Common Time 2019

William Empson

Sir William Empson
Germaine Greer - a guest speaker

The William Empson Society is a literary society which regularly hosts distinguished writers, critics, playwrights and poets who come and talk about their work. Founded in 1986, the Society is named after Sir William Empson (Coll, 1920 - 25), who won a scholarship to attend College in 1920. He specialised in mathematics and the sciences winning the Richardson prize for mathematics but he also won an English literature prize. Initially he studied mathematics at Cambridge but later changed to the newly established English tripos. It was the latter discipline which became the basis of his professional life. He taught in the Far East, America and this country and was knighted in 1979. He is best known as a literary critic and a poet. Empson died in 1984.