On June 25, 2016, Professor James E. Tierney left behind a world of beloved relatives, dear friends, and unfinished projects. But nothing was more precious to him than his beloved wife Pattie, who, early on, was his student at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, later served as his research assistant, married him in 1995, and tirelessly nursed him through various health problems in the later years of their twenty-one-year marriage. Born in Newark, New Jersey in 1935, he was the third child of John T. and Kathryn (Keogh) Tierney. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his father-in-law, Robert Redenbaugh, two stepsons, Christopher (Erin) Brunner and Andrew (Emma) Brunner, and a host of cousins, nieces, and nephews. He was preceded in death by his brother John T. Tierney, and sisters Helen Cotter and Cathleen Bataille. Professor Tierney graduated from St. Michael's elementary school in Union NJ; from St. Benedict's Prep in Newark, NJ; and from Seton Hall University where he earned a B.A. in classical studies in 1956. While teaching at Seton Hall Prep in South Orange, NJ, he earned a M.A. degree at Fordham University, and a Ph.D. in English literature at New York University. Upon completion of his graduate studies in 1968, he came to St. Louis as an Assistant Professor at the newly founded University of Missouri-St. Louis. Here he taught Restoration and eighteenth-century British literature until his retirement as Professor Emeritus in 2000. Besides his teaching and research studies at UMSL, Tierney served on many department, university, and Faculty Council committees.
Professor Tierney’s scholarly career focused on eighteenth-century British publishing history, particularly on the age’s newspapers and periodicals for which he became recognized as an international authority. His major published work was a heavily annotated edition of the correspondence of the mid-eighteenth-century London bookseller/publisher Robert Dodsley, a work published in 1989 by Cambridge University Press. He published widely in journals in his field and delivered many papers and participated in round tables at annual meetings of professional societies, both in the U.S. and aboard. He was a reader of manuscripts for Cambridge University Press and Yale University Press, as well as a member of the editorial board of Media History (England) and The Eighteenth Century: A Current Bibliography (1978-84). Collectively, his many trips to London to read eighteenth-century newspapers and periodicals in the British Library amounted to several years. Tierney was also a member of the “Salon” at Washington University, a group of eighteenth-century scholars of various disciplines and from several local universities who met monthly to discuss one another’s works in progress.
For work on British periodicals, Professor Tierney enjoyed fellowships at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, the Harry Ransom Research Center, Folger Shakespeare Library, Newberry Library, from the British Academy, and multiple grants from the Andrew Mellon Foundation. For the edition of Dodsley’s correspondence, he was awarded grants from such agencies as the National Endowment for the Humanities, Gladys K. Delmas Foundation, the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the American Philosophical Society. At the time of his death, Professor Tierney was working on two major projects in his field: “A Catalogue of Eighteenth-Century British Periodicals, 1660-1800,” an 80,000 index-card collection inherited from James M. Osborn of Yale. Tierney was in the process of converting the latter to digital form.
Memorials may be made to the Siteman Cancer Center in care of Baue Funeral Home.
There will be a memorial service in New Jersey at a later date.