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Jeffrey Heath was born in 1943 in London, Ontario to George Morton Heath and Miriam Louise (Preston) Heath. He attended Boyle Memorial Public School and Sir Adam Beck Collegiate Institute. He began his association with Victoria College in 1961, completing a B.A in English Language and Literature in 1965. He was elected President of the Vic Class of 6T5. After travelling in Europe during 1965 and 1966 he returned to the University of Toronto to begin work on his Master’s Degree, completing it in 1967. He started his doctoral studies at Toronto while a Resident Junior Fellow of Massey College. He lived there from 1967 to 1968. After spending 18 months in England doing research on the novelist Evelyn Waugh, he was invited by Millar MacLure to return to Victoria College, where he was a Lecturer from 1969 until 1975. He completed his dissertation, “Evelyn Waugh and the Comic Macabre” in 1971. He received tenure and became an Assistant Professor in 1975. In 1978 he became an Associate Professor. He was a member of the Victoria University Board of Regents from 1984 until 1990, participating actively in Victoria and Department of English committee work. In 1998 he retired to pursue his own research interests, co-editing, for some time, the University of Toronto’s Modern Drama.
In 1982 the McGill-Queen’s University Press and Weidenfeld and Nicolson published Heath’s The Picturesque Prison: Evelyn Waugh and His Writing. It was a study that had little connection with his dissertation but much to do with the research and interviews that he carried out in England later in the 1970s. During the 1980s Heath’s interests turned to Canadian Literature. He edited Profiles in Canadian Literature, Series 1-8 (Toronto: Dundurn Press, 1980, 1982, 1986, 1991), a collection of 124 articles on notable Canadian literary figures. After travelling through northern India in 1985, Heath began to focus his research on the life and work of E.M. Forster. He made a series of trips (1993 to 2004) to examine the Forster papers at the Archive Centre of King’s College, Cambridge and the BBC Written Archives Centre at Caversham Park, Reading. His research has been issued in scholarly articles and in The Creator as Critic and Other Writings by E.M. Forster (Toronto: Dundurn Press, 25 February 2008).
Heath’s academic interests continue to focus on Forster and on twentieth-century British and American literature.
Jeffrey Heath lives and works in Toronto.