Emeritus Professor Valerie Minogue, B.A., M.Litt. (Cantab.) Officier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques
Retired academic, freelance writer, translator; President Émile Zola Society London http://www.emilezolasocietylondon.org.uk/
Valerie Pearson Minogue (née Hallett) born in Llanelli, South Wales in 1931, attended St Michael’s School, Bryn, Llanelli, then read French and Italian at Girton College, Cambridge, graduating with first-class honors in 1952, when she was awarded the Mary Elizabeth Ponsonby Prize for French Literature. She taught French and Italian at Cardiff University, 1952-53, then returned to Cambridge, where she obtained the degree of M.Litt. in 1957. In 1954 she married Kenneth Minogue, with whom she had one son and one daughter. They separated in 1978 and were divorced in 2000.
Although her research took her first into the 17th century, she moved on to the 19th and 20th centuries. For some years, during which she had two children, she was variously employed as lecturer for the London University Extra-Mural Department, basic contributor to the Cambridge Italian Dictionary, Research Assistant at the British Museum Library, and briefly, producer for BBC Woman’s Hour.
She returned to academe in 1962 when appointed to Queen Mary University of London, where she remained for nearly twenty years. In 1981 she was appointed to the Chair of French, and headship of the Department of Romance Studies in the University of Wales, Swansea. After leaving the Headship, she became Research Professor, then Emeritus Professor since 1996.
While at Swansea, she co-founded (with Brian Nelson) the journal Romance Studies, of which she was Editor for many years, then General Editor until 2004. She has been President of the Emile Zola Society London since 2005, and since 2014, co-editor with Patrick Pollard of the (annual) Bulletin of the Émile Zola Society. She was made ‘Officier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques’ in 2012.
As a writer and translator, her interests have ranged widely from Stendhal, Zola and Proust, to Nathalie Sarraute and the nouveau roman. She enjoys literature and art, music, especially opera, cinema, theatre, television and detective novels, as well as cooking, good company, and travel – especially to the Mediterranean and Australia, where one part of her family lives, the other part being in London. She has most recently translated Zola’s L’Argent– Emile Zola, Money, in Oxford World’s Classics, Oxford, 2014 and, also for Oxford World’s Classics, Zola’s La Faute de I’abbé Mouret – Emile Zola, The Sin of Abbé Mouret, Oxford, 2017