Professor Arnold Kettle was an outstanding Marxist literary critic and a life-long member of the Communist Party, which he joined as a student at Cambridge.
During the Second World War, he saw service in Italy and India and served in Yugoslavia with the partisans. Following the war, he was attached to Cambridge as a supervisor to assist the hundreds of ex-service personnel who went to the university to study. From 1948, he was a lecturer in English literature at the University of Leeds, subsequently professor of literature at the University of Dar es Salam, Tanzania, and then the first professor of literature at the Open University. His reputation as a literary critic was founded with the publication in the early 1950s of `An Introduction to the English Novel�, followed by his editorship of `Shakespeare in a Changing World�.
As well as his undergraduate teaching, he was strongly committed to life-long learning and lectured for the Workers Educational Association for many years. Whilst in Yorkshire up to the mid-1960s, he was an active member of his Communist Party branch, the Yorkshire District Committee and a member of the EC of the Party. He made a particularly important contribution to the early development of Marxism Today, when it was under the editorship of his friend, James Klugmann. Arnold Kettle died on Christmas Eve 1986, aged 70.
Morning Star 29th December 1986