All who work in Hispanic studies have been deeply saddened by the news of the sudden death of Trevor Dadson, a Trustee of the MHRA, whose contributions to the history and literary study of Golden Age Spain have been highly influential, and whose energy and dynamism made him a very effective leader of his profession. He was 73. Born in Leeds in 1947, Trevor was for many years Professor at Queen Mary in London, and his retirement was entirely notional. In January he was just about to begin a semester in Virginia — at which prospect he was, as always, enthusiastic.
Trevor used his two-term Presidency of the Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland (the AHGBI) to begin a number of fruitful initiatives. It was typical of his ability to draw colleagues into his orbit that he brought together not only the members of his own Association, but also a number of sympatico bodies outside of it. In this, he was greatly helped by his natural gift for comradeship with those he worked with, sometimes spanning very long periods. When a young Trevor discussed Shakespeare with a young law student named Federico, they little imagined that one day His Excellency Federico Trillo, as Ambassador of Spain to the Court of St James's, would present Professor Dadson with the Order of Isabella the Catholic.
It was an honour he richly deserved, for his work had helped to change Spain's idea of its own history. He showed, for example, that the Moriscos — Muslim converts to Christianity, sometimes forcibly so — were treated more tolerantly, and belonged to a somewhat more integrated society, than had been thought. Today's residents of Villarrubia de los Ojos were so moved by Trevor's discovery that their townsfolk had struggled to protect Moriscos, and not to persecute them, that they named a street after him in 2008. Trevor's death on 28 January was reported as breaking news by some Spanish websites.
He was a Fellow of the British Academy and held numerous honours and positions: he poured his energies into many ventures, not least the editing of the Hispanic Research Journal. But the Modern Humanities Research Association will remember him as the founding editor of the Legenda book series Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Cultures. It was characteristic of Trevor that when we approached the AHGBI to propose this joint venture, he launched into it with immediate enthusiasm. He took the chair himself, and was determined to propel the nascent series forwards. That was only in 2013, but today the series is one of the most active Hispanic lists in the world. (Six titles appeared in January.) Many of the series's authors have written to us in recent days with their condolences.
It is with gratitude, then, that we remember Trevor Dadson, and along with our mutual friends at the AHGBI we hope to be good stewards of the institutions to which he contributed so much.