Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Robert Armstrong Pratt

Robert Armstrong Pratt

Robert Armstrong Pratt, 80, a Chaucer scholar and University of Pennsylvania professor emeritus, died Sept. 11, 1987 at Martha's Vineyard Hospital. A former resident of Haverford, he lived in Chilmark on the island.

A former professor of English at Penn, he was honored for his study of Geoffrey Chaucer. His research into the life and work of the 14th-century English poet brought him two Guggenheim Fellowships and a fellowship at Oxford University and at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University.

The author of dozens of articles published by professional journals on Chaucer and his world, he was co-author of Source and Analogues of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, published in 1941. He edited a new edition of The Canterbury Tales for publication in 1975.

Born in Bellows Falls, Vt., he grew up in Greenfield, Mass., and attended Deerfield Academy. He earned his degrees, including his doctorate, at Yale University. He also studied in Italy as an exchange fellow at the University of Florence.

He taught at the University of Rochester, Queens College, the University of North Carolina and the University of Illinois before joining Penn's faculty in 1961. He taught at the university for 15 years and retired with professor emeritus status in 1975.

He was a former general editor of the Riverside Chaucer.

Surviving are his wife, Nathalie Rodgers Pratt; daughters, Deborah Macy Borst and Susan Pratt Lanpher; a son, James Rodgers Pratt, and two grandchildren.

Doctoral Dissertations Chaired

1980

Susan Hagen Cavanaugh "A Study of Recorded Books Privately Owned in Great Britain Between 1300 and 1450"

1974

Robert A Foster "The Romances of the Middle English Frontier "

1973

Marice Cecile Bezdek "Medieval Literary Concepts of Tragedy and Comedy"
Charles G. Bickford "Chaucer's Use of Rhetoric; with Emphasis on His Portraits"

1972

Vincent DiMarco "The Moral Values of Chaucer's Knight and Squire, and their Aesthetic Formulations int he Canterbury Tales"

1971

Jacqueline de Weever "A Biographical Dictionary of Proper Names in Chaucer"
J. Paxton Hart, Jr. "Thomas Tyrwhitt (1730-1736) As Annotator and Glossarist of the Canterbury Tales"

1964

Robert Enzer Lewis "Chaucer and Pope Innocent III's De Miseria Humane Conditionis"