Via Alan Price:
Martha Banta, Distinguished Professor of English, Emerita, at the University of California, Los Angeles, died on March 31, 2020 at her home in Pasadena, where she had been convalescing after a fall. She was 91 years old. An iconoclastic and prolific scholar of American literature and culture, Professor Banta published eight books on a wide range of subjects, four of them since her retirement from teaching in 1998. At the time of her death, she had completed a ninth manuscript about Plato’s influence in literary history and had been working on a tenth, about the American love of “little wars.” Banta was throughout her career a scholar of Henry James, the subject of her first book, Henry James and the Occult, and wrote the introduction to one volume of his complete letters, a continuing project at the University of Nebraska Press. For Penguin and Oxford World Classics, Banta edited and introduced works by James, Edith Wharton, and Thorstein Veblen. She was also Associate Editor of the Columbia Literary History of the United States and Editor and contributor to The Harper American Literature anthology.