(1 October 1922, Bystřice pod Hostýnem – 11 December 2014)
Eminent literary historian, expert on English Renaissance literature and the works of William Shakespeare
After completing his studies at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University, he worked at the Academy of Sciences. In 1962-1969, he served as head of the Department of English Studies. Due to his negative attitude to the Soviet occupation in 1968, he was not allowed to teach during the so-called “normalization”, and for some time, he was not even allowed to publish, although he worked at prestigious international universities, especially at the University of California in Los Angeles (1966-67, 1983, 1988). From 1990, he could lecture again, and he worked at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University, at the Masaryk Univesity in Brno, at the University of Konstanz, and other institutions. His research on Shakespeare was appreciated by the International Shakespeare Association (he was one of the founders of the World Shakespeare Congress) and he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Leicester. His most important works include the monograph Shakespearovy historické hry (Shakespeare’s History Plays, 1958), the edited volume Charles University on Shakespeare (1965), which includes contributions by leading representatives of Prague structuralism, the monograph Shakespearovi předchůdci (Shakespeare’s Predecessors, 1965) and Dějiny anglické literatury I-II (The History of English Literature I-II, 1987). His crowning achievements are the monographs Shakespeare and Eastern Europe (2000) and The Whirligig of Time (2007), published in the UK and in the USA. Together with Martin Procházka, he edited Slovník spisovatelů anglofonních zemí (A Dictionary of Anglophone Writers, 1996, 2003).