Jeremy/AJP, RIP.

I had thought of waiting for an obituary to link to, but several people have already sent me e-mails about it today, and I can’t bring myself to post filler while this is all I can think about, so I’ll just go ahead and share the bare news: Jeremy Hawker, known in these parts as AJP Crown, died suddenly on Monday. I don’t know any details yet, but he’d had heart trouble for a long time. He was a longstanding and much-loved part of this community, and it’s a heavy blow; my deepest condolences go out to his wife Dyveke and daughter Alma, as I’m sure yours do as well. He was a wonderfully good-hearted and generous person, and I can’t believe there won’t be any more comments or e-mails from him. I’ll add more details when they’re available. Hvil i fred, old friend.

Addendum. I just had a good talk with Dyveke, and she told me (and said I could write about it here) that Jeremy died Monday morning in front of his computer (apparently instantaneously, of a massive heart attack), in the midst of composing a comment at LH (for the thread about Jesus’ language). She said this site meant a huge amount to him; his diabetes kept him from getting around much, and it was a perfect way for him to interact with people who said interesting things and appreciated him. We regretted that we’d never gotten to meet, and she mentioned the Hatters who had visited them in Norway — Trond and marie-lucie and Siganus, I think. As she said, they got to know Jeremy’s voice as well. Lucky them.

Update. Dyveke sent me an image of the notice she placed in the newspaper Aftenposten, which reads:

Jeremy Nicholas Hawker
Died suddenly 5.10.2020
Born 8.6.1953

Without you all streets would be one way — the other way
Adrian Henri (1967)
Without you

Ann E. Hawker – mother
Alma M. S. Hawker – daughter
Dyveke Sanne – wife
Friends and family

A planting ceremony will take place in our garden on Jeremy’s birthday.

If you send her (at the name of a plant, wild or tame, they can plant it in their garden in your name that day.


  1. Whoa. This is really sad. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.

    AJP Crown said: I hadn’t realised that Sarah Palin grew up in Tunbridge Wells.

  2. I’m very sorry to hear this.

  3. Počivaj u miru.

  4. David Marjanović says


  5. Jen in Edinburgh says

    Oh no. I’ll miss him badly here, but you’ll miss him far worse.

  6. *Sigh*…

    2020 just got a lot worse.

    May he rest in peace. My condolences to his family and friends.

  7. Very sad news. I felt as if I knew him and even his family a little from his presence here. He will be missed.

  8. Trond Engen says

    May he walk with his beloved animals.

    I met Crown in real life only once, a memorable afternoon and evening when marie-lucie was in Oslo for a conference — first sightseeing Oslo’s new opera house and then having dinner in his garden with Dyveke and Alma and their goats and dogs. I had a standing invitation to come back with my family, but life always got in the way, and now it’s too late. Never let life get in the way of life.

  9. Giacomo Ponzetto says

    Sad news. Even as a marginal Hatter I’ll miss him here, which suggests what a loss this must be for those close to him. My condolences.

  10. Awful. Земля пухом.

  11. Just one year older than me, always so full of life and wit…


  12. David Eddyshaw says

    Very sad news.

  13. It’s unthinkable. One of the people here I most wanted to meet in real life. I’m so sorry.

  14. He’s no longer among us, and it’s difficult to stomach that. He used to joke about how he’d like his mortal remains to be disposed of. See you, Artur.

  15. Andrej Bjelaković says


  16. John Cowan says

    His last words: “The International House of Pancakes”.

    a marginal Hatter

    There are some Hattics who have a lot to say, some who say only a few things, but nobody who comes up with “Quemcumque Praeses Trump nominaverit inquisitionem illam hereditate accipiet” has any excuse for feeling marginal.

  17. Hat, if there’s anything more you’d like to pass this way about Jeremy, from his family or anyone else, please do. I found his Instagram account, and his pictures are wonderful, as I would imagine them to be.

  18. Sad news indeed! Rest in peace, and my condolences to his relatives.

  19. Athel Cornish-Bowden says

    What awful news. What more can one say? Whatever the topic I always looked forward to and appreciated his posts.

  20. Stu Clayton says

    Spirited away.

