Eighteenth-Century Studies 34.1 (2000) v
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Arthur E. McGuinness, in memoriam
Robert H. Hopkins
Professor Emeritus of English, University of California-Davis,
co-founder of Eighteenth-Century Studies
Eighteenth-Century Studies co-founder, Arthur E. McGuinness, Professor Emeritus of English, University of California-Davis, passed away August 11, 2000 at the age of 64. Professor McGuinness co-founded the journal with Robert H. Hopkins in 1967 and co-edited it (later with Max Byrd) until 1992 when it moved to the University of North Carolina.
The journal preceded the Society and its early success was a catalyst in the Society's founding. Professor McGuinness moved to the University of California-Davis Campus from the University of Wisconsin in 1964. He and Professor Hopkins chose to cooperate rather than compete by lobbying their administration for funds to start a new journal for eighteenth-century studies. Two unknown, untenured assistant professors do not usually have the clout to take on grandiose projects, particularly when a similar project in North Carolina had just failed after a dean was replaced. McGuinness was both brash enough and persuasive enough to succeed in getting funding.
Robert Gleckner, then on the Riverside Campus, had introduced McGuinness and Hopkins to his colleague Donald Greene who, in turn, persuaded James Clifford to be their patron. The University of California Press provided a dummy masthead to convince Clifford that they were for real. The Davis Campus committed ten thousand dollars annually for five years with the understanding that the endeavor would then become self-sufficient. This was, of course, not nearly enough in the long term. When Donald Greene returned to California several years later as an endowed professor at the University of Southern California, he started the ECS book review section using, unknown to us, his own research money to fund the expansion. Greene then enlisted the elite of eighteenth-century scholars to found our Society. By adopting the journal, the Society provided a solid financial base for ECS along with library and institutional subscriptions.
McGuinness and Hopkins continued to edit ECS until their early retirements in 1991 and 1992 respectively. It was not easy! At that time they had only one half-time copy editor, no secretarial assistance, and only one course remission between them (even though submissions poured in over the summer when they were committed to do their own research.
It was enormously gratifying to McGuinness and Hopkins to see the journal and the Society evolve to where it is today.
As past ASECS Executive Directors know, McGuinness was a bon vivant who hosted their winter visits to California from the frigid heartland by escorting them to the wineries of the Napa Valley and the gourmet restaurants of San Francisco. McGuinness was a gifted singer who sang many years with the University and Sacramento choral groups. One of Hopkins's fondest memories is of Donald Greene, a houseguest of McGuinness's and his vivacious wife Nora, singing eighteenth-century hymns and Irish songs, while McGuinness played the piano. In later years McGuinness's research interests shifted to Anglo-Irish literature, and as early as 1970 he championed the poetry of Seamus Heaney in essays and later a book.
In his last years, McGuinness showed great courage and was blessed with the love of his wonderful Irish family and his religious faith. Memorial donations may be sent to the Movement Disorders Clinic at the University of California Davis Medical Center (Davis, CA 95616). He will be missed by his many friends, his former students, his colleagues, and especially Robert H. Hopkins.