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James Gray was a scholar and professor of English literature and language at Dalhousie University. Born in Montrose, Scotland, he studied literature at the University of Aberdeen before serving in the Second World War from 1941-1946. After the war, he received a BA (1948) and MA (1951) in literature from Oxford University, where he studied at Balliol College. He moved to Quebec in 1951 to take up a teaching appointment at Bishop’s University, becoming head of their English department in 1958 and Chair of Humanities in 1971. During this period he also taught part time in the Canadian National Railways staff training course. He received his PhD in literature from the University of Montreal in 1970.
In 1975 Gray came to Dalhousie University as Dean of Faculty of Arts and Science. He wrote and lectured extensively about eighteenth-century studies, particularly on theatre and religious works. He was active in various literary and teaching associations, journals and publication initiatives, including the editorial committee of the Yale Edition of the Works of Samuel Johnson for over a decade. He was also a keen philatelist.
He was married to Pamela Gray, with whom he had one daughter. In 1980 James Gray retired to Kentville, Nova Scotia, as Thomas McCulloch Professor Emeritus. He died in 2012.