  21. Just a couple of days ago I’d watched and enjoyed watching Miyazaki’s animation The Wind Rises, which he recommended a few weeks back on a thread I can’t find now. It dawned on me that the Hans Castorp figure is also a portrait of an architect, Bruno Taut, whom he would have known all about, and thought yes, he’d have liked that. Too late to ask.

  22. Stu Clayton says
  23. That is sad news. I will miss his comments.

  24. Thanks Stu, that’s it.

  25. @Hat:

    Have you ever come across the word отруб?

    A relative passed away on October 6, and they used to live in one, specifically, the one mentioned here:

    Иногда мама с сестрой шли домой через Абдулинские выселки (хутор «Отруб»), где также была переправа.

  26. Yes, I have, but I didn’t realize they were still a thing. (From your link: “С появлением «Декрета о земле» отрубы перестали существовать.”)

  27. Damn! The worst year ever.

  28. How sad. I wish I’d had the chance to meet him in person, but then his personality shone through his comments so strongly that I almost feel as if I had. His wide-ranging knowledge and acerbic wit will be missed.

  29. J.W. Brewer says

    Very sorry to learn of this grievous news. I lit a candle for him (and I guess for the rest of us as well) this morning. Вечная память.

  30. That comes as a shock. My condolences to those of you who knew him so well through languagehat and otherwise.

  31. Иногда мама с сестрой

    Just noticed a few lines above:

    Тынчерова Алия Ганиевна

    Mother’s stepsister was called exactly that, but this is not her. Weird!

  32. Very sorry to hear this. My condolences to Dyveke and everyone else who knew him.

    From another marginal Hatter.

  33. No luck for me trying to post Cyrillic but this is the poem I’d like to quote.

  34. PlasticPaddy says

    When dear companions leave the world before
    Our journey finishes we should prefer
    Not to be sad because they are no more,
    But to be glad because they were.
    -best I could do with the Zhukovski poem

  35. I’m so sorry to hear this! Many condolences to his family and friends.

  36. Damn, another dagger in the blogroll.

  37. Giacomo Ponzetto says

    @John Cowan:

    nobody who comes up with “Quemcumque Praeses Trump nominaverit inquisitionem illam hereditate accipiet” has any excuse for feeling marginal.

    You’re too kind, but thanks! I’m genuinely surprised that my Latin is memorable, but my teachers will be proud and I’m inordinately pleased to have carved my niche in the Hattic community.

  38. Here’s another translation of the Zhukovsky:

    About dear companions, who have made our world
    Come more alive by their companionship,
    Do not say with longing, “They are no more,”
    But rather say with gratitude, “They have been.”

  39. Athel Cornish-Bowden says

    It’s a great poem. I was struck by appearance of the word спутниках — a reminder of why the original Sputnik was called that.

  40. David Marjanović says

    I just read the update and am very curious indeed… what were his last words?

  41. Whenever I saw the phrase “AJP Crown says:” I always knew I was going to be in for a treat. Though I did not know him in person, I am sad to hear he is gone and will miss reading his comments.

  42. what were his last words?

    Alas, the comment box was empty — he had been researching material for it but hadn’t actually started the comment.

  43. .

  44. he had been researching material for it

    Now that’s why AJP’s comments were always so much better than mine.

    I think he was a few years older than me, but we both grew up in England in the same era and, from what I can tell, left about the same time too. Whenever he commented on the old country in those days, I sensed a mix of nostalgia and exasperation that resonated strongly with me.

  45. Crawdad Tom says

    Learned much from, and enjoyed, his comments. My condolences.

  46. John Emerson says

    This is terrible. I lost touch with him when he left Facebook, alas.

  47. Come back from Facebook! We miss you!

  48. David Marjanović says


    I mean, we had to replace all mentions of Dravidian with Scandi-Congo…!

  49. I’ve added Dyveke’s e-mail address to the Update at her request; she says:

    Alma and I will find a way to get back to everyone. This also goes for friends in America and family and friends in England and Australia. It will take some time and consideration, and that’s exactly what we want to give – to Jeremy and to all of you that mattered to him and that he mattered to.

  50. I saw this just now and was shocked like everyone else. Condolences to his family – and to all dear friends here, at one of his favourite places. (Mine too, for a long time.)

