Main Content

Thanks & Recognition - In Memoriam: Dr. Harry Stone

eNews Edition: Fall 2022

The University Library is deeply saddened to announce the passing of Dr. Harry Stone, a dear friend and supporter. As a revered Victorian literature expert, Dr. Harry Stone taught at the CSUN Department of English for 32 years from 1960 to 1992.

Dr. Stone died on December 17, 2021 at the age of 95. He is survived by his daughter Ann Melanie Stone, son Jonathan Bernard Stone, daughter-in-law Nancy Warwick, grandson Zachary Stone, and long-time partner, Dr. Pamela Krochalk. 

Dr. Stone was born on February 1, 1926 in New York City. His parents were Bernard and Annie (Rappaport) Stone who encouraged their son to read. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and received his BA, MA and PhD from UCLA. Like so many members of the "Greatest Generation" he led a remarkable life.

Dr. Harry Stone
Dr. Harry Stone

Stone was one of the world’s foremost experts on Charles Dickens. He had read the complete works by the age of fourteen, written or edited nine scholarly works on Dickens and collected original editions of Dickens’ work, possessions and memorabilia or "Dickensiana." Stone was instrumental in fostering a realistic understanding of the tormented Dickens and beating back the sugar-coated story of an upbeat writer. Dickens’ daughter, Kate Dickens, insisted that her father was not "a jolly, jocose gentleman walking about the Earth with a plum pudding and a bowl of punch"[1] and Patricia Ward Biederman of the L.A. Times suggested that Stone was unofficially working on behalf of the Dickens family by correcting the legacy.[2]

Stone brought Dickens' books to life for thousands of students, often allowing them direct access to first editions, including the monthly installments. Most modern readers only read Dickens as novels when his work was originally presented in serialized form. Stone made sure that his students were immersed in the full experience of reading Charles Dickens.

Stone’s remarkable collection will become part of the University Library—a very generous gift. The collection includes first editions of his novels including early foreign language editions and original monthly installments, letters, proof sheets corrected by Dickens’ own hand, rare books about Dickens, books from Dickens’ personal library, photographs, paintings and early Dickens merchandise—dolls and figurines of Dickens characters. "One of the largest collections of its kind in the world," according to Dean Mark Stover, "the University Library is privileged to care for this wonderful gift, which will be studied and analyzed by current and future CSUN students, faculty, and visiting scholars." The Harry Stone Dickens Collection will be preserved for generations to come so that many more of us will be able to retort, "please sir, I want some more."

[1] Tomalin, Claire. Charles Dickens: A Life. Quoting a letter from Kate Dickens to George Bernard Shaw.
[2] Biederman, Patricia Ward. "CSUN Gets Dickens of a Gift From a Retired Professor." The Los Angeles Times. November 11, 2003.