Search This Blog


Saturday, 21 September 2013

Robert Barnard 1936 - 2013

Robert Barnard died in his sleep yesterday at the Grove Court Nursing Home in Leeds, after weakening frighteningly quickly. Well known in the Brontë Society (he was Chairman twice), he was a professor, a scholar, an opera lover and an award-winning crime writer who was also a good personal friend of long standing, for me and many others. It is shocking news, even though it is not completely unexpected. Fuller tributes and obituaries will follow in the coming weeks. (Richard Wilcocks)

Funeral: Wednesday  2 October   11am  Armley Hill Top Cemetery  Leeds LS12 3PZ

Enquiries: Robson & Ellis 0113 257 0532

Memories of Bob (Sally McDonald)

Guardian Obituary

Yorkshire Post Obituary

Telegraph Obituary

New York Times Obituary

Independent Obituary

Black Mask Obituary

Crime writer Martin Edwards remembers

Joan Bellamy writes:

Robert Barnard was a creative force in the endeavours of the Brontë Society, based in Haworth. A member of its council and chairman for many years, he encouraged and contributed to academic research into the works and lives of the Brontës while ensuring that the interests and enthusiasms of the less professionally engaged were catered for. After steering it through some quite stormy times, in the end he guided it safely into port. He will be much missed; the success of the society's activities today is largely due to him. (from The Guardian 30 September 2013)

Guardian Obituary


  1. It was with a feeling of profound sadness that I read about the death of Robert Barnard and I extend to you- his close friend- my deepest sympathy. I first got to know him more than twenty years or so ago, I suppose, when I joined the Bronte Society and he was always a man I had great respect for.The Society were lucky to have him as Chairman twice and also as a council member and his knowledge of the Bronte family and their writings was unsurpassed- this knowledge he was willing to share with anyone.To me, as an ordinary member of the Society, he showed great kindness and I always looked forward to meeting him and having a chat. I can remember him asking me to join him and a few friends in the White Lion after some function- the evening was full of laughter and Robert, showing his mischievous side, fired our imagination with his stories and knowledge and it was a super evening.
    He will be greatly missed by so many people and
    those who were lucky enough to call him 'friend' are poorer for his passing but so much richer for his knowing.

  2. RIP Bob - a true gentleman, a fine Bronte scholar, a wise and reliable Trustee. You will be greatly missed.