  51. That’s sad. I always enjoyed his comments.

  52. J.W. Brewer says

    Here’s a link to the entire poem (not one I’d been familiar with) that has one line quoted in the Aftenposten notice:

    Take that, Zhukovsky!

  53. You’re always welcome here, Noetica.

  54. Yes indeed. You and Emerson/Zizka both.

  55. Trond Engen says

    Thanks for the updates. I got an e-mail reply from Dyveke as well the other day, but I have been too busy for a few days to notice until right now.

    They plan a ceremony on his birthday in May, corona allowing, and invite his friends to have flowers planted in his memory. That’s a great idea (but frightening for us who can’t remember a birthday if not reminded). I’ll be happy to help if anyone wants me to be their local agent or feet on the ground. I know next to nothing of flowers, though, except maybe distinguishing colours, but my wife is a decent gardener.

  56. I am sorry to read that. My condolences also. I loved the insight and generosity of his comments.

  57. David Eddyshaw says

    generosity of his comments

    Yes, indeed. He was (happily) by no means alone among Hatters in this, but he was particularly notable for it.

  58. Anyone who feels like it should definitely drop Dyveke a line; she loves hearing how much Jeremy meant to people.

  59. Siganus Sutor has an eloquent memorial post at Martian Spoken Here; even if you don’t read French, you can enjoy the wonderful photograph of Jeremy in his native habitat.

  60. David Marjanović says

    That’s exactly the facial expression I was imagining all these years.


    That’s palomita, isn’t it?

  61. Oui.

  62. How un-British, pour un Anglais !

    Well, his dad was apparently from Moree.

    (That genealogy site is pretty unreliable. It has my grandfather dying in 1927, two years before my father was born….)

  63. palomita

    When a friend and I stayed in a hotel in Leningrad, there was an Estonian girl staying in a room a little way down the corridor. Her surname was Tuvike, formed exactly like Dyveke, it seems:

    -ke (genitive -kese, partitive -kest)

    A noun suffix that builds diminutives from nouns.
    kivi (stone) → kivike (a small stone)

    tuvi (genitive [please provide], partitive [please provide])

    dove, pigeon (taxonomic family: Columbidae)

  64. I got a scam comment at Unrealistic Dialogue today. That’s not unusual, but when I first saw it, I thought it might actually be related to AJP Crown. However, the mention of “Jeremy” just turned out to be a coincidence.

    We would like to thank you once again for the lovely ideas you offered Jeremy when preparing her post-graduate research plus, most importantly, for providing many of the ideas in one blog post. If we had been aware of your website a year ago, we’d have been kept from the nonessential measures we were choosing.

    Thank you very much. [spam Web site omitted]

  65. It’s nice when spammers are so polite and well-spoken!

  66. We had the boy named Sue, now we have the girl called Jeremy.

  67. Trond Engen says

    David M.:


    That’s palomita, isn’t it?

    He, I never thought of that. I guess the Dutch diminutive -ke is foreign enough that we don’t think of it as such,

    Anyway, the original Dyveke was the daughter of a Dutch merchant in Bergen and the mistress of king Christian II of Denmark. Her mother was highly influential at his court — until suddenly she wasn’t.

  68. Garrigus Carraig says

    I am just now seeing this. A warm and witty fellow, judging solely from his comments here. Left a mark.

  69. Richard Charon says

    I am not a member of this group but I have just been passed a link and find myself here acfter telling a mutual of Jeremy’s pasing today, though I learned of it a while ago now. Jeremy was my oldest true friend. He and I joined St. Marylebone Gramar school in 1964 and although we had different academic interests, we somehow became very good friends. I spent a lot of time with him and his mother at their home in London outside school hours, socilaising /parties during those formative teenage years in London in the 60s as well as doing the cross-Europe “Inter-rail” journey from London to the Greek Islands via the Orient Express route branch to Athens. My younger brother joined us on that 6 week trip; returning via Venice, Nice, the Camargue, Arles and Paris. We kept in touch from time to time as the years went by and eventually we made the trip to Norway where we were looked after wonderfully. Walks across the frozen lake at the end of their plot of land in winter and woodland, hillside hikes another time in the summer ,with my wife and kids in tow. We were distantly-close. So many great memories and shared experiences. It is so nice to see that he created such greta contacts this group and others. This is a tragic loss to his family , not least his elderly mother who brought him up alone in London. I will sorely miss him.

