Guide to the Oral history interview with Charles T. Wood, 2001 January 16 - 2001 February 20Manuscript DOH-17


Charles Wood was born Oct. 29, 1933 in St. Paul, Minnesota. While a student at St. Paul Academy, he met Susan Danielson, a Minneapolis native who later became his wife. He graduated from Harvard University magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1955, after which he worked as an investment banker for his father's firm, Harold E. Wood and Company, in St. Paul. He then returned to Harvard, where he received master's and Ph.D. degrees in history (in 1957 and 1962 respectively). He taught at Harvard from 1961-64, then joined the Dartmouth faculty in 1964.

At Dartmouth, Wood taught history and comparative literature and was one of the creators of the freshman humanities sequence. He also chaired a number of committees whose recommendations led to important changes at the institution: establishment of Freshman Seminars as part of the permanent curriculum; the advent of coeducation at Dartmouth, in 1972, and the creation of the "Dartmouth Plan" of year-round education; and the Presidential Scholars Program. He had also served as chair of the department of history and the program in comparative literature. Wood was Professor of History and Dartmouth's Daniel Webster Professor of History, Emeritus.

Wood was a specialist on the Middle Ages, principally the histories of England, France, and the Catholic church in the 12th through 15th centuries. He wrote or edited five books, including Fresh Verdicts on Joan of Arc (1996, co-edited with Bonnie Wheeler); The Trial of Charles I: A Documentary History (1989, co-edited with David Lagomarsino); Joan of Arc and Richard III: Sex, Saints, and Government in the Middle Ages (1988); The Age of Chivalry: Manners and Morals 1000-1450 (published 1970); Philip the Fair and Boniface VIII: State vs. Papacy (1967, edited); and The French Appanages and the Capetian Monarchy 1224-1328 (published in 1966). He also authored numerous scholarly articles, reviews and translations, and for many years was a reviewer for the History Book Club. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1986 for a study of King Arthur and the destiny of England in the 12th through 16th centuries. He authored the text for "The Hill Winds Know Their Names," an award-winning guide to the range of war memorials on the Dartmouth campus, published in 2001.

Charles Wood died in Lebanon, NH on February 11, 2004.

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