The Silver Stallion

A Tribute to William Leigh Godshalk (1937-2015)

It is again our sad task to announce the passing, on March 1, 2015, of one of the editors of the Cabell studies journal Kalki.  William Leigh “Bill” Godshalk was born on May 12, 1937 in Pen Argyl, Pennsylvania; earned his M.A. and Ph.D. at Harvard; and taught at Tufts and William and Mary before joining the University of Cincinnati, where he taught from 1972 until just a few years ago. While at William and Mary one of his students turned him on to Cabell’s novel The Silver Stallion. He became a fan and, after realizing that Cabell himself had attended W&M, did some research and wrote the definitive account of Cabell’s college ‘scandal’: "James Branch Cabell at William and Mary: The Education of a Novelist."  Bill joined the Kalki staff in 1969 as James Blish’s co-editor; in late 1971 he became editor-in-chief, with Blish as “editorial advisor.”  Academic duties called, and in 1975 he was succeeded as Kalki editor by the late Paul Spencer, although he continued as an associate editor until 1980 and made occasional contributions as late as 1986. His book In Quest of Cabell: Five Exploratory Essays was published by Revisionist Press in 1975.  In 2013 Bill was kind enough to grant us an interview about his early days as a Cabellian and his adventures on the Kalki staff: .

Bill was also a well-known Shakespeare scholar and bibliographer, as well as a student of Lawrence Durrell, Christopher Marlowe and Sir Philip Sidney, among others.  Here is his page at the U. of Cincinnati site, including a photo and a list of his scholarly publications:

Here is a brief official obituary: .

And here are some tributes from colleagues on the Lawrence Durrell discussion listserv:

and on the SHAKSPER listserv: .

Bill Godshalk loved literature and life, both of which he celebrated with enormous energy, a friendly grin, and his sardonic wit.  R. I. P.


Bill Lloyd, 2015