David Daiches, who died in 2005, was a prolific literary critic, biographer and writer. Although he was born in Sunderland to a Lithuanian Jewish family he identified as a proud Scotsman.

Daiches moved to Scotland as a young child when his father became Edinburgh’s chief rabbi. An academic career followed university and he began to produce books at a startling rate (some 55 in all). His biographies included lives of Virginia Woolf, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Burns - but he also wrote about Scotch whisky and the King James Bible, and produced several volumes of autobiography. Daiches pursued a peripatetic university teaching career in both Britain and the United States and, in 1959, founded the English department at the newly-instituted University of Sussex.