Maureen Brian has died

Maureen Brian was a regular commenter here, and was noted for her fiercely progressive politics and inestimable politeness and coherence. She was hit hard by cancer and has now died.

I knew her personally — she invited me to Hebden Bridge, where she lived, and arranged a place for me to stay. She was wonderfully hospitable and a fascinating person just to talk to. She was someone with a great sense of her time and place, and she filled it gracefully, and with passion.

And now I’m sad that another warm light has blinked out.


  1. friendsofdarwin says

    A real character. I’ll miss her (occasionally outspoken) social media updates.

  2. opposablethumbs says

    Every sympathy to Maureen Brian’s family and friends who have lost her presence. Her death is a sorry loss to us who have only known her from her voice here, so I can only imagine how painful it must be to those who knew and loved her.

  3. KG says

    My condolences to Maureen’s family and friends. I never met her (vague plans for a meetup of northern-UK Pharyngulites never materialised), but much admired her contributions here, and we exchanged a few friendly emails.

  4. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says

    Sorry to hear that. My condolences to her family and friends.

  5. latsot says

    I knew her too. We’d been planning off and on to meet up and I’d been worried for some time that she had gone quiet.

    The world is a worse place now, she was a lovely, insightful, passionate woman.

  6. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    My sincere condolences to her family and friends. I always enjoyed her posts here.

  7. Pierce R. Butler says

    Maureen Brian set me straight on a few things, back when, with concise grace (…”as a people we have had better politeness training than you”). Definitely a Force for Good.

  8. says

    Goodbye, Maureen.

    I regret that I didn’t tell her how much I appreciated her sometimes stoic, sometimes humorous posts about her illness, (posts on social media). She was courageous in difficult circumstances.

  9. latsot says

    As well as being brilliant – especially at getting to the heart of issues and uncomplicating them – she was interested in everything and everyone. I’m interested in most things, but I don’t like even my loved ones very much. She liked her hated ones, she was a much better person than I.

    She listened to everyone and told them off if they were talking bollocks. Being told off by Maureen for a poorly-considered thought was a valuable thing we don’t have any more.

  10. Bernard Bumner says

    I’m sorry to hear this. She contributed an intelligent, principled and humane voice here.

    I offer my condolences to those close to her.

  11. Gregory Greenwood says

    A terrible shame to lose such an articulate and thoughtful voice for the betterment of humankind. My condolences to her loved ones.

  12. Chris DeVries says

    This sucks. She was a great person with exceptional insights. May her passion for humanism live on through us all.

  13. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    My condolences to Maureen’s family and friends.

  14. ibyea says

    I remember her for her comments here. She was pretty cool in my book. Rest in peace.

  15. says

    I remember Maureen with nothing but good feelings. She wrote long, intelligent commentary and brief notes of friendship. She worked to increase others understanding and held firm against oppressive dynamics.

    She made many contributions. I remember this one about bullying particularly well.

    She was particularly responsive and effective when the topics of PTSD, rape, abuse, assault, and harassment arose. I imagine she must have been happy with the effectiveness of #MeToo.

    I’ll miss her: to any family and friends of Maureen who read this, I wish you well. Maureen was a good one. It is right and good that we mourn her, miss her, and then get out there and kick ass in a way she would value. May you have many opportunities to do all three.