The College deeply regrets to announce the death of Professor Peter Bayley, scholar of French literature and Fellow since 1971. After a Research Fellowship at Emmanuel College, Peter became a College Lecturer in French at Caius. He also served as Tutor (1973-9), Praelector (1980-86) and editor of The Caian. In 1974 he was appointed University Assistant Lecturer in French and he was promoted to Lecturer in 1978. In 1985 he was elected Drapers Professor of French, a position he held until 2011.
Peter dedicated his scholarly career to the study of French sermons of the seventeenth century and, latterly, to the lives and works of Bossuet and Saint-Simon. He played an active role in several national associations of French studies and the French government recognised his work in promoting French studies in this country by appointing him Officier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques 1988; he was appointed Commandeur in the order in 2006.
Many former students will remember Peter fondly as a lively and inspirational teacher of early modern French literature and of the French essay. His colleagues will remember him as someone who enjoyed College life to the full and whose presence enhanced any gathering. Our thoughts go out to Peter’s partner Angus Bowie who looked after him so devotedly in recent years.
Professor Joachim Whaley FBA, Fellow, Gonville & Caius
Professor Bayley’s funeral will be held in the College Chapel at 2pm on Friday 4 May, and will be followed by refreshments in College.