Loved ones say farewell to prolific author and academic on his beloved Hampstead Heath

Friends and family have bid farewell to an eminent author and academic on his beloved Hampstead Heath.

Dan Jacobson, who died on June 12 at Marie Curie Hospice in Lyndhurst Gardens, Belsize Park, was laid to rest at Hoop Lane Cemetery, in Golders Green, on Thursday.

His loved ones paid tribute to Mr Jacobson’s passion for literature and strong family values at Kenwood House, on Hampstead Heath.

He lived close to the Heath nearly all his adult life, moving from Dunstan Road, Golders Green to Cranbourne Gardens, Temple Fortune in the late 1960s and to Merton Lane, Highgate in 1992. He continued to take long walks in the open space well into his 80s.

“He would chat to friends and people he would meet and get involved in long conversations with family and friends,” his son Simon Jacobson, 58, an accountant, remembered.


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Born to a Jewish family in South Africa in 1929, Mr Jacobson moved to London in his early 20s to kick start what would become a prolific writing career.

He married primary school teacher Margaret Pye in 1954 and a year later, he published his first novel The Trap.

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His son, a father-of-two, recalled: “As a full-time writer, I would always hear the sound of his typewriter in his study, and I wasn’t allowed to go in if he was working. He was very involved in his work but he loved his children and we saw a lot of him because he worked from home.”

He later moved on from writing about his country of birth to produce more experimental novels, including one of his most successful The Confessions of Josef Baisz in 1977.

It was around that time that Mr Jacobson was invited to become a full-time lecturer at University College London (UCL), where he was a colleague of the renowned poet and novelist AS Byatt.

Two of his students spoke at his funeral about how much the author had inspired them.

The dedicated tennis player retired from the university in 1994 but continued writing well into his later years.

He is survived by his wife, his children, Jessica, Simon and Matthew, three granddaughters and two grandsons.

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