Linda H. Peterson, born on October 11, 1948, died peacefully June 25, 2015, on the campus of Yale University, where she was a professor and former chair in the Department of English. Until days before her death, which ended a multi-year battle against cancer, few friends knew the seriousness of her illness, for she had decided that she wished to focus on the pleasures of her work as an active scholar, finishing her latest book, and as a contributor to university life, which she was, during her 38 years on the faculty. Her books include Victorian Autobiography (1986), Traditions of Victorian Women’s Autobiography (1999) and Becoming a Woman of Letters (2009). Her work also enriched the teaching of writing nationwide, through her role as general editor of The Norton Reader in five editions published from 1996 through the current edition and in her role as past president of the National Council of Writing Program Administrators.
She will be greatly missed by many colleagues and students; by her mother, Martha Haenlein Boese; by her three younger sisters, Deborah Haenlein Kile, Carla Haenlein Piazza, and Kristy Haenlein Taylor; and by her husband, Fred Strebeigh, her colleague at Yale since 1979. At her request, there will be no funeral. Colleagues are creating a fund, in her honor, to support travel by graduate students to conduct research and attend conferences. A memorial celebrating the publication of her new book, the Cambridge Companion to Victorian Women’s Writing, of which she is editor, with contributions from 17 scholars from around the world, will take place near the book’s publication in late 2015.