Nicholas Arthur Furness (1923-1996)
Professor of German
Born on Tyneside, Nicholas Furness was educated at the Royal Grammar School, Newcastle upon Tyne and at King's College, of the University of Durham (now the University of Newcastle upon Tyne). Before going up to university he had done his military service as a Captain in the REME. After graduating he studied for his his Dr.phil at the University of Innsbruck, receiving his degree in 1952 for his dissertation on Georg Buechner. In 1954 he joined the staff of the Department of German at the University of Edinburgh under Professor Eudo Colecestra Mason (1901-1969), whom he succeeded in the Chair in 1969. As well as Buechner his main research interest was in the expressionist theatre, and especially the plays of Ernst Toller. He retired in 1989.
After his death Mrs Sylvia Furness generously gave the University the pick of her husband's extensive library of German literature, which has enhanced the Library's collections in this area. The books are listed in the online catalogue. In May 2001 she and her daughter Jane Furness presented to the Library, in Professor Furness' memory, one of a limited edition of Goethe's Poems, (Gwasg Gregynog, 2000), which commemorates the 250th anniversary of the birth of the poet and the 600th anniversary of the birth of the inventor of printing with movable type, Johann Gutenberg.