  70. John Cowan says

    I see that his middle initial is “N”. Does anyone know what that stands for?

  71. Stu Clayton says
  72. Trond Engen says

    Me: They plan a ceremony on his birthday in May, corona allowing, and invite his friends to have flowers planted in his memory.

    I’ve meant to add to this post, and I guess this was my final cue.

    Corona didn’t allow in May, but the urn ceremony will take place this Friday, with a few friends and relatives. Dyveke invited me on behalf of, I suppose, all his “imaginary friends”, which feels quite undeserved and also humbling. But what can one do in a year like this? I’m at your service.

    And I’m still twisting my head about the plant business. He had everything in that garden.

  73. Please give Dyveke and Alma my love; I hope they’re doing well. I hope they have lilies in the garden, which was what occurred to me (I always used to bring them to Bonnie when we lived in NYC).

  74. Stu Clayton says

    Trond: for a long time I didn’t want to think about this at all. My mind simply rejected it. So I thought I had missed the planting.

    I’d now like to arrange for something in this connection, but it’s very short notice. Could you perhaps help me set this in train ? How can I get in touch with you ?

    I have nämlich something in mind that I’m pretty sure is not yet in the garden (apart from gnomes, of course).

    Edit: I suppose I could contact Dyveke. It’s not a surprise birthday present, unfortunately. Jesus fucking Christ. But I don’t have her number.

  75. Trond Engen says

    Click on my name and you’ll find my e-mail adress. I’m also on Messenger.

    I’m off to bed now, but I’ll see them tomorrow morning.

  76. Stu Clayton says

    Ok, thanks. I’ll write.

  77. @Trond: Please pass on my appreciation and best wishes. It was always interesting talking with AJP about art.

  78. Siganus Sutor says

    Thinking of a friend today, and missing his company.

  79. Siganus Sutor says

    (A tree is in the process of being planted today, in his memory. Breadfruit — I don’t how he would have liked that.)

  80. Trond Engen says

    It was a hot and sunny summer day. About 20 friends from most periods of life, from when he was a 19-year-old art school student in London to last year’s new neighbours — all of us living in Norway — met at the local churchyard for a short private ceremony, and then we went to the family house for a garden party. Dyveke and Alma had made a huge effort, to much avail, so we ate and drank and laughed and threw Jack’s (the dog’s) toy into the garden for about five hours. After desserts all the guests were asked to tell who they were and how they knew Jeremy/AJP, and I was able to say something about this rare civilzed corner of the Internet and about the strange backwardness of getting to know somebody this way, and about meeting a person who doesn’t fit your image at all, but whose image slowly grows into the person you already knew. I told that there were hatters all over the world missing Jeremy and thinking of Dyveke and Alma. I hadn’t been able to settle on a plant myself, clearly overthinking it, so I enjoyed telling about a newly planted breadfruit tree on a distant island in the Indian Ocean and about an idea being hatched in Cologne.

    [Stu: When I asked you to click on my name for my e-mail adress, I had forgotten that that stopped working years ago,.But we managed. Dyveke got your message but had been to busy to reply.]

  81. Thanks for that report. Sounds like they’re doing as well as could be expected, and it makes me happy to hear about the celebration. I wish I could have been there.

  82. I was just using my huge Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World (13th Edition) and sadly reflected that Jim (jamessal) and Jeremy, who went in on it as a Christmas gift for me a decade ago, are both gone. It’s never going to stop hurting.

  83. Siganus Sutor says

    Oh, jamessal too? Goodness! (He was young though, wasn’t he? I remember a cat rescued in the middle of the road — forgot his name, Muntz? — and his girlfriend who used to cook good things, no? What happened?)

    [Sorry, this is meant to be a blog about language, I know, but…]

  84. Sorry you had to find out about it this way. Yes, he was way too young. Here’s the memorial post:

  85. Siganus Sutor says

    Thank you Hat.

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