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University community remembers George Worth, renowned authority on Victorian literature

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas community is grieving the loss of Professor Emeritus George Worth, who was part of the Department of English for 40 years.

Worth died Oct. 7 in Lawrence. He was 87.

“I join the University of Kansas community in mourning the death of George Worth and recalling more than four decades of contributions to his research field of Victorian literature and his dedicated service to our university,” said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. “On behalf of the entire KU community, I offer my sincere condolences to Professor Worth’s family, friends, colleagues and former students.”

Worth’s scholarly interest was in Victorian literature. With a particular concern for the works of Charles Dickens, he was president of the Dickens Society in 1984.

At KU, Worth served as chair of the English department from 1964 through 1979. He received several teaching awards from the university, including the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1988 and the Chancellors Club Career Teaching Award in 1994.

Throughout his career, Worth wrote six books and co-edited three others. He wrote many scholarly articles, essays and reviews and presented at conferences around the world.

Dorice Elliott, associate professor of English, joined KU to teach Victorian literature after Worth’s retirement.

“I had heard much about George Worth before I came to KU because of his highly respected scholarship in Victorian studies, which gained him an international reputation,” Elliott said. “He was as kind and helpful to me as anyone could be. He frequently visited my classes on Dickens to give guest lectures, and the students often reported that he was the highlight of the semester.

“When I became a department chair, I became more fully aware of the contribution he had made to the department and university by serving as chair of the English department for 15 years. He was one of the most gracious, gentlemanly, intelligent and interesting people I have known.”

A celebration of life took place Oct. 23 in Lawrence.