Marilyn Butler

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Marilyn Speers Butler, Lady Butler, FRSA, FRSL, FBA (née Evans, 11 February 1937 – 11 March 2014) was a British literary critic. She was King Edward VII Professor of English Literature at the University of Cambridge from 1986 to 1993, and Rector of Exeter College, Oxford, from 1993 to 2004.[1]

Early life[edit]

She was educated at Wimbledon High School and St Hilda's College, Oxford.[2]

Academic career[edit]

Her published works include Romantics, Rebels and Reactionaries and Jane Austen and the War of Ideas. Much of her work was devoted to the career of the Anglo-Irish Romantic novelist Maria Edgeworth, including a classic literary biography and an important edition of her collected works for Pickering & Chatto.

Personal life[edit]

She was married to David Butler; the couple had three sons.


Marilyn Butler died on 11 March 2014 at the age of 77.[where?][1]


In June 2003 she was awarded an honorary degree from the Open University as Doctor of the University.[citation needed] Butler was a Fellow of the British Academy.


  • Maria Edgeworth: A Literary Biography (1972)
  • Jane Austen and the War of Ideas (1975)
  • Romantics, Rebels, and Reactionaries: English Literature and Its Background, 1760-1830 (1982)


  1. ^ a b John Mullan. "Marilyn Butler obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  2. ^ British Academy: The British Academy Book Prize - Judging Panel

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Richard Oswald Chandler Norman
Rector of Exeter College, Oxford
Succeeded by
Frances Cairncross