Sierra Leonean academic and literary critic Prof Eldred Durosimi Jones passed away in Freetown, Sierra Leone on Saturday, March 21, 2020.
Prof Eldred Durosimi Jones, born on January 6, 1925, was raised and educated in his native Sierra Leone before going on to stints in universities around Africa, the US, and the UK. He was Emeritus Professor of English Language and Literature, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, recipient of the Royal Society of Arts Silver Medal, Honorary Fellow, Corpus Christi College, Oxford, UK.
His critical works included The Elizabethan Image of Africa (University of Virginia for the Folger Shakespeare Library, 1971), The Writing of Wole Soyinka (Heinemann, 1973), and Othello’s Countrymen: A Study of the African in Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama (Oxford University Press, 1985).
He lost his sight in his middle years and The Freetown Bond: A Life under Two Flags (James Currey, 2012), and all his later written work, was brought to the page by his wife Marjorie Jones. He won jointly (with his wife Marjorie) the African Studies Association of the UK Distinguished Africanist Award.
Reactions to his passing came from many including Sierra Leonean short story writer, academic, and novelist Pede Hollist who stated, “Sierra Leone and Africa may have lost the body of Eldred Jones, but his knowledge, wisdom, and grace live on in all those who have encountered the man and his works.”
He has joined his lovely wife. My good friend and mentor has gone. An African literary giant finishes his book. He died peacefully in his sleep around 1 o clock this morning. Aged 95 years. Rest In Peace Prof Eldred Durosimi Jones. pic.twitter.com/PR0xL9b31B
— Umaru Fofana (@UmaruFofana) March 21, 2020
Our beloved and respected Prof Eldred Jones has passed on. His autobiography The Freetown Bond is an amazing document of a generation, and of the panAfrican university sector he knew intimately. https://t.co/ikskSiEiXf pic.twitter.com/Tzur8KGA01
— JACS_Africa (@AfricaJacs) March 21, 2020