Very sad news indeed. Patrick is truly irreplaceable. It is one thing to
moderate a list by filtering inappropriate postings. It is quite another to
moderate by contextualizing posts, supplying valuable cross-references and
tips on how to search and, most important of all, set a welcoming,
generous, and always civilized (as well as civil) tone.
The forum can never be the same without Patrick's benevolent and expert
guidance. He founded it and was its guardian angel.
I first met Patrick very early on at the annual Dickens Universe
conferences in Santa Cruz and steadily got to know and admire him more and
more over the years up to and after his retirement. Although more than
twenty years older than I, we had a good deal in common: the Victorians of
course, also Columbia, and before that not just our home town, but our
small hometown neighborhoods: Manhattan's Yorkville on the upper East Side.
He always made me feel special, as I believe he made everybody at the
Universe and on the list feel special (even those he specially did not so
I have missed DICKNS-L much over the past year. It is hard to imagine,
especially with the advent of social media, and even with an equally
devoted and wise moderator, that it can survive.
And I shall often wonder, "What would Patrick have said?"
On Thu, May 30, 2019, 10:42 PM Brian Reynolds <[log in to unmask]>
> Dear All,
> It is my sad duty to inform the members of the dickns-l mailing list
> that this list's founder and long-time moderator, Patrick McCarthy,
> passed away on May 20 at the age of ninety-six.
> Professor McCarthy's obituary can be read here:
> In the past year or more Professor McCarthy was unable to moderate the
> list as he had been accustomed to, so your postings failed to appear.
> But as the IT person in the UCSB Department of English, I have arranged
> to take custodianship of the list on a temporary basis and will moderate
> it in collaboration with one of Professor McCarthy's colleagues until we
> can find a new owner/moderator. I am not a scholar or Dickensian but we
> will endeavor to review daily postings and approve submissions. If any
> of you wish to nominate a successor to Professor McCarthy, we should be
> glad to hear the nomination and will consider candidates.
> Professor McCarthy often spoke of this list and I know he would have
> wanted it to continue to be a resource for Dickens readers around the
> Best Regards,
> Brian Reynolds
> Systems Administrator
> Department of English
> UC Santa Barbara
> (805) 893-4135