Marjorie Boulton (1941, English) celebrated her 90th birthday at Somerville today with a talk delivered in a mix of English and Esperanto.
Boulton taught English literature for many years before focusing her attention on Esperanto, publishing in Esperanto a number of poetry collections and plays, as well as a biography, conducting a voluminous correspondence in Esperanto around the world, and becoming a leading international authority on the language.
She has been President of two Esperanto organisations and is a member of the Esperanto Academy.
Boulton recalled her days in Oxford with fondness. As an undergraduate, she was taught by both CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien.
A number of Somervillians and Esperantists attended the event, which was held in Somerville’s Margaret Thatcher Centre. Among those present was Dr Alice Prochaska, Principal.
“Meeting Marjorie Boulton and her colleagues in the world of Esperanto has been a memorable experience among my many enlightening encounters with Somerville alumnae.,” said Dr Prochaska. “Never before have I attended a bilingual event where one of the languages was Esperatno. Dr Boulton’s extraordinary output of books and poems in English and Esperanto, and the high regard in which clearly she is held by Esperantists around the world, are humbling to behold. It was a privilege for us at Somerville to host her 90th birthday party, and to meet some of her colleagues and admirers.”