Barbara Wright#

Obituary, Academia Europaea
Obituary, The Irish Times


Now a Fellow Emerita at Trinity College, Dublin, Barbara Wright taught for most of her career at the Department of French in Trinity College, Dublin, having earlier taught at the Universities of Manchester and Exeter. Both her teaching and her research focused primarily on the interconnection between literature and painting in nineteenth-century France, principally in connection with Eugène Fromentin, Charles Baudelaire and Gustave Moreau. At all stages in her career, however, she was keenly interested in the philosophical writings of Edgar Quinet and has recently renewed some of these links in relation to Saint-Simonian thought, in the context of the Suez Canal, and in relation to ‘le spiritualisme laïc’, in two essays by Albert Aubert, entitled Du Spiritualisme et de quelques-unes de ses conséquences (1840), currently in press. Her on-going interest in Orientalist painting has caused her to focus recently on the work of Gustave Guillaumet. She also derives deep satisfaction from working on Franco-Irish connections, as with her 2012 edition of the Inishkea diaries of the French art historian and archaeologist, Françoise Henry, and her future edition, with Jane Conroy, of some unpublished letters from Charles-Étienne Coquebert de Montbret to Andrew Caldwell.



  • 1956 B.A. (First Class Moderatorship) in French and Irish (University of Dublin)
  • 1956 LL.B (University of Dublin)
  • 1960 M.A. (University of Dublin)
  • 1962 Ph.D. (University of Cambridge)
  • 1995 Litt.D. (University of Dublin)

  • 1954 Scholarship, Trinity College, Dublin
  • 1968 Fellowship, Trinity College, Dublin
  • 1974 Rémy Martin Awards for Achievements in Franco-Irish Relations, *1724- 1974: Recipient of the Award in the field of Education
  • 1975 Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite
  • 1976 Membre correspondant de l’Académie des Belles-Lettres, Sciences et Arts de La Rochelle
  • 1980 Membre du jury du prix de littérature Europalia 80 (littérature belge d’expression française)
  • 1988 Member, Royal Irish Academy
  • 1988 Awarded Prix Roger Bonniot by the Académie de Saintonge for La Vie et l’œuvre d’Eugène Fromentin, Paris, ACR Editions, 1987
  • 1989 Member, Academia Europaea
  • 1989-2005 Senior Fellow, Trinity College, Dublin
  • 2004 Officier de l’Ordre National du Mérite
  • 2012 Honorary Fellow, Royal Irish Academy of Music

  • Held teaching posts at the Universities of Manchester (1960-61), Exeter (1963-65) and Dublin (1965-2005). *Personal Chair of French Literature, Trinity College, Dublin (1978-2005)
  • Dean of the Faculty of Arts (Letters), Trinity College, Dublin (1983-86; 1990-96)
  • Secretary (1969-74), Chairman (1976-80; 1983-4) and member (1969-2004) of the National Committee for Modern Language Studies, Royal Irish Academy
  • Member of the Governing Body of the National Institute for Higher Education, Dublin (now Dublin City University) (1975-82)
  • Member (1979 to present) of the Board of Governors of the Royal Irish Academy of Music; Vice-President (1987 to present)
  • Dean of the Faculty of Arts (Letters), Trinity College, Dublin (1983-86; 1990-96)
  • Participated, with other TCD colleagues, in joint DEA/M.Phil. Graduate Course in conjunction with Université Paris 7 (1985 -2005)
  • Associate Editor, European Review (1992 to present)
  • Council Member of the Academia Europaea (1993-99)
  • Council Member of the Royal Irish Academy (1990-91, 1999-2007)
  • Senior Vice-President, Royal Irish Academy (2000-01)
  • Member of the ‘Equipe d’accueil XIXe siècle’, Université Paris IV (École doctorale de Littératures françaises et comparées’ (2001- )
  • Fellowship, Columbia University Institute for Scholars at Reid Hall, Paris (2nd Semester, 2005-06)


Interconnection between literature and painting in 19th-century France; artists’ writings; genetical, manuscript-based studies; literary correspondences
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