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge from 1946. He was succeeded as professor at Leeds by Harold Orton, and in some respects also by A. R. Taylor.

In November 1947, when the issue of full membership of the University for women was being debated for the fourth time, and a proposal to grant full equality was proposed by a Syndicate appointed to report on the issue, there was only one speaker at the ensuing debate who opposed the proposal and that was Bruce Dickins. He "came forward to oppose the motion. He seemed to think he would be one of a long line of disputants, but he had the floor to himself and no one bothered to counter his plea against the proposed new status for women. In his view, the women did not have any grievances which needed righting, they would gain nothing by membership of the University and, if Oxford was any example, nor would the University. Cambridge would do better to stand firm with Harvard and Yale as all-male institutions. The dim echoes of what had once been a white-hot argument found no support, and the discussion was closed.[2]


  1. ^ "History of the School of English - Faculty of Arts - University of Leeds". 2010-06-09. Retrieved 2015-10-15. 
  2. ^ McWilliams-Tullberg, Rita Women at Cambridge, a Men's University though of a Mixed Type, Gollancz, 1975, p. 210