Welcome to the Department of English at Rutgers University

Dr. Thomas R. Edwards, Jr., a longtime resident of Scotch Plains and Plainfield, died Saturday, July 9, 2005 at his home.

Thomas R. Edwards, Jr.

Memorial Service
Sunday, September 18, 2005
Kirkpatrick Chapel | Map
1:00 PM

Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum | Map
2:30 PM

Born in Findlay, Ohio, Dr. Edwards was a Professor of English literature at Rutgers University from 1964 to 1993 and at the University of California, Riverside, from 1956 to 1964. He graduated summa cum laude from Amherst College, Massachusetts, and received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1956. While at Rutgers, he was a recipient of the Warren I. Susman Award for Distinguished Teaching and a founding editor of Raritan Quarterly. He held Guggenheim and ACLS Fellowships and his book Imagination and Power was a 1971 finalist for the National Book Award. He was a regular book reviewer for the New York Review of Books and the New York Times
Sunday book section.

Dr. Edwards also served for 16 years as Chairman of Continental Land and Fur, an oil and gas development company based in New Orleans and Houston, and was a Trustee Emeritus of the Wardlaw-Hartridge School.

He is survived by his wife, Nancy Mathis Edwards; two children, Sarah Edwards-Schmidt of Brooklyn, NY, and John Edwards of Plainfield; and two grandchildren, Elizabeth Edwards and Emma Davis.

Memorial contributions may be made in his memory to the Wardlaw-Hartridge School, 1295 Inman Avenue, Edison, NJ 08820.

To read the obituary announcement or to post a tribute, please visit Higgins Funeral Home.

Read about Professor Edwards in the following tributes, reprinted from a special issue of Eighteenth Century Life (November 1992), entitled "Manners of Reading: Essays in Honor of Thomas R. Edwards," edited by Adam Potkay and Robert Maccubbin.

  • Frank Bidart, "Tom Edwards - A Tribute from a Student"

  • Richard Poirier, "On Tom Edwards"


why english wide


 Undergraduate Students


Graduate Program in English


Statue of "Willie the Silent"