Writer and lecturer Ronald Gaskell died from cancer at Cape Cornwall on Tuesday, April 13. He was 83. He was born and grew up in Glasgow where he graduated from university having studied English literature. Just after WWII he served in the British Army in Germany, lecturing to soldiers soon to be demobilised who wanted to pursue further education. After teaching in Scotland, he then worked for the Commonwealth Universities Office, London. From teaching English literature at Nottingham University he moved on to the University of Bristol, teaching mainly Shakespeare and modern poetry, retiring as a senior lecturer after 20 years. In retirement he moved with his wife, the craftsman-potter Alice GASKELL, and their family to Cornwall where they lived at Cape Cornwall beside the sea. [from his Obituary, Cornishman, 22 April 2010] 

In the first year of the opening of Trevelyan House (2002-3), Chapel Street, Penzance, Gaskell presented a series of study days on women writers and poets, to a packed and appreciative audience of members and visitors. His calm, quiet but determined and courteous explication of complex ideas was well-known, as were his characteristic white trainers, employed for all occasions. A tall and graceful man, he was always an ornament to any literary or artistic event.

His publications are several, including many poems in journals and magazines, as well as a collection (Rock with Water) and further 'mini-collections'. One of these, The Cape, evolved into a collaboration with the painter Kurt JACKSON, also called The Cape, published by Truran Press in 2002.


Poet, author, teacher

works and access

Works include: publications Rock with Water (1976), Teach Yourself Italian (poetry), The Cape (with Kurt Jackson, 2002); Drama and Reality: The European Theatre since Ibsen (Routledge 1972); Wordsworth's Poem of the Mind: An Essay on the Prelude (Edinburgh Univ Press 1991); Nuclear Weapons: The Way Ahead (Long essay, CND)



The Cornishman, 22 April 2010 (Obituary)

His own writings as listed above