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 much admire).

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]> wrote:
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 world.

Best Regards,

Brian Reynolds
Systems Administrator
Department of English
UC Santa Barbara
(805) 893-4135