- Editor’s Note
As this issue was going to press, we received notice of Susan Manning’s death. Eve Tavor Bannet offers this fitting and eloquent tribute:
Susan Manning (1953–2013) was a leading British transatlanticist who did more than anyone else to develop the field and ensure that it became a subject that was taught and studied at Scottish universities. Trained as an Americanist at Cambridge and in the United States, Susan came into her own when she left her teaching job at Cambridge to return to her native Scotland in 1999. There, as Grierson Professor of English Literature at the University of Edinburgh and most recently as director of its Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (IASH), Susan did for Edinburgh what Paul Giles did for Oxford—put it squarely on the transatlantic map.
A prolific scholar, Susan is perhaps best known over here for monographs such as Fragments of Union: Making Connections in Scottish and American Writing (2002) and essay collections such as The Atlantic Enlightenment (2008), Transatlantic Literary Studies: A Reader (2007), and Transatlantic Literary Studies, 1680–1820: An Introduction (2011).
But at home, she was also, in her kind, quiet, and totally unpretentious way, a mover and shaker who galvanized others into doing exciting new work on the Scottish Enlightenment and on transatlantic topics. Susan used STAR, a society for the study of Scottish transatlantic relations that she founded around 2000, as well as IASH, to bring together groups of historians, philosophers, literary scholars, art historians, historians of the book, and curators from across Scotland and connect them to their Atlantic peers. She would say: “I have an idea”—for a lecture series, colloquium, conference, collective book project, or event—“would you . . . ?” and before one knew it, one’s little bit of scholarship had become part of a larger and more important conversation that only she had envisioned, and which in turn stimulated further work.
A generous and engaging colleague, a loving wife, the mother of three [End Page 535] lovely daughters, and the mentor of many grateful students, Susan was the truest of true friends. She conducted herself in all things “with ease and honor,” as her Scottish grandmother would have said; and she will be sorely missed.
Susan turned in her last book, Poetics of Character: Transatlantic Encounters, 1700–1900, to Cambridge University Press just before she passed away; and it is currently in press. [End Page